It is the nature of a child to be mischievous and a bit of an explorer really. Children’s mind are naturally inquisitive and they are very eager to learn more and can easily absorb many information. As much as they can be curious, they are also easily prone to accidents and mishaps. When it happens, you should not be so hard on yourself. What you can do is be aware of some useful safety tips to help them learn and grow in a safer environment:
1. Give them age-appropriate toys: Babies and toddlers will eat just about anything, so you must ensure that toys do not have small, detachable parts and beads. Introduce them with toys that are designed to help them to develop skills appropriate for their age.
2. Baby-proof your house: Unfortunately, our homes have many dangerous areas for babies and toddlers, whether it be kitchen drawers, sockets or stairs. There are many gadgets available to help make the house safer such as security gates to prevent them going into the kitchen or up and down the stairs. There are also child-safe drawer locks which prevents them from accessing the sharp objects such as knives.
3. Do not shake a child: Shaking a child can cause severe brain damage and can lead to death. A child’s brain is very vulnerable and bleeding can occur inside the brain as a result of shaking or other head traumas. If you feel frustrated and you feel you cannot cope, walk away from them immediately. Do not be afraid to seek out help from your family members, friends or community.
4. Pay close supervision to your child: Pay particular attention to your child on the beach or close to a swimming pool. Teach your children about safety measures when in the water. Do not leave young children unattended for long periods of time. If you little one is still a baby, put them back in their crib even if you have to step away for a short while. Check on your children every now and then, especially if they are playing outside with friends. Make sure you know where they are or where they are going at all times.
5. Teach children how to safely cross the road: Unfortunately, children can be reckless and they can dart across the road without looking. You should advise them on road safety, using a zebra-crossing where available, not crossing at a junction, a bend/curve or a hill, and certainly not taking risks when they see a vehicle approaching.
6. Car safety: It is always better to get a car seat if you or your partner drives a car. Make sure that the car seat is a right fit for your vehicle type. Follow all instructions properly when installing your car seat.
7. Safely store away dangerous substances: Make sure that you store away medicines, cleaning solutions and toxic substances away from the reach of children. If you suspect your child may have consumed a dangerous substance, contact emergency services right away and seek medical advice before undertaking intervention.
8. Encourage them to use protective gears: It is good that your child is an avid sports fan and loves to get in some exercise. Whether it is skateboard or bicycle, encourage them to use the correct protective gears.
9. Respecting animals: Teach your child to respect and be conscious of the needs of all animals. Children should keep a safe distance from animals they are not familiar with and should not antagonise or stress strays or their neighbours’ pets. Make sure that your property is also well-fenced to prevent your animal from biting others, especially young children.
10. Fire safety: Teach your children about the dangers of fire and discourage them from handling matches or lighters. Hazardous materials should be kept well out of reach of children. Install a smoke alarm detector in your house and even a fire-sprinkler to alert you and your child of dangers. You should also teach them how to use emergency numbers respectfully.
Child safety is not about making parents paranoid or making them helicopter over their child every second. It is about raising the awareness of the small dangers lurking, and making our children conscious of their surroundings.