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The family home is a haven away from the outside world. It’s a place where you can spend time with your family, watch your children grow, and enjoy the company of your loved ones, for many years to come.
Your home is also a danger zone, a health and safety nightmare, where trouble awaits around every corner. Little fingers touch what they shouldn’t, curious minds run without knowledge of the risks, and frantic parents chase their kids this way and that to ensure their children aren’t putting themselves in danger. Does this relate to you and your home?
Safety matters, and while you will have a fair degree of common sense, it’s also important to adhere to a few basic safety rules.
8 Safety Rules For Your Family Home
Rule #1: Secure Your Home
We should all have locks on our doors and windows as standard, but home security needs to go further than that. You should also take extra safety measures, including adding fire and burglar alarms, securing your perimeter, and adding home security cameras so you can always have a full view of your child, and your home. There are some excellent security tips at childhood101.com, so it’s worth heeding the advice given and applying their tips around your property.
Rule #2: Never Leave Your Child Alone
While you can give your older children some slack, you should still be present and alert where babies and toddlers are concerned. You never know what they might be getting up to, so always have them within your eye view.
This is especially true in danger areas, such as in the bathtub and garden, but considering your child’s wandering feet, ensure you’re never distracted for long in any part of your house. A game of hide and seek is fun, but not when you’re panicking over a lost child!
Rule #3: Provide Safe Tours
For starters, consider our favourite wooden toys. They are perfectly safe for your little one to play with, as well as being incredibly fun and educational to boot. The same does not always apply to the toys you see online or in discount stores.
To be safe, always read the packaging on the toys you consider for your child, and make sure they are age-appropriate. Keep an eye on the media as well, as there are often news stories about toys being recalled due to manufacturing problems. From choking hazards to inflammable objects, be mindful of the dangers.
Rule #4: Children First, Home Decor Second
We know you like to decorate your home, but the home decor you choose shouldn’t come at the expense of your child. Until your child is old enough to know better, you need to be practical with your choices.
Hard furniture in your living room is probably a no-no, as you want to avoid bumped heads. Long drapes may be a design choice, but as toddlers are prone to pulling and climbing, you really should buy something made to measure at Onlinecurtainfabrics.com to protect your child and your home! Think long and hard before you make a new purchase, and curb the temptation to splash out on anything that could be a potential hazard.
Rule #5: Keep A Tidy Home
It’s difficult to keep a tidy home where children are concerned. Despite your best efforts, your child will soon undo your hard work by littering the place with every toy they own, as well as emptying their dinner plates on your freshly polished floors.
Still, it’s your own mess you need to pay attention to. Small items are choking hazards (Babygooroo.com lists the most common ones) and you might have items around your home that are toxic to the taste, touch and smell. Go through every room in your house and put anything that could cause an injury to your child out of harm’s reach. And remember to add safety gates to out-of-bounds areas.
Rule #6: Better Safe Than Sorry
It’s always wise to take precautionary measures to reduce the possibility of an accident and injury, and this is where childproofing your home comes in. For your information, there is a useful checklist at www.babycentre.co.uk, with an array of suggestions for keeping your home safe.
You should also keep a first-aid kit handy, with child-friendly items stocked up to account for every accident and disaster that may happen in and around your home. Have a contact list pinned to your noticeboard too, with phone numbers for doctors and other healthcare professionals, as well as friends and neighbours you can call on for support.
Rule #7: The Power Of The Word ‘No’
As parents, this is something we will all understand, and it is a rule you need to stick to rigidly. Whenever your child tries to do something they shouldn’t, tell them no in a firm but kindly manner. Should they reach for something potentially unsafe, say no. If they try to put something unsavoury into their mouths, say no. If they walk/shuffle/or crawl to an out of bounds area, say no. While young children are very stubborn, they will get the message, eventually.
Rule #8: Practice What You Preach
This applies to parents of children at any age. If you tell them not to do something, and then do that exact same thing yourself, you are sending a mixed message. You need to remember that your children are watching you at all times.
While there are things you will do that they shouldn’t – you are the grown-up, after all, so you are allowed beyond the safety gate – there may be habits you have taught your child that you should also adhere to. While we aren’t saying you’re going to put your fingers in electrical sockets or stick Lego bricks in your mouth, you should still think about your actions when your child is watching.
Accidents will happen, and you can never preempt every eventuality. Still, by following these safety rules, you are reducing the chances of your child falling into danger. Let me know if you have further tips or rules you adhere to in your family home.
Happy (safe) parenting!
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