As soon as a child can crawl, their curiosity takes over and they will begin pulling themselves up onto chairs, tables, and anything they can get their hands on! When baby proofing the home, sometimes we forget about the kitchen and bathroom. But by adopting some simple rules, you can ensure that your home is as safe as possible.
Stay safe in the kitchen
The kitchen is probably the most dangerous room in the house for a child, as nearly everything they touch could potentially harm them – from sharp knives to hot ovens, the list is endless! Follow these kitchen rules to keep baby safe:
– Keep your child in a high chair so they can’t crawl about. The last thing you would want is to trip over with a pan of hot soup.
– Do not leave appliances like blenders and kettles plugged in. Instead, wrap the cord around the device when not in use so it does not dangle over the counter, or store in a high cupboard out of reach. The same applies for cutlery and sharp knives.
– Be careful with hot drinks, and never carry your child in one arm and your coffee in the other.
– If you use a dishwasher, place sharp objects such as knives face down and remove everything as soon as the wash has finished.
Bathroom behaviours to adopt
The bathroom can also be a bit of a minefield for your toddler. Supervise your child at ALL times when at home to ensure that they don’t wander off into the bathroom on their own. It goes without saying that you should never leave a child unattended during bath time too.
– It’s a good idea to keep the toilet lid down and even add a lid lock so tiny fingers can’t lift it.
– As with kitchen safety, all electronics (hairdryer, electric shaver) as well as sharp objects like razors should be stored either out of reach of the child or out of the bathroom. We know that water and electricity don’t mix (thanks again, science lessons!) so take care of the whole family by installing a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) which will break the circuit in case anything does happen.
– An often-overlooked hazard in both the kitchen and the bathroom is the bin. Even objects you think might not be a danger, such as packaging, can be a risk to your child. Either store the bin in a locked cabinet or put rubbish in an outside bin, out of reach from your child.
– Keep a non-slip mat in the bath and on the floor to prevent accidents when getting in and out of the bath.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 80% of child drowning deaths were of children under 5 years of age, when children are still developing motor skills and not of an age to judge hazards. That is why it is important you prep the area before bathing your child. The bath should be filled to around 5in, with the water heater no higher than 38C/120F and be just enough to cover your baby’s legs. Run cold water before hot, to minimise risks of scalding and fit a mixer tap or an anti-scalding device to minimise risks.
Always drain water after the bath as well as washing bath toys with clean water and drying them, so as not to leave any moisture that could turn the toys mouldy. Keeping the room well ventilated with an exhaust fan can also prevent mould and subsequent damp.
As well as prepping your home for your baby’s arrival, it is also important that children are taught home safety from a young age. Simple words like “ouch”, “hot” and “no” can all help your child to understand the dangers in different rooms of the house. Understand that small accidents are part and parcel of life but if you take these preventative measures no real harm should come your way.
If you have a young child in your home and are concerned about bathroom and kitchen safety, call our certified plumbers at 1800 862 565 for expert advice or click here to take a look at our bathroom services.