18 August 2003

Childproof your garden

Danger Prevention
Swimming pool Drowning Never leave children alone in or near the pool, even for a moment
Swimming pools must be properly fenced off – use a SABS approved fence
Make sure the gates self-close and self-latch at a height children can't reach
Add a professionally installed pool safety net to cover your pool
Keep rescue equipment (a shepherd's hook - a long pole with a hook on the end - and life preserver) and a portable telephone near the pool
Avoid inflatable swimming aids. They are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give children a false sense of security.
Empty paddling pools when not in use.
Fishing poinds should also be covered with a net or mesh if you have small children
Swim programmes for children under four should not be seen as a way to decrease the risk of drowning.
Enforce rules such as no running, no pushing, no dunking and never swim alone.
Attend a CPR class. Make sure your baby-sitter has attended a CPR class.
Encourage neighbours who have a pool to follow pool safety guidelines
Sunburn Never allow children to stay in the sun for a long period between 11am and 2pm
Protect your children from the sun, using shade, a hat and clothing; apply sunscreen regularly
Garden shed Cuts, concussion Keep garden tools locked away
Paint, petrol and other poisonous substances Poisoning, burns Lock away
Use childproof caps
Tools Cuts, shock Store out of reach.
Unplug all electrical tools when not in use
Road Accidents Install a fence around your property so that children can't run across the road
Make sure children can't get out through gaps in fences or open gates
Don't leave boxes or any other objects near fence in case your child climbs on top of it to climb over the fence
Teach older children simple traffic safety rules
Always supervise a young child near traffic (children are only ready to cross the road by themselves when they are approximately 8-9 years old).
Braai Burns Don't allow children near open flames
Ensure that they wear shoes in case they step on hot coals
Plants Poisoning Remove any poisonous plants or move them where children can't get to them
Teach your children not to eat any plants, fungi, berries or seeds
Insecticides Poisoning Store insecticides where children cannot reach them
Inline skates, roller skates, scooters and skateboards Falls Children should be old enough to use them
Make sure your child wears a helmet, wrist, elbow and knee protectors
Bicycles Falls Don't buy a bicycle that is too big for the child
Make sure your child wears a helmet
Teach children how to use bikes correctly and safely
Playground equipment Falls, cuts, burns Equipment should suit the age of the child.
Carefully maintain all equipment (i.e. look for loose parts, splinters, rust, etc).
Choose low play equipment with soft undersurfacing
Make sure children cannot reach any moving parts that might pinch or trap any body part.
Make sure metal slides are cool to prevent childrens' legs from getting burned.
Parents should never purchase a home trampoline or allow children to use home trampolines
Pet Bites Never leave your infant or young child alone with any dog.
If you are getting a pet as a companion for your child, wait until your child is mature enough to handle and care for the animal - usually at the age of five or six.
Teach your child some basic safety precautions for dealing with dogs outside your home, such as not surprising or scaring a dog or never approaching an unfamiliar dog.



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