Newborns may be tiny and helpless but they are also vulnerable to accidents around the home. Even if your newborn isn?t crawling or running around the house yet, they will be very soon and it?s important to make sure they have a safe environment and the risk of accidents is reduced. Many household injuries are preventable with a bit of careful planning and safety precautions.
We look at ways you can minimise accidents around the home, starting with what the main risks are and how you can overcome them. The main dangers to young children and babies around the house are:
It?s important to be able to relax in your home and to protect your child without being too restrictive. If you aren?t sure what the main risks are in your home, a good tip can be to get down to your child?s level and see it from their perspective. You may notice things you wouldn?t have otherwise seen.
The most obvious tripping danger in a two storey home is the stairs. It?s a good idea to put safety gates at both the top and bottom of the stairs and make sure they are closed at all times.
In addition to the stairs, children can be injured by falling out of windows, especially in older style homes where the windows may be positioned low and there might not be window locks. Don?t forget that babies can often climb sooner than you might think and could easily climb on furniture to reach an open window.
Make sure you install window locks and possibly safety screens, especially in upper floor windows. Don?t position chairs, bookcases or tables within easy reach and ensure that your baby isn?t left in a room with a window that can be opened more than 10cm.
Many babies are changed on a table or at a higher level than the floor. A most sensible tip would always be to change the baby on the floor to avoid a potential fall. However, if you are using a change table always keep one hand on baby whilst reaching for objects and never leave baby unattended on a change table.
Use this simple checklist to see if you home is safe.