Make Your Home Safe For Children

The first thing you should do is make sure you have emergency numbers posted close to each phone in your house. Numbers that could help save a life include 9-1-1 for police or fire department assistance, a poison control center, a hospital, a medical doctor, and ambulance service, and one or two trusted neighbors or friends who live nearby water damage Brisbane. Teach your child how to use the phone, and how to dial emergency help, especially 9-1-1. Make sure every child knows his or her name, phone number and address.

You should also have a first aid-kit handy – including a first-aid book with an index that gets you to the pertinent pages fast. Parents should know how to administer basic medical procedures, which could save the life of their child while they await the arrival of paramedics. Such procedures include artificial resuscitation, and the trying of a tourniquet to stop severe bleeding. County social services departments, schools and hospitals can direct you to classes in these and other procedures that you might need to use during an emergency.

Among the most common emergencies faced by parents are fire-related accidents, which account for many injuries to toddlers and small children. Fireplaces and wood stoves present many dangers. Children can fall into a fireplace or on to a woodstove and suffer severe burns. In addition, coals ashes often remain extremely hot for more than 24 hours after a fire goes out. Even after the heat dissipates, children can choke or suffer poisoning by inhaling or swallowing coals, soot, and ashes.

Parents need to consider carefully whether their home provides adequate protection from fireplaces and woodstoves to their children. Glass fireplace doors do some good, but they also get very hot. Iron gates can fall. Securely erected barriers – available at many fireplace and stove stores – do a much better job of keeping children away from the dangers associated with fires.

Another important practice is to keep lighters and matches away from children. Even lighters that can no longer produce a flame can produce sparks, which can ignite flammable material. If you have children in your house, use only safety matches, not the ones that you can light by scratching on any rough surface.

Fires can also start from a blanket or pillow falling against a hot night light bulb. Arrange your lighting so as to make such an occurrence unlikely, and buy newer night-lights, which use cooler, mini neon bulbs. Also, make sure your night-lights have strong secure shields to prevent little fingers from playing with the bulb.

Doing everything possible to prevent fires is the best defense, but no home should be without smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Test detectors once a month and change the batteries promptly when necessary. Install a smoke detector just outside each bedroom and have at least one at every level of your house. Examine and service extinguishers on a regular basis as per the manufacturer’s instructions, and make sure family members and baby sitters know how to operate them.

Have fire escape routes that every family member understands. Have escape ladders handy, and keep all exits clear. If possible, every room should have a window large enough to be used as an exit.

As soon as your boys and girls can understand, teach them what they must do in case of fire. Many children die because they try to hide from a fire instead of fleeing from the house. Have fire drills regularly where escape routes are used, and children practice the stop-drop-roll technique. Never leave a small child unattended at home.