Keeping kids safe at home
Baby Steps

CREATING a safe and secure environment for your child is one of the best ways to improve learning and ensure that a responsible, respected and educated citizen develops in the future. When your child feels safe and reassured in his environment, more confidence and enthusiasm is developed when a task is to be performed. You can create a safe home environment for your child, irrespective of the community in which you live. It may be challenging but persistence and creativity can help you to overcome some of your obstacles.

Here are some tips from the Ministry of Education.

•Put medicine out of the child’s reach. They should also be kept locked away, preferably in a cupboard.

•Store all household chemicals in a locked cupboard. It is best to keep them in their original containers so they can be clearly identified.

•Dangerous household utensils such as knives, scissors and appliances should be locked away and stored out of the reach of children. If you are using them, make sure they are not placed near the edge of a table or counter.

•Flammables such as matches and stove lighters should be kept away from children.

•Ensure your stair rails are not wide enough for a child to slip through and fall. Stair gates should be at least 30 inches high and erected at both ends of the stairs. Your stairway should also be well lit and free from clutter.

•Ensure your windows and balcony doors are equipped with childproof safety catches and chains that are high, or install some safety device which will prevent your child from opening them or squeezing through them.

•Furniture such as bookshelves should be properly secured to prevent them from falling over and hurting your child.

•Place a lock on outlets that are not in use. Cords from electrical appliances should be attached to the wall so that the child cannot pull them down and get struck if appliances fall. Never leave the iron on the ironing board.

•Cover buckets/barrels/tanks containing liquids. Young children can fall in them and drown.

•Ensure that your house plants are not poisonous as curious toddlers will place anything in their mouths.

•Keep cords for drapes and blinds out of the reach of children as they can strangle small children.

•Crib slats should be close together to prevent children from falling through.

•Never leave a child unattended in a bathtub.

•Never leave children alone at home, or in a car.

•Discard toys with sharp edges or corners. Throw away small toys and those that can be broken into very small pieces. The eyes and nose of toys such as teddy bears should be very secure.

•Place foods such as candies, peanuts and small fruits such as guineps, out of the reach of small children. They can get stuck in a child’s throat.

•Ensure your child knows his name, his parents’ names, address, and contact number.

•Tell your child that no one should touch him/her on any part of his/her body that makes them feel uncomfortable.

•Pay close attention when your child tells you that he/she was inappropriately touched. Do not shun your child. Investigate it thoroughly and quickly; if it is true, report the matter to the police or the relevant authorities immediately.

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