Mellow Mummy: Child Safety In The Home : Taking life as it comes...

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Child Safety In The Home

This is a sponsored post but that doesn't stop it being fun to read.

Lara, like any active toddler, is at an age where I have to be particularly cautious of where in the house I let her explore, and with what I let her play. Since moving house in October we have been discovering the places within our own home that present a potential hazard - Boots Parenting Club Pharmacist Angela Chalmers has helped me to identify some of the hazards and find practical solutions to the problems.

"We often worry about dangers outside of the home but forget about the hidden dangers in our homes. Children up to four years old are most likely to have home accidents which may include: falls from heights, burns and scalds, drowning in the bath, ingesting household chemicals and trapped limbs.

“View your home from your child’s eyes, what would look exciting to them? What can they reach? Are cupboards childproof? Are stairs protected? Do you have a fire alarm? Once you assess the risk, you can take simple measures to accident- proof your home, giving you piece of mind and keeping your little ones safe.”

Cupboard latches were number one on my list of safety precautions when we started child-proofing the house. Latches aren't only useful for stopping your baby or toddler from emptying a bottle of expensive moisturiser onto the bedroom carpet, or neatly arranging the entire contents of your crockery cupboard on the kitchen floor as you prepare dinner – cupboard latches help prevent the very real danger of your child grabbing and swallowing something that could harm them such as the large numbers of household chemicals that we often keep in our kitchens and bathroom. We have tried a number of different brands and types of cupboard and drawer locks now but have found the traditional-shaped, screw-in ones (such as those that Boots sell) to be the most effective.

In addition to cupboard latches, we have a few strategically-placed drawer catches of different types to prevent access to things such as remote controls, our favourite CDs and messy things such as paint or pens.

We have been using our Boots Nursery Thermometer to monitor the temperature in Lara's room. The ideal temperature for a baby's room is between 16 and 20 degrees. Our monitor was invaluable just before Christmas when we were without central heating for over a week; we monitored the minimum and maximum temperatures in Lara's room each night. When the monitor told us that (even with fan heaters) it had reached as little at 12 degrees over night, we knew it was time to look for alternative accommodation.

All around the house, we have filled our empty plug sockets with socket-covers. I like the Boots ones because they are tricky for little inquisitive fingers to remove, and yet dead-easy when you know the secret trick to removing them (with the plug you intend to plug-in). Before I filled the house with socket-covers, Lara would regularly get distracted by the sockets in the hallway or landing on her way past, now she has learned that it is a lost cause – no fun to be had.

Corner protectors are the final way that Boots have helped us – this is a matter close to my heart as I have a scar on my nose from my own childhood coming-together with a piece of furniture. You can't wrap your child in cotton wool and prevent all possible accidents, but by sticking the soft corner protectors to the edges of the tables in our living room, I feel confident that I can prevent the most likely of accidents.

Other ways in which we have child-proofed our home include, stair gates, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms and a fireguard. My main remaining concern is the oven, which is now at Lara-height and with door handles that are tempting to open, means that the kitchen is a no-go area when I am preparing food – burns and scalds are some of the most common, and potentially harmful family accidents.

Boots have a wide range of home safety products in store now – they are all great value for money but we love their Home Safety Starter pack as it has a few of each of the tools you need to help make your home safe.

Boots Multi-purpose Latch (£4.09)
Boots Corner Cushions (£2.04 for two),
Boots Plug Socket Covers (£3.06 for four)
Boots Door Stopper (£4.09),
Boots Home Safety Starter Pack (£10.21)
Boots Digital Nursery Thermometer (£10.20)

You can find out more about child safety in the home and first aid with Boots Parenting Club
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