Safety Around Water
It is not just swimming pools and dams that children drown in. A child can drown in 5 cm of water. This means anything that may hold water that a child can get their head into such as bathtubs, toilets, hot tubs, spars, pools and ponds, sinks, washing machines, buckets, eskies or pets drinking water.
NEVER leave a child unattended around water this includes a child on bath support or with inflatable vests or ‘floaties’. When a child is near or in water watch with attention, a child can down in the sight of an adult whose attention has been distracted or in the time it takes to step out of the bathroom to answer the phone or get a towel. When bathing your child use a non-slip bath mat and hold your baby or young child with a firm grip rather than using a bath support where a possible distraction for a short time could lead to a potential accident.
Keep doors closed and children out of potential dangerous areas where there may be water including bathrooms, toilets and laundries. Close toilet lids and fasten with clip to stop young children from opening the lid.
Pool and pond areas should be behind child proof gates and barriers to prevent children accessing these areas unattended.
Take a course in CPR.
Teach your child to swim.
Safety From Falling
Never leave a child unattended on a raised surface no matter how low it may be or how young or immobile you may think your child is. It is advisable to start good habits right from the start when it comes to children and heights.
When putting a baby into a cot raise the side. Drop the height of the cot base once a baby begins to roll. Never sleep a baby on a bed as babies have rolled off the bed or suffocated in the pillows or bedding. If you are away from home and baby needs a sleep it is safer to strap baby into the pram where you know he/she will be safe and secure. Use a bed rail when moving a child from cot to bed. Show your child how to climb safely in and out of the bed and discontinue using a sleeping bag as these can cause the baby to trip and fall off the bed.
Remove baby from the change table if you need to move away to collect something or to wash your hands. It is safer to put baby on the floor for a few minutes. Have all your nappy changing items on or beside the change table and always have a hand on baby when you don’t have your eyes on baby. Make sure all small or dangerous objects including lotions are our of baby’s reach. Buying a change table with raised sides to prevent roll-off may also help. If you have a collapsible table, make sure the locks are secure before placing baby on the table.
Don’t prop baby between pillows or cushions on the lounge baby should spend play time on a mat on the floor to encourage tummy play.
Where there are straps or a safety harness to secure you child, use them. This will help prevent problems and tantrums that may occur later. For example when a child first sits in a highchair they are not very mobile so straps are not often used but when a child becoming more active they may attempt to climb out and when you try to strap them in they may protest and struggle against you. The same may occur with the pram. Strapping a child in from the beginning will help them to become accustomed to it and learn to expect using straps. It becomes lifestyle. Highchair should have shoulder, waist, and a crotch strap. Make sure a child can’t push the chair over while sitting in the chair.
When using a seats that attach to the table make sure the table is able to support the seat without tipping over. Never allow a child to climb on or stand in a highchair.
Again never leave a child unattended in a highchair.
It would be wise that all parents and child careres keep up to date with First Aid including CPR.
St John Ambulance Aust has a 'Caring for Kids' programme, as well as CPR and first aid programme. www.stjohn.org.au