CHILDPROOFING: How To Make Your Home Accident Free For Your Children
Things around children often easily fascinate them, but they are also oblivious of the imminent dangers in their surroundings. Toddlers are even more likely to be injured at home because that’s where they spend most of their time. Negligence of home safety measures is the main cause of domestic accidents, and this is because most people only guard against outdoor accidents, taking for granted one of the biggest threats to their children’s safety and well being — their own homes.
Accidental injuries—such as burns, falls and poisoning—are the leading cause of sickness and death among children across the globe. Each year, children/youths within the age bracket of 0-19 years, account for more than 12,000 people who die from injuries caused by domestic accidents, while more than 9.2 million are treated in emergency departments for nonfatal injuries. In 2008 alone, an estimated 9.2 million children had an initial emergency department visit for an unintentional injury, which occurred at home.
In reality, it’s not possible to fully protect a child from all the accidents of childhood as they form the painful part of the child’s development. Also, children are inquisitive and their curiosity can lead them into hazardous situations. That said, by taking some practical precautionary measures, these incidents are more likely to be avoided. Childproofing is one of such practical measures.
Childproofing is the deliberate step taken to make an environment safer for children. This may include restriction of children to safe areas or preventing children from reaching unsafe areas. This can be achieved by the careful involvement of the parents, or by hiring a professional for assistance. Here are some ways you can make your home a safe and happy place for the child.
- Scan the Terrain: One of the most effective ways to guarantee your child’s safety is to take a child-like view of your home. You will have to get down on your hands and knees to see and observe your house from a child’s perspective. What can be within their reach? What looks shiny and tempting? Where would you go if you could crawl or waddle? This will help you figure out which cupboards, drawers, and other spaces your child might get into. As your child grows and starts walking and climbing, you’ll have to reevaluate, looking higher each time. Keep an eye out for tiny objects, toys and plastic wrap that you find on low tables or the floor that your child could swallow and choke on. Carefully lock up or store away from reach every potential poison or other hazard, including cleaning products, medicines, forks and knives.
- Secure Electrical Outlets: Among the more common fears of child safety is the possibility of electrocution or serious injury when a metal object, such as a key or metal cutlery, is inserted into an electrical outlet. The safety device can be as simple as plastic units that plug into each individual socket. A toddler could still remove this kind of protection or parents might forget to re-insert them after using the outlet. In this case, a more effective childproofing device that blocks access to the electrical outlets is recommended. Other devices such as sliding outlet covers could replace the current outlet plate but still allow parents to plug-in their appliances. If you’re using extension cords in your home, exposed outlets can be covered with electrical tape.
- Prevent Physical Access: One of the most effective safety measures for the children is the restriction of movement to hazard points. In this light, the Playpen, a piece of furniture used to restrict the movement of a child while resting, playing or bottle-feeding, is widely used by parents. This method requires a rather lower level of supervision while in use. Many playpens are portable, making them a credible alternative when the parent and child are visiting a home that has not been “childproofed”. Safety gates are also used to help prevent a child from gaining access to particular areas of a house, such as the stairway, kitchen and pool area.
In addition, different types of door bolts that can be operated from both sides of the door are available. For cabinets, drawers and similar furniture, a lock to prevent the easy opening of cabinets can be installed.
- Furniture Safety: Furniture corners are very sharp and they constitute another common hazard, particularly large or heavy bookcases, cupboards, and appliances. You may want to push appliances that get the attention of children, like televisions back from the edge of the furniture or better still move them out of their reach. Furthermore, you should securely fasten whatever you can to the wall and cover all sharp corners and household edges with cushions to soften the impact if your child falls.
Ensure that you keep drawers closed when you’re not using them – they become ladders for adventurous children. And be extra careful to fully close file cabinet drawers, because pulling out one drawer could cause the cabinet to fall over. Always put heavier items on bottom shelves and in bottom drawers to make furniture less top-heavy.
- Always Stay Vigilant: While you can make your home safer for your child, the most important precaution is to watch them at all times. Even if your home is childproofed, it takes an instant for babies and toddlers to fall, run over to a hot stove, or put the wrong thing in their mouths. Your vigilance is most likely your child’s best safety measure.
However, accidents will still happen, so it’s imperative to be prepared. If you’re expecting a baby or have kids, it’s wise to have an insurance policy that covers you from the financial impact of these kinds of risks. With Leadway Assurance, the risk of your child having an accident at home is expansively covered under a single premium offering.
In this light, the Leadway Household, Automobile and Personal Accident Policy (LHAPPy) ensures your home and family are insured against any form of personal accidents. This also includes a comprehensive insurance of your vehicles against theft and accidental damages, as well as the insurance of your house and its contents, under a single package.
With L-HAPPy, domestic accidents, including those involving other children (visiting for a play date to the insured property), are covered. Medical expenses resulting from such unfortunate events will be borne by Leadway Assurance. And, should a fatality occur in your household as a result of a personal accident, up to N2.5M would be paid in accordance with the policy terms and conditions. Likewise, for a severe accident, which results in the total and permanent disability of an insured person, up to N2.5M would be paid in accordance with the policy terms and conditions.
So, why don’t you contact our team on (01) 2800 700, 2800 701, 08129997070, to find out more about L-HAPPy and other insurance policies in our offerings, or send an email to Lcs@leadway.com for more details?
Terms and conditions apply.