More and more children in Queensland are being injured in the home and yet what is amazing is that the rooms most parents think are benign are some of the most dangerous areas for children. In this article we are going to look at some of the danger areas parents need to look at when making their house safe.
For 20 years, both the state and national governments in Austraila have run safety campaigns for parents on the home yet there are some really basic areas that are being missed. Most people know that the key danger areas in the home are the bathroom, kitchen and garage.
First Aid Organisations like Lifesaving Australia and my own company, One-on-One Professional Business Training will tell you that the bathroom is an incredibly dangerous area in the home for drowning. More children under 5 die due to drowning in the home than any other way in Queensland. The key facts are that you only need about 2 to 5 cm of water for a child to drown in, so here is the scary aspect. Most parents neglect another key area… the toilet.
Whilst researching this article, I was reviewing statistics from around the world on how children actually drown and there is a trend for children under 5, in the western world actually drowning in the toilet. A common thread was that the young child would try to climb onto the toilet to use it and whilst doing so fall in and not be able to get out. Many of the American style toilets with a larger style bowl and higher water were most dangerous. It was easier for kids to fall in and a larger amount of water to drown in.
The key issue for parents to be aware is that they need to ensure they use child restraint locks on the toilet lids so that the child needs to come and get you if they want to use the toilet or parents need to install child seat in which the child cannot lift the large toilet seat. At least this way, having to deal with possibly a mess is better than a child drowning.
We know that kitchens are dangerous but did you know that the lounge or family area can also be very dangerous as well. In the 21st century we all love our LCD Screens however their stability can be easily be upset by a 3 year old pushing on the screen. Many family rooms have their 50″ LCD screens sitting on a coffee table which is great for the adults but extremely dangerous for children.
I was watching a video on YouTube a few days ago where a 2 year old ran up to kiss the screen and she did it with that much force the television fell over on top of her. If you are going to purchase a large LCD screen most child safety experts now recommend that you have the LCD Screen mounted onto the wall to remove the chance of the television being pulled over.
The laundry is once again another danger area where children can be injured. We have seen over the last few years a transition where many homes are converting their washing machines from being top loaded to being front loaded washing machines. This is another area where parents are neglecting in the area of child safety.
I have read about a number of case studies in which children have been playing hide and go seek and a small 2 or 3 year old has literally opened the washing machine, climbed inside to play, only to die from suffocation. There have been other cases where parents have part filled the washing machine, not realised their child have climbed into the machine and they have turned the machine on.
I know when I first heard about these cases, I honestly thought they were made up or the parents were just despots, but having now seen the evidence on places like YouTube and other video posting sites, these are definitely issues that parents need to be aware of.
My greatest advice to any parent is this, accidents will happen in the home and that is a reality that all parents need to accept. The only thing you can do is to make sure you have the skills to deal with any emergency that comes up, so that is why I recommend that both parents do a regular first aid course so that you know how to save your child’s life. It could be the difference between life and death!