Accidents happen every day in people’s lives, whether at home or out in public. While accidents can occur anywhere and to anyone, some of the most common and even the most dangerous ones occur at home. It helps to be aware and take action to prevent the most common mishaps in and around your home.
Common Household Hazards
- Falling Objects – If you have children then you know that once they start moving around on their own, they begin touching everything in the house. They can potentially knock stuff over, leading to broken objects or a bump on the head. To prevent this from happening, make sure electrical cords, table cloths, and any dishes are out of reach.
- Trips and Falls – Obviously anyone can fall, but falls usually occur in young children and the elderly. You can help prevent trips and falls by making sure things get picked up off the floor, that cords are not running along the floor, and by making sure carpets are tacked down.Look for any tripping hazard and deal with it right away. Often times if a young child falls, you can soothe them with kind words, hugs and kisses. However, if you notice that after a person falls they become drowsy, vomits, or loses consciousness, get medical attention right away. There could be something seriously wrong and it’s best to get them checked out by a doctor.
- Dangerous Furniture – Be careful with furniture that has sharp corners, like a coffee table. You can get covers to make the corners not so sharp. Also, be careful with glass top tables, especially if you have small children. Take stock of the furniture around your home to see that it’s safe. Anchoring large, heavy furniture to the wall will help prevent people from getting pinned under these objects, especially small children. When hanging a TV on the wall, make sure it’s well secured and wires are tucked away. Tap here for more tips on how to childproof your furniture.
- Sharp Objects – Beware of these, not just when you have children around. When you wash knives you want to make sure you put them away properly, so that when you reach for something you don’t accidentally cut yourself.
- Burns – Hot drinks and foods are the most common thing to cause burns and scalds to children under the age of five. Of course children should be kept away from the oven, open flames, and irons (anything hot). Also, make sure the temperature on your water heater is not set too high, to help prevent scalding burns in the bathtub. You should not have it set any hotter than 120 degrees F (49 degrees C). The most common activities adults engage in that result in burns include cooking and straightening hair. All burn wounds should be held under cold running water for a couple minutes. The best way to cover a burn to prevent infection after applying prescribed burn cream is by covering with something like saran wrap and taping down with surgical tape. Always consult your doctor before treating your child or yourself.
- Poisoning – Most poisoning incidents involve medications and household products. It’s important that these things are kept out of reach of children and anyone else you feel might not understand how to use safely.When it comes to the health and happiness of our home and loved ones, we want to take all precautions possible to prevent injuries. If an accident does occur, though, it’s vital to know what to do.
Teach Your Children about Safety
Kids are often very curious and aren’t as aware as adults that there are numerous dangers surrounding us every day. It’s important to make your children aware of potential hazards in order to keep them safe. Listed below are steps to ensure that your children are conscientious about their own safety in and around your home.
- Teach your children how to call 911 and other relevant numbers in case of a serious emergency. Ensure they know the difference between someone needing help and calling about a minor issue such as one of their toys being lost. Teach them the emergency numbers and have them posted in a visible location. Ask them frequently to recite the emergency number of 911 so it’s second nature to dial, even if they are scared and panicked.
- Review the emergency exit plan with your children frequently. In case of a fire, ensure that they know how to get out of the house and where they should meet once they’re outside. Practice this monthly because for many, doing is better than telling as they learn and know it better by “doing”.
- Teach your children about uncomfortable/inappropriate situations and how to respond. Ensure that they know to stay away from strangers. However, do it in a way that they aren’t scared of every person they meet. Teach your child what a stranger is and avoid teaching them that all strangers are dangerous, since this is not the case.
- Educate your children as to what dangerous situations look like. Teach them that if someone they do not know tries to take them somewhere, they should run away screaming, “Someone’s trying to take me!” or something along those lines, to let others know they need help.Also teach them that if someone is chasing them, they should run to a safe place. A safe place is any place that has multiple people inside – like a grocery store or a library, for example. Another situation may be when someone is trying to physically harm your child. Some parents don’t believe in this, but teaching your child some self-defense skills may be something to think about. Teach them to poke a harmful guy in the eyes or kick them in the knee.
- Teach them what a stranger is. Giving them a private family code word that can be used if they are ever picked up by someone they are unfamiliar with is essential. They should never get in an unfamiliar vehicle, even if it seems innocent enough. If someone tries to convince them to get in a vehicle, then they should leave and find a trusted adult right away.
- Always have a recent picture of your child with you. If they were to ever go missing, show the picture to the police so they can help you find them. Keep the info about your child up to date. Know their height, weight, eye color, and any birthmarks they may have. This will also help the police to find your child.
The safety of our children is crucial. It’s important that we teach them how to be safe, especially in situations where we aren’t there. Remember to be balanced in your approach so your child isn’t terrified to live life. You don’t want them to be scared of every person they see, but you do want them to be aware of the people and their surroundings. When your child is safety conscious, you help to decrease the risk of anything happening to them. An ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure when it comes to children.
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