With the home being the most common place for childhood injuries to occur, here are 7 important questions you should consider when assessing your home this winter:
- What can my child climb around the house, balcony or backyard?
Whatever a child can climb...they will climb...remove temptation by:
- Removing all climbable and liftable objects from balcony edges and near pool fences.
- Clear the pool area and around the pool fence of toys, furniture and objects.
- Fit barrier gates at the bottom and top of stairwells- make sure the gates are fitted securely to prevent mishaps
- Always supervise children when near balconies, stairs or pools.
- How many sharp edges in our home can be identified?
- Assess furniture for sharp edges and avoid purchasing fragile furniture or ornaments made of glass or metals.
- Load dishwasher with all sharp objects including utensils sharp end down
- What can my child fit in his or her mouth that would harm them?
- Remove all small fridge magnets as they can be a choking hazard for small children
- Buy age appropriate toys for your child/children and check toys for broken pieces to remove choking hazards.
- Ensure all surfaces in your house are hygienic, especially toys.
- Are chemicals and dangerous substances locked away?
Ensure that all poisons, chemicals, cleaning products, medicines, cosmetics, lighters and matches are stored up high or locked away. Out of sight-out of mind is the best policy when it comes to eliminating the risk of children accessing chemicals.
It is also mindful to keep indoor and outdoor potted plants out of reach of small children due to fertilisers and poisons that may be present such as snail bait pellets.
- How regularly is the smoke alarm test and/or replaced?
Install smoke alarms. Check and replace smoke alarm batteries every six months. Replace smoke alarms every ten years to ensure your family is protected. For more information please visit this site.
- What areas of the home can be identified as slip, trip or fall hazards?
- Tack down loose edges on carpets and floor rugs
- Avoid over polishing floor surfaces and clean up all spills
- Secure open windows and ensure fly screens are well-fitted and secure.
- What hot / electrical surfaces can my child access?
- Keep a fire extinguisher and fire blanket in the kitchen
- Install guards around heaters, open fires, oven doors and stove tops.
- Fit thermostatic valves to bathroom taps
- Fit tap guards to kitchen taps to restrict use
- Supervise children at all times when near heated devices, heaters or open flames.
- Keep kettle cords out of reach of children
- Keep pan handles turned away from the edge of the kitchen workspace
For a complete Home Safety Audit Checklist please follow this link.