In the Car
In the Kitchen
In the Bathroom
In the Bedroom
Every other place

Babies and toddlers are an energetic, inquisitive bunch. They love exploring and it could be tough holding them back as they take in, learn about and experiment with their environment.

In many ways this is good because it aids their mental, social and physical development. However, there are many instances when the curiosity of these lively tots has gotten them into costly accidents. Hence, it is very important that precautionary steps are daily taken in keeping their movements and activities in the right check…

In the Car…

  • New car seats are the best. But if you must go for a used one, ensure it’s not more than 6 years old, still has the manufacturer’s instructions with date and model number, has no damaged or missing parts and has never been in an accident before
  • Ensure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing the car seat and when buckling your child in
  • The safest placement for the car seat is at the ‘centre back’ because in case of an accident, it is furthest away from all windows.
  • The safest spot for a driven child is a car seat. So, let your child use the car seat for as long as possible.
  • When your child outgrows the car seat (most likely at about the age of 4), switch him/her to a booster seat which has been designed to help the adult seat belt fit correctly
  • Sometime between the age of 8 and 12, your child is likely to be able to safely use an adult seat belt. Here, according to Mayoclinic, is how you will know…
    • He/she is 1.5m tall
    • He/she can seat against the back of the seat with his/her knees comfortably bent at the edge of the seat (and remain that way the entire trip)
    • The lap belt rests flat and snugly across his/her upper thighs and the shoulder belt rests on the middle of his/her shoulder and chest (and not on the neck or face)

In the Kitchen…

  • Children are always stretching to reach. So no matter the height (or lack of height) of your child (whether infant or toddler), ensure that…
    • Cooking is done on the back burners and all pot handles are pointed towards the rear end of the cooker
    • Objects (such as stools) which your child can dangerously leverage on (in reaching the ‘out of bounds zones’ such as shelves) aren’t left lying around.
    • Tablecloths which can be pulled off the table aren’t be used
    • Utensils (and other sharp objects like scissors and razors) and cleaning products are always locked up when not in use
    • Food or water (especially when hot) isn’t placed at the edge of the table. Instead, they are kept safely at the table’s centre
    • Cords of electrical appliances are not left dangling
  • Keep the dustbin out of your child’s sight and reach
  • Firmly secure all cupboards and drawers with safety latches
  • Avoid cooking in the company of children
  • Never simultaneously hold hot liquids (and food) and your child
  • Never leave your child alone in the kitchen
  • Stick emergency numbers on the fridge

In the Bathroom…

  • It doesn’t take much water to drown a child. So, always release the water from the tub when bathing has been completed
  • While bathing your child, always keep a hand on him/her
  • Always use a bath mat because it will reduce the chance of your child slipping in the bath
  • A bar soap that has become small is a potential choking item. So, be extra careful with it
  • When not in use, keep the toilet lid on
  • When not in use, bath care and shower products must be kept out of reach
  • Keep hot water heater temperature at a maximum of 120 degrees because a child’s skin is a lot more sensitive than an adult’s
  • Never leave your child alone in the bathroom

In the Bedroom…

  • To avoid strangulation don’t leave the drapery cords hanging loose. Instead tie the cords up to keep them out of reach
  • Don’t set up the crib or any low furniture directly under the window because kids love climbing and just may attempt climbing out
  • Don’t set up the crib close to electrical appliances
  • Kids roll a lot. So, never leave your child unattended on the changing table or bed. (*this especially applies to babies and infants)
  • Cover all electrical outlets
  • Wire hangers should not be used in your child’s wardrobes
  • Suffocation and strangulation items like nylons and jewelries and other small objects like pins and buttons shouldn’t be left lying around
  • Support unstable furniture against a wall
  • Don’t hang mirrors or pictures directly above the crib because your child is likely to reach for it, ignoring the danger that comes with his/her action.
  • All drawers should have stops
  • When your child is under one, don’t use pillows or duvets because they can cause suffocation if his/her face gets up caught up in them
  • Remove any cot toy which can assist your child in climbing out of the cot

Every other place…

  • Don’t leave an occupied car seat or bouncer/rocker on a table because it could be mistakenly pushed over
  • Hold the handrail when carrying your child up or down the stairs in order to reduce chances of tripping over
  • Don’t encourage your child to squeeze in-between the stair rails
  • Insist your child picks up after him/herself because idle, misplaced toys can cause accidents
  • When carrying your child be observant where you place your feet in order to avoid tripping over toys or other idle objects lying around
  • Discourage your child from throwing objects within the house because appliances could get broken and/or persons could get hurt
  • Discourage your child from jumping on chairs or tables because dangerous falls could happen
  • Use door stoppers to avoid a finger/hand/leg jam
  • If the gaps between banisters and balcony railings are more than 6.5cm, cover them with safety nettings or boards
  • At the top and bottom of the stairs, fix in safety gates in order to prevent your child from climbing the stairs unsupervised
  • Avoid coffee tables with glass tops and pointed corners. The round coffee tables are safer options
  • Cover all electrical outlets
  • Secure all cupboards and drawers with safety latches
  • Don’t leave your child alone with a young sibling or pet. You will be surprised what just could happen

Image courtesy: www.parenting-blog.net