How to keep your children safe – guest post from Clare of Childalert

Hello everyone, I’m Clare the founder of Childalert, a website packed with information and advice on safety matters in the home. As it’s Child Safety Week, Liz has invited me to write a guest post. Did you know that every week in the UK five children die from unnecessary accidents – and over 2000 children to go to A&E? Child Safety Week is really a reminder to us all to be attentive and watchful of our children throughout the stages.  This years’ theme is Make Time For Safety. So, what can we do to keep our kids out of danger without wrapping them up in cotton wool? We obviously have to think ‘age appropriate’ – for babies and toddlers it’s about being one step ahead. Babies quickly become mobile and strong willed –  usually around the age of 6-9 months! So accident prevention is essential. Stair gates and cupboard locks, smash proof glass and bathroom cupboards locks and medicines place high up on a shelf are all important – every child is different in nature but all are inquisitive and their curiosity can often lead to potential accidents, if precautions are not in place. Of course this is never a substitute for an adult career to be with small babies /toddlers at all times. Why not try the Childproofing quiz (scroll down to the bottom of the page) and see for yourself how knowledgeable you are about safety in the home. For children who are a bit older and can understand how accidents happen – here is some advice : 1.       Communication is key. Simply explain to children about the risks. If they are racing around the house or jumping on a trampoline – tell them what could happen (appropriate to their age) and how they should behave. 2.       Keep kids interested – this isn’t to say they need to be stimulated at all times because they need their down time in front of the TV – but a bored child will find things to do that may lead to risk. 3.       Develop good self esteem – a child who is not happy and feels less than good about themselves will feel less inclined to stay safe. Help them identify a strong identity and take appropriate action if they’re having emotional difficulties. 4.       Lead by example – children are like sponges. If you want him/her to sit at the table and not lick their knife then show them that it is not appropriate – likewise slamming doors, shouting… 5.       Prevention is better than cure – ensure that you have the appropriate measures in place to avoid and to act should an accident occur – are you up-to-date with first aid,  out of reach, fire blanket, front door lock high up, outdoor water such as ponds or swimming pools fence protected. 6.      Get involved with your children’s lives and friends – allow their friends to come to your home, be their taxi, know their likes and dislikes, give them space but always be there. What are your top tips for keeping our kids safe? *For a full selection of safety products for your home, visit the Childalert Baby Catalogue. And remember Make Time For Safety – forward this page to a friend. written by Liz Jarvis