Home safety checks EVERY parent needs to make

Baby on the move? Take these savvy steps to help keep them safe and happy on their adventures around the home

The day your baby starts to crawl, or takes their first steps, is a special day indeed. However, you quickly start to feel like your house should come with one of those ‘Danger: Hazardous Area’ signs, as pointy edges and plug sockets seemingly appear everywhere you look.

Supervision is essential for keeping them safe, but it’s impossible to watch them 24/7. So here we’ve come up with a list of the essential steps to help “child-proof” your home, so your little mover can explore their new world safely.

Choking hazards

Children explore the world with their mouths, so it’s important to ensure there’s nothing lying around they could potentially choke on. Also consider taking a first aid course that covers how to stop a child choking, just in case.

Steps to take:

  1. Ensure small objects, such as batteries, buttons, beads, marbles, peanuts and small toys are kept out of the reach of children.
  2. Small food such as grapes, cherry tomatoes and blackberries should be cut into quarters.
  3. Install a “safe by design” blind in your child’s bedroom – i.e. one without a cord that they could get tangled in.
  4. Keep plastic nappy sacks out of reach of your baby and under something heavy to avoid accidental suffocation.

Potential poisoning

Fairy Non-Bio knows how great laundry capsules are for busy mums – so convenient and mess-free, you can just throw one in and you’re good to go. Unfortunately the pods can look appealing to children, so – like with any potentially hazardous product – it’s important to keep them out of reach and sight of little ones.

The Fairy Non-Bio Pods Family Pack comes with an improved child safety lock too, so if you ensure the lid is closed properly, little hands won’t be able to access the pods.

Steps to take:

  1. When storing potentially harmful substances, remember the following: keep them up, keep them closed, keep them safe. Also, lock the cupboard or fit it with a child lock.
  2. Don’t decant cleaning products into other containers.
  3. Store cleaning products and medication separately and away from food.
  4. Dispose of unused cleaning products safely.
  5. Always read the label and use as instructed.
  6. Make sure your child is somewhere safe when you are using potentially dangerous products.
  7. Check any plants in the house and garden aren’t poisonous to humans.
  8. Think about what’s in your handbag. Could your toddler access an e-cigarette refill, vitamins, medication or hand sanitizer?

Bumps and falls

As your little one wobbles their way to walking confidently, the risk of falls, bumps and bruises rises. Supervision is key, but here are some ways to minimise any potential accidents.

Steps to take:

  1. Fit safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs. Once a child is old enough, teach them how to use the stairs safely.
  2. Change babies’ nappies on the floor, and never leave them unattended on a raised surface.
  3. Don’t place furniture close to windows and fit restrictors to stop them opening fully.
  4. Mop up any spillages quickly.
  5. Check for loose wires and other tripping hazards, and make sure stairways are well lit.
  6. Cover sharp corners with corner cushions.

Burns, scalds and shocks

A child’s skin is more sensitive than an adult’s, so while something might not be hot enough to burn you, it could still hurt your child. Minimise the risk with these pointers.

Steps to take:

  1. Keep hot drinks out of reach of children, and never hold a hot drink and a child at the same time.
  2. When cooking, use the back plates and turn the pan handles inwards.
  3. When running a bath, run the cold water first, then add the hot, checking the temperature with your elbow.
  4. Avoid ironing while a toddler’s around, and put the iron and cord out of reach immediately after use.
  5. Put straighteners or tongs in a heat-resistant bag and store out of reach immediately after use.
  6. Prevent little fingers from poking into unused plug sockets with socket covers and always make sure the switch is off.
  7. Keep matches and lighters out of reach and extinguish cigarettes and matches completely.
  8. Use a fireguard that’s secured to the wall.
  9. Fit smoke alarms, make sure you check them and practise a fire escape.

If your child does have a minor accident, keep a first aid kit with all the essentials to hand. For anything more major, contact the NHS hotline (111), the emergency services (999) or visit your local A&E department.

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