We all like to think that our home is the safest place we could be without any risk of injury. But statistics do not back up this belief. According to data from National Safety Council, 75% of all preventable accidents occur at home. The household is the second most likely place that a child will suffer an accidental death. Children especially those under the age of five years have a higher risk of having an accident at home.
The good news is most home injuries and accidents are preventable. You can make your home a safer one when you become aware of the risks and hazards present in it.
Once you are aware, take precautionary measures to ensure your family – especially young children – is safe from any danger. So, you can finally enjoy the comforts of home in a much safer environment. A safer home means less time worrying and more time spent doing fun things together.
Here are six ways you should consider doing to accident-proof your home-based from The First Aid Course Sydney, a leading first aid course provider in Australia. As parents or carers for little kids, it is important to be cautious about making your home safe for them.
1. Stabilize staircases
Fall injuries are one of the most common household hazards. In fact, more than 2,200 children die from fall injuries that occur at home. Wet floors, slippery stairs, and scattered toys are all potential risks for child falls.
To prevent falls, make sure all staircases have solid handrails. Secure flooring in place, add adequate lighting and install safety gates for small kids. Make sure to keep the stairs clear of any hazards that will cause them to trip or fall. Avoid putting things near the stairs as it can only increase the chance of anyone falling down the stairs.
2. Install fire alarms
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there is an estimate of 353,100 home structure fires in the US every year. Home fires result from mild smoke damage to total devastation, leaving thousands of lives lost. There is a lot you can do to prevent home fires from getting beyond control.
First, install a fire alarm on all levels of your home. Check and change the alarm batteries regularly for better fire safety and consider investing in a smart smoke detector. Buy a fire extinguisher and keep at least one in your home. Do an annual check-up to make sure it is in good working order.
Also, ever leave unattended candles or use them near flammable materials like papers, drapes, or blankets. Unplug appliances when not in use to avoid electrical fires.
3. Store chemicals and medications properly
Over two million poisoning incidents at home are being reported to poison control centers nationwide almost every year. One of the most common causes of unintentional poisoning among young children is ingesting prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications found in the medicine cabinet. Both prescription and OTC medications can prove hazardous to children. To avoid poisoning dispose of due to unused medications, do not leave them in a place where children have access.
Several items found in the household also pose as poisoning hazards. These include cleaning and home maintenance supplies that contain harmful chemicals. A little diligence and the right knowledge can decrease the chance of unintentional child poisoning.
Keep children away from chemicals and medicines that are unsafe. Never leave them unattended. Parents and carers should also keep an eye on expiration dates for any medication before giving it to them.
4. Keep choking hazards out of reach
Choking is the fourth-largest cause of accidental death in children ages five and below. From a dinner gone wrong to accidentally swallowing a small toy part, choking is scary. Educate yourself with first aid safety tips about choking hazards and take measures to keep your child safe.
Regularly inspect toys, especially those with small and loose parts. Search floors for toys or items where little hands might easily access them. Keep the food portions small and hard foods like nuts or candies out of the children’s reach. The same applies to softer foods like grapes, tomatoes, and hot dogs.
Pay special attention at gatherings where children can easily sneak something without getting noticed.
5. Store tools properly
There are items with sharp edges that can be found inside and outside your home. Everything from a can opener to a garden hose can be dangerous for small children. Knives, scissors, graters, and peelers are common items that can lead to nasty cuts. Properly store all sharp tools for the garden and kitchen. Put them in a place where they are out of the children’s prying eyes,
If you are using a razor or any sharp material in your bathroom, keep it on a high shelf. Store extra blades and install safety guards for other grooming tools if you have pets. Child safety locks are easy to install and keep those little fingers away from accidental injury.
6. Use Child-Friendly Equipment and Furniture
Only use furniture and equipment that been made following the design standards and the safe baby code of practice.
After buying, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions in setting up and using the item. You will still need to supervise your child and teach them safe habits. It prevents them from coming up with creative and unsafe ways to use the equipment or furniture.
Lastly, always have a first aid kit handy in your home. Put it in a location where everyone can easily access it in times of emergency. Pin up useful emergency numbers next to the fridge door or in the family portrait in the living room.
Creating a safe environment where your child can grow and thrive is an utmost priority. Thankfully, even though several safety hazards lurk around the average home, most of these are easy to address.
Make sure you do everything you can to be sure your home is risk-free for your child. We consider these six ways to accident-proof your home to keep you and your child out of harm's way.