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A “child-friendly” house - Safety in the home

A “child-friendly” house - Safety in the home

Children’s curiosity and their innate desire to learn and explore often hide risks to their safety. In fact, domestic accidents are one of the main causes of injuries to children in developed countries. Although being excessively anxious about safety can lead to equally unpleasant results, parents must pay proper attention and take proper care to ensure a safe environment for their children.

Especially for the first three to four years of your child’s life, you will have to arrange your home around his/her needs. The criteria to be taken into account are safety, order, functionality and freedom for creative play.

Safety
Be sure to teach your child to move around its personal space safely so that it will become responsible and capable from an early age. And on top of that, you cannot be with him/her all the time to keep him/her away from danger. This way, you will help him/her to learn how to look after himself/herself and deal with any difficulties he/she may encounter more easily. You need to be careful of the following:

  • Remove all sharp objects and anything a small explorer could swallow (e.g. buttons, fasteners, screws, nuts, etc.).
  • Put protective covers on all the sockets and put electrical appliances away when you are not using them.
  • Keep your child away from the oven and hotplates when you are cooking.
  • Keep detergents locked up and out of the reach of your children. Also, keep all soaps, shampoos, cosmetics and medicines out of their reach.
  • Use anti shatter window film - a special transparent plastic film which keeps the fragments in place if the glass breaks.
  • Remove lightweight rugs that can slip and make sure all other rugs are secured under heavy furniture.
  • Keep tobacco and cigarettes away from children: Chewing cigarettes is one of the most common childhood accidents. The amount of tobacco in a single cigarette is considered a lethal dose for a child.
  • Lay non-slip mats in the bathroom Also, always supervise children at bath time as there is a risk of injury and drowning. Also, never leave tubs full of water without locking the bathroom door.

Order
Be sure to keep the house as tidy as possible. Keeping things in order and in their place not only helps the child to get to know the world around him/her better, but it makes him/her feel more secure as his/her environment is predictable - something which young children like.

As for toys, try not to have them all out and scattered around the room, because the child is very likely to stop paying any attention to them. Keep the ones your child uses the most and put away the rest. After a while, show him/her the toys again, as it is very likely that he/she will now be interested in them.

Functionality

The aim is not to limit a young child, but to ensure you have a home that effectively meets not only your own needs but also the child's natural needs for play, movement and experimentation. Think about what would make things easier for him/her and at the same time protect him/her. For example:

  • Put a stable stool in the bathroom he/she can stand on to wash his/her hands, and hang a towel at a lower height so he/she can dry them.
  • Keep his/her potty in a specific place so he/she can find it when he/she needs it.
  • Find a low table with children's small chairs. You child can make his/her first puzzles there, and he/she can also sit down to eat with other children of the same age.
  • Buy large storage boxes for his/her toys and for the first few days help him/her and teach him/her to arrange his/her things so that the room is neat and he/she can easily find the toys he/she is looking for. Avoid placing toys on high places (shelves, etc.), because if he/she attempts to reach them on his/her own this can be extremely dangerous.
  • Make sure there is a low light in your child’s room at night so if he/she wakes and gets up there is less chance of him/her tripping up and falling down.
  • Buy small organic mats for the children's room that are easily cleaned and shaken out even in winter, as the main cause of allergenic substances in house dust is mites. And as dust mites love rugs and carpets they can cause allergic reactions such as sneezing, itching eyes and nose, etc. Choose cotton or wool carpets rather than synthetic ones that contain toxic substances

We should not be overprotective when taking safety measures for our children. What we need to do is to teach them from an early age to recognise risks and to protect themselves against them. Letting children take small initiatives and encouraging them to acquire skills in this way, helps to develop and form their personalities, and at the same time protects them from many dangers.