Written by Lauren Ziegler:
Child safety products are great. They make life so much easier for parents, grandparents, carers and anyone else who lives or works around infants. They’re reassuring and they make our lives easier. No, we can’t keep our children locked inside bubbles until they’re 18 (if only!) But when used correctly, they help to protect our children from danger at home, and outside.
Gates are super helpful in preventing kids from entering rooms where there may be dangerous hazards, or from falling down stairs. Locks and latches are a fantastic way to ensure your little one won’t cut their fingers on sharp objects, or ingest something poisonous. Bath seats are absolutely wonderful for parents who have more than one kid to bathe, who have back problems which make it painful to bend down over the tub. Night lights are a great aid to not only keep the kids feeling safe and secure in the dark of night, but are an aid to parents and elderly people. Outlet plugs, non-slip bath mats, window locks…. The list goes on!
Too good to be true, right?
Well, there is a disclaimer, which some parents do forget about. And it can lead to injuries and worse. That is, that these products are aids around the home, but they are NOT a replacement for proper adult supervision. Parents and carers shouldn’t leave their children unattended, ever. Here’s a couple examples:
Bath seats are to be used as an aid, helping the carer wash their little one without them slipping about the bath. They are particularly helpful for carers with injuries, and are fantastic to use when more than one child is being bathed.
Children should NEVER be left alone in the bathtub – with a bath seat, without a bath seat, with other children there… it doesn’t matter! If you’re expecting a phone call, keep your phone in the bathroom. If you’re going to need towels, make sure you’ve got some within arm’s reach. If you absolutely must leave the bathroom, take the kids with you. It is possible for children to slip and injure themselves, or even drown, if left alone. Avoid the risk. Use the bath seat as a bathing aid, not a replacement for you.
There are so many hazards in the kitchen, it seems impossible to protect your children from it all! Sharp knives, boiling water, poisonous chemicals…. What can we do to keep them safe?
The use of safety products can be really helpful here – securing cupboards with locks and latches can help keep the kids away from plenty of dangers. Stove guards can help prevent burns, fridge locks and so forth can be used too. But these are designed to help you protect the kids, not to be used instead of your supervision. Work together! Plastic objects can’t make decisions, they can’t grab your child’s hand if they’re about to reach something sharp.
Use your common sense too. Don’t put your sharpest knives in the drawers which are easiest for the kids to reach. Don’t put your boiling coffee at the edge of the kitchen counter, and don’t leave the bleach out next to the sink. Be smart and be safe – you’ll thank yourself later!