Safety At Home

Babies and young children are more likely to have accidents in the home, but you can avoid mishaps by taking some precautions around the house. With a little vigilance, plenty of common sense and some simple safety items, you can minimise the risk and keep your child safe at home.

Fit a smoke detector in your house if you don't already have one. Baby gates at the top and bottom of the stairs will protect little ones from falls, and fireguards prevent burns. Keep a first aid kit in the house in case of emergencies, and learn some basic first aid so you know what to do. Keep electrical sockets covered.

Put away toys when they are not in use to prevent trips, falls and choking incidents. Place safety locks on the kitchen and bathroom drawers and cupboards to prevent your child from coming into contact with their contents.

Of course, supervision is very important to keep your baby safe at home, but nobody can watch their child every second of the day. A play pen is useful for those times when you are busy or need to leave the room for a few moments.

Take particular care at mealtimes and bath time when you have very young children. When it's time to eat, strap them into their high chair so they can't fall out, make sure they can't push themselves over and check the temperature of their food. Invest in a non-slip mat to make your bathroom safer for little ones. Make sure the bathwater isn't too hot, and never leave young children unsupervised around water.

Many parents worry about putting their baby down to sleep, but there are ways to reduce the risks and make sure your child can rest comfortably and safely. Invest in a baby monitor - this will give you peace of mind when your child is asleep and let you know when they wake up. Always put babies down on their backs, with their feet at the bottom of the cot. Do not give a pillow or duvet to babies under one year - use a baby sleeping bag or light blanket instead.

Babies shouldn't be allowed to get too warm while they sleep, so place their cot away from radiators and direct sunlight. The optimum temperature for a baby's bedroom is around 16 to 20 degrees celsius. It can be risky to fall asleep in bed with a very young baby, so for the first few months of their life, it is better to place them in a separate cot in your bedroom.