Is your home safe for children?
Most child injuries occur around the family home. Children by nature are very curious and explorative. They learn through physical interaction with their environment and this means that parents have to keep a constant watchful eye on them.
While there is no replacement for proper adult supervision, there are many child safety products that have been specifically designed to make your home a safer, more child-friendly environment. These products (such as cupboard latches and child security gates) prevent children and toddlers from getting injured around the home, whilst still allowing adults to have easy access to what they need.
Here are six easy ways to improve child safety in your home:
1) Secure Cupboard Doors and Drawers
A range of safety latches and catches are available to stop toddlers from accessing drawers, cupboards or cabinets. Perfect for kitchens, bathrooms and laundries. You can secure doors and drawers either internally or externally. We recommend that you use a range of different types of latches that each open differently. This prevents the child from learning how to operate the latch themselves.
Internal Latches -
Normally the main lever or prong of the latch gets screwed onto the back of the cupboard door. The part that the lever locks into is fitted inside the cupboard. Almost all of these latches are self locking and are engaged as soon as you push the door or drawer closed. Some catches are released by pushing them down. Others work on a pronged system like a fork, where the prongs spring outwards to lock. To release this type of catch you open the door ajar and then press the prongs together.
External Latches -
External cupboard latches are suitable for cupboards with D-Shaped handles and mushroom shaped knobs. Basically the latch will lock the handles together of two adjacent doors, thereby stopping either door from being opened. They are easier to install than the internal locks as they don't need to be fitted with screws.
To secure a set of drawers externally you can use a lock that gets stuck to the outer side of the drawer and then folds around the corner to the front face of the drawer. The side and front piece lock together preventing the drawer from being opened.
2) Cover Sharp Corners with Corner Cushions
Dream Baby ® offers a range of corner protectors or corner cushions. These are rounded plastic clips that fit over the corners of hard or sharp objects like tables, shelves, fish tanks etc, and help to protect children from hurting themselves on the sharp edges.
3)Install Safety Gates to Create Safe Zones
As your baby starts to crawl, they'll be curious to explore the house and they can move suprisingly quickly. Security gates can be very useful to create "safe zones" within the home and stop your baby from accessing certain areas such as stairs or the kitchen. They are good to keep pets out too!
Security gates can fit across doorways, passages or the top or bottom of stairs. Most gates open in both directions and adults can conveniently operate the gate with one hand. The gates normally swing closed automatically. Double locking systems are available for added safety.
Ensure the gates are secured carefully and tightly so that the child can push and pull on the gate without the gate falling over or opening.
4) Prevent Children from Accessing Power Points
Toddlers are known to stick things into plug points in the wall. Safety outlet plugs are plastic covers that fit into empty plug points thus preventing children from placing any objects into these electrical outlets. Some safety outlet plugs require an additional key to extract the plug from the socket.
5) Prevent Doors from Slamming
There are " U" shaped foam door stoppers that fit snugly around the edge of the door and prevent the door from being slammed closed.
6) Prevent Scalds f rom Hot Water
Ensure your hot water cylinder is set to a maximum of 50 degrees Celsius. You can also adhere heat sensing bath appliques to the bath or shower floor. They change colour when the water is too hot, plus they help to prevent slipping.
Variety is the key to success
Children learn by watching and mimicking and so we recommend that you install different types of latches and child safety products on different doors in the household to help prolong the use of the latches. If each latch operates differently then it will take longer for children to figure out how to release the latch, thereby increasing the success of the latches.
Click here to browse child safety products on our website. Alternatively, visit your local Mitre 10 store to see the child safety products in person. They can help to make your home a safer place for children.