You might be careful to keep your children away from sharp surfaces, computers and steep stairs.
But there are plenty of less obvious dangers lurking in your home that could hurt – or even kill – your children.
From changing tables to blinds and toys, it can be easy to overlook some of the home’s most dangerous hazards.
So what are they?
From changing tables to blinds and toys, it can be easy to overlook some of the home’s most dangerous hazards (stock image)
One of the main dangers in a home is your baby’s crib, which you should ensure is Australian Standards approved and in accordance with Safe Sleeping Guidelines.
Experts at Medium highlighted that while you might think inheriting an old crib from a family member will save you money, in fact it might not meet the current safety standards and it may end up suffocating or strangling your child.
‘Ensure that the mattress is tight and snugly – if the mattress is smaller than the cot this can cause entrapment,’ medical experts at Tiny House Education said.
You also shouldn’t be able to slip more than two fingers between the mattress and the frame of your baby’s cot.
It’s not only that crib that can cause a host of problems.
Your baby’s changing table also needs to be ‘baby-proofed’ and paid attention to.
‘Babies have a way of surprising you and finding ways to roll off a changing table or other surfaces when left unattended,’ experts at Medium said.
‘This is why it is crucial never to leave your baby alone on the changing table – not even for a few seconds.’
So when you do change your baby, ensure everything you need – from nappies to baby wipes – is well within reach.
Children will try to put absolutely anything, whether it’s a toy or a bobby pin, in their mouth – so you need to be aware they can be dangerous (stock image)
Doors that haven’t been secured
What baby or child hasn’t bruised themselves from bashing into a door at some stage or another?
But you can prevent such accidents from happening – or at least limit them – by placing childproof door knobs on the outside of the doors to make sure they can’t get through.
It’s worth remembering that lever door handles are extremely easy for a child to get through – but there are baby proof lever handle covers that secure the door handles preventing infants from opening them.
Windows and blinds
Blinds are one of the top killers for children, and there have been countless news stories of kids strangling themselves with the cords thinking they are necklaces.
All it takes is a few seconds of a parent turning away for a child to become wrapped in a cord and choke.
Experts dictate the best way to prevent strangulation is never to tie a dummy or pacifier around your child’s neck – as this can catch on the cord and cause strangulation.
‘Keep your child’s cot away from windows and blinds to avoid strangulation from cords,’ Tiny Hearts said.
Try cordless blinds and ensure your crib is always located at least three feet away from the window.
All it takes is a few seconds of a parent turning away for a child to become wrapped in a blind cord and choke (stock image)
Toys are all well and good, provided they are kept in a box and supervised when your child is playing with them.
Children will try to put absolutely anything, whether it’s a toy or a bobby pin, in their mouth.
Try testing out each toy to see whether it’s small enough to swallow and keep these items out of reach at all times.
In the same vein, foods including grapes, blueberries or raisins can be dangerous for kids – due to choking.
Try breaking things into pieces or supervising them when they eat it.
Many parents don’t realise the dangers that unstable furniture poses.
When they’re heavy, like a dresser or a bookcase, these can be even more dangerous.
Medium highlighted that many furniture items come with a small brace that you can install to prevent any tip overs.
Because of their natural curiosity, toddlers love appliances and power cords.
Be aware of this, and ensure all appliances are far away from the edge of bench tops or bolted to walls to prevent tips.
‘Ensure all power points are fitted with adequate covers, especially if at ground level,’ Tiny Hearts said.
It’s also a good idea to protect electrical outlets with outlet covers, so you can rest assured that your child isn’t going to put any plugs in their mouth.
Chemicals, cleaners and medicines are all poisonous both to adults and children.
‘Accidental poisoning can happen quickly and unexpectedly,’ Medium said.
Try placing child safety locks on all cupboards that your child may be able to reach – like ground level storage.
The basic child safety checklist
1. All window coverings should be cordless or have cord cleats installed so they are out of reach of kids
2. Move cribs, beds, chairs and other furniture away from windows
3. Install a window guard in all second-storey rooms
4. Secure furniture and TVs to the walls
5. Cover all electrical outlets, even those you think are out of reach
6. Install safety gates at the top and bottom of all the stairs
7. Add safety latches to all drawers and doors
8. Put cleaning supplies, medications and other toxic items in a locked cabinet that’s out of reach
9. Use stove knob guards to make sure they’re temporarily inoperable
Medication and cosmetics
Keep your medicine out of harm’s reach by keeping it sealed away in a box on a height.
Toiletries, including shampoo and conditioners, perfume, deodorants, razors and cosmetics, should not be accessible to toddlers.
Even items like hair dryers can prove dangerous.
Drowning is one of the leading causes of death for children between ages one and four, so you need to be aware just how dangerous the pool can be (stock image)
It’s potentially their favourite time of the day – but bath time is riddled with dangers.
Never leave your child alone in the bath, and when they’re not in it, ensure all the taps are firmly switched off.
‘Place non-slip surfaces on bath and shower surfaces and floors,’ Tiny Hearts said.
It’s important to make sure the water level is right too, and that you are supporting your child’s head if they need it.
Like bathtime, the pool can be a lot of fun, but water can also be dangerous.
Drowning is one of the leading causes of death for children between ages one and four.
Most importantly, never leave your child alone in the pool, and install a safety cover when they’re not in it.
Place a child safety barrier around the edge of the pool.
Decks and balconies similarly need to be monitored.
If you have furniture on the balcony, ensure it’s heavy and positioned away from railings.
You should also keep your railing at least one metre high or 1.2 metres tall if your balcony is higher than three metres off the ground.
Keep it vertical so your little one cannot climb up it. Again, you should supervise your child whenever they are out there.