Ensuring a safe environment for babies and toddlers at home
Consultant – Paediatrics & Paediatric Intensive Care
Aster CMI Hospital
Parents today have realized the importance of childcare and have been investing heavily in providing good care to their children. However, even though parents have been buying child care products to ensure the health and safety of their child yet childproofing or baby proofing measures are often not full proof.
Children less than 1 year have certain specific characteristics
- They have a large head – they can topple easily and when they fall from height – the head will hit the ground first. They are at very high risk for head injuries.
- They put everything in their mouth- which sometimes include moving insects, button, batteries, medicines and chemicals
- They have very weak legs – they cannot wriggle out of danger.
Toddlers are like little scientists who are extremely curios and fearless.
Some of the measures which parents can take to childproof or baby proof their homes are –
- Keep the edges of tables and platforms free – Never keep a hot, heavy or sharp items near the edges of platforms viz dining tables, kitchen platforms etc. Baby’s skin is 40% thinner. It cuts, bruises and burns easily.
- No role play in kitchen – Children love Indian kitchens. The aroma, colour and sound of kitchen activity always draws children and a moment of carelessness leads to serious burn and cut injuries.
- Bathing should finish uninterrupted – Children love playing with water especially in summers. They see their own reflection in water and get attracted. In most of the cases, buckets are the largest cause of home drowning in the world. Therefore, keeping all buckets and drums with closed lids is necessary. It is also important to ensure, that parents never leave a child alone in bathroom to answer a phone or doorbell.
- All medicine cabinets and harmful chemicals need to be kept out of sight. Children should never have any access to the same as they can swallow these medicines which can later turn fatal for their health.
- Keep all cupborads, drawer shelves closed – Door pinch injuries and finger crush injuries are very common in children
- There should not be any unstable furniture in the drawing room – They can fall over children and cause serious injuries
- While eating children should not be playing – It is a major choking hazard
- Toys with detachable parts should never be given to children less than 3 years
- Keep a watch on electrical appliances – always switch off and unplug washing machine, vacuum cleaners and heating laments for cooking, ironing clothes as these are common causes of injuries.