4 Safeguards Parents Should Consider When It Comes to Their Child’s Safety
When it comes to child safety, expect the unexpected should be a mantra all parents have on their minds. Stepping away to get a baby wipe while changing your baby’s diaper is no big deal until your baby can roll over. When your children are 10 and riding bicycles, you worry about speeding cars. When they are teenagers, they suddenly become the drivers of those cars. Safety of your children is a continuum, and here are some fundamental safeguards to consider.
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Teach Them Safety
It is easy to take it for granted that your children are born with an innate ability to safely interact with all the things they encounter in this world. Do not make the mistake of projecting your savvy for safety onto your children. Children need explanations and experiences in terms that they can understand. This includes things that are hot, things that can shock, things that can cut, fall, make them sick and more. Teaching the hows and whys of being safe gives them skills they can use in many places. This includes when they are in places that do not have all of the safeguards you have put in place at home.
Make Things Safe
Those plastic plugs that get inserted into electrical outlets to prevent children from getting shocked are probably in every home that has toddlers running around. However, there are other not-so-obvious dangers. Examples are tall furniture and big screen televisions that can topple. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reports of several deaths and hundreds of emergency room visits caused by heavy items toppling when children climbed on them. Tall furniture, big screen televisions and refrigerators should be anchored to the wall to prevent them from tipping. A toilet seat lid lock can prevent accidental drowning. Scald-proof faucets and turning down the water heater temperature can prevent burns. Look closely at your home environment, and take precautions to make things safe.
Control Freedom of Movement
The idea of being able to roam wherever one pleases is much more the topic of poetry and philosophy. It is the opposite for a parent of a child just learning to walk. You control their freedom of movement in their environment to protect them. Child gates at the tops of stairways can prevent a disastrous fall. Locked doors prevent your child from wandering off as soon as you turn your back for a moment. A great addition is outdoor fencing and gates. They are a must around swimming pools, and they are a great safeguard for backyard play areas. Keep in mind that fences and gates do more than keep your children confined to an area you control. They also prevent wildlife and other intruders from having easy access to your children.
Lead by Example
You want your children to protect their hearing and sight by wearing ear plugs and safety glasses when they use tools. Lead by example, and wear them when you use tools. Never make an exception. The do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do approach never works. Your children will mimic what you do. If you drive too fast, they will drive too fast. If you text and drive, they will text and drive. Whatever safeguards you want your children to practice, you should be the perfect example of them being practiced at all times. Do not let convenience cause you to take shortcuts. Go out of your way to be the example of how you expect your children to behave.
Nothing is inherently safe, and life is filled with risks. However, taking precautions controls risk. Teach your children to manage and minimize risks in every area of their lives.