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Why should we babyproof our homes and how should we do this?

When we have children, there is an insurmountable amount of information that we have to digest. One aspect of having a child that often gets forgotten about is ‘child safety.’ It is an essential part of protecting our children and ensuring no harm comes their way, yet it is only when accidents start to happen that we take initiative to ‘baby proof’ our homes. It’s time to start talking about safety measures early on and implement injury prevention strategies.

Did you know that the most serious accidents occur in the kitchen and on the stairs? Every year around 58,000 children have accidents on the stairs with 49% of total injuries to under 5’s caused by falls from less than 1m.

Toddlers love to crawl and climb to practice their newly developed skills but what they cannot do is judge distance or steady themselves easily. That means they aren’t able to risk assess like an adult would or prevent themselves from falling if they lose their balance. Fred Safety has designed stair safety equipment including anti-skid tape for stairs and stair gates. These must be placed appropriately around stairs to prevent major falls and accidents that require attention in A+E.

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Infants are extremely inquisitive and will try and put most things in their mouth as a way of exploration. Over 28,000 children will need treatment for suspected poisoning or poisoning every year. A lot of products, including medicines, have child safety caps on them, but these must be well secured. Other products that can still cause harm (household products and cosmetics) may not have safety caps so must be kept out of reach from young children. It is very easy when tired to leave things out and about and not realise that your infant is able to access the medicine bottle, for example. Fred Safety has invisible magnet locks for cupboards, drawer catch’s and double door blockers that will prevent your child from being able to open cupboards easily. My son Jason is 2 years old and I still make sure that we have our magnet locks on all kitchen cupboards as cleaning products especially are really dangerous for little ones. Always keep medicines and chemicals out of sight in a locked cupboard or at a height which is not reachable.

Look around your home and at the furniture you’ve got, especially in your living room. If you notice that bookcases aren’t secured to walls or your table has sharp edges it’s time to invest in a baby proof bundle for your living room that Fred safety offers. Included in the bundle is also door catchers to prevent little fingers getting stuck in doors. Your child may seem very little but before you know it their little fingers will be able to open those doors all on their own and they will not able to judge how fast or slowly that needs to be done. Climbing onto furniture is another fun game that all infants and toddlers love to do at some point, so it’s really important to secure your furniture to the wall where needed in order to prevent it tipping over and causing harm to your child.

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The under 5 age group is the most prone to accidents at home and simple safety measures can go a long way. It’s time to prevent injury and take the measures needed to do so. Preventative measures are relatively low in cost compared to the toll an injury can have on a family. Fred Safety are there to help you every step of the way!

The Child Accident Prevention website also has a lot of useful information on how to safely prepare your home for the different age groups your child enters(https://www.capt.org.uk).

Fred safety products are in line with EU safety regulations. Please check the products you buy before purchasing them to ensure they are not faulty.

Dr. Shruti Nathwani is the founder of @thechildrensmedic, an educational Instagram account focused on evidence-based medical guidance surrounding newborn, infant, and child health. She uses her own experiences as a mother and Paediatric Doctor to support parents through their parenting journey sharing practical tips and knowledge along the way.

Disclaimer: Please note this article is made available for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for competent medical advice. If your child is unwell, you must consult a medical professional in person.

References:

https://www.rospa.com/RoSPAWeb/docs/advice-services/public-health/action-on-accidents.pdf

https://www.rospa.com/home-safety/advice/accidents-to-children

https://www.evidence.nhs.uk/search?q=accident-and-injury-prevention