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29 May 2009

Make your home safe for baby

Here is a checklist of what you need to do to make your home safe for your baby.

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Hot water bottles:
Always cover hot water bottles to prevent burns and remove them from the bed before your child gets in.

Toys:

  • If you have a child under four years, don’t buy toys with small parts.
  • Follow safety warnings and age limit guidelines.
  • Keep older children's toys away from the under-three’s.
  • Cot toys should have strings no longer than 20cm.
  • Throw away or repair broken toys and games.
  • Get rid of small pieces of crayon.
  • Don’t allow small children to play with beads, buttons, coins, bits of torn plastic or broken balloons.

Changing mat:

  • Make use of a sturdy changing table.
  • Never leave a child on a high surface.
  • The table should have shelves or compartments for storing everything you'll need. This prevents you from taking your eyes off your baby while you look for that hard-to-find item.

Cot:

  • Bars of cots and playpens should be vertical.
  • Gaps between bars should be smaller than 68mm or larger than 70mm so that a baby can’t slip its head through the bars and be strangled.
  • Remove ribbons and strings that might get wound around a child's neck.
  • Remove bulky toys or cushions that the child could stand on and then topple out of the cot.

Bedding:

  • Always use flameproof materials for bedding and clothing.
  • Don’t use pillows for small babies.
  • Prevent overheating of infants under one – avoid using duvets or sleeping bags. Rather use sheets and blankets.

Dummies:

  • Check regularly for holes and tears.
  • Don’t affix a dummy to a pram/pushchair or clothes with string or ribbon.

Bunk beds:

  • Don’t allow small children to climb or sleep on bunk beds. The top bed should have railings right around.

Pram:

  • Always use safety harnesses.
  • Prams should be stable and not tip over easily.
  • Do not overload a pram; avoid hanging shopping bags from handles.

Door:

  • Use doorstoppers at the top of the door to prevent children from closing doors and trapping fingers.
 
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