As much as we try to keep our children safe, our homes will always hold hazards with potential dangers. The moment our kids begin rocking and rolling, we start baby-proofing every nook and cranny of the house. We lock the cabinets, cover the electrical sockets, and pop the stairgate up. We attach soft bumpers to corners and put everything breakable in the attic for a few years. But there still remain dangers we can’t seal up, hideaway, or cover-up.
As our children get older, their inquisitive little minds will seek and explore the hidden areas of our house. They will crawl under the stairs, be intrigued by the hot press, and wonder what’s in the medicine cabinet above the sink. It’s our responsibility to be cautious and conscious of how their little minds work and keep them away from hidden household dangers.
We can instil a culture of safety in our homes by teaching our children as they grow up about particular dangers. Younger kids thrive on repetition so we can easily reinforce the message that certain items are off-limits such as knives, scissors, and lighters.
As they get older we can make sure they know who to contact in an urgent situation and the relevant emergency contact numbers. We can teach them about online safety and stranger danger, fire safety and not to answer the door; all of which will go a long way in explaining to our children how to be safe at home.
Some other hidden household dangers we can teach our children about are:
Kids are wonderfully visual. Warning signs, however, are not always as obvious as we’d like. But it is a good idea to teach our kids about the various symbols related to hazardous waste and chemicals. By making it into a game and explaining why something is dangerous, the message of why something is off-limits is reinforced.
Batteries should never be kept in sight of children. It is incredibly easy for a child to swallow a button battery, which can lead to burns and hospitalisation. It is a must to keep batteries out of sight but also for children to be aware of the danger.
Medicines are a leading cause of hospitalisation for children under the age of five. Ultimately, they must be kept out of reach of children as they can often look like sweets and blister packs can be easily opened by children. Child-resistant packaging is not always foolproof either.
Without understanding the dangers of phone chargers, kids can easily be tempted to pop them in their mouth. The danger of an electrically charged lead could result in significantly serious burns. Always unplug your charger and put it away.