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What should I do to make my home as safe as possible for my child?

We all want our children to have a lovely home where they can grow and develop in a safe, secure environment.

However, for young children in particular, the house can be a real accident blackspot.

Although, there is potential danger everywhere you look inside your home, the four most dangerous areas are the kitchen, bathroom, living room and the stairs.

As a parent, you must take steps to help ensure you child is safe in these potentially hazardous zones...

Kitchen
The kitchen is probably the most dangerous room of the house for small children. However, with a little common sense you can greatly reduce the likelihood of your child coming to harm. Firstly, place all utensils and cutlery out of your child's reach. If this is not possible use child locks on drawers and cupboards. Similarly, if your child is able to turn on your cooker, try to use child guards over the knobs.

Kitchen floors can often become very slippy if any fluids are spilt, so clean up spillages starlight away. When using the hob, remember to position the pot handles out of a young child's reach. Ideally, don't let your child into the kitchen on her own whenever something is cooking.

Bathroom
Until you child is old enough to understand the dangers of the bathroom, you should never leave her alone in this room. However, kids will wander off so you must try to make it as safe as possible. Place all medicines and toiletries out of their reach and use a non-slip matt for the floor. If you have very young children you should always leave the toilet seat down, and try not to use heated towel rails as they can become incredibly hot.

Stairs
Safety gates should be used until your child can comfortably use the stairs. Also be careful not to leave any objects on the stairs because children do have a tendency to fall over them. Similarly, try to ensure there are no raised edges on your carpet that could cause a fall. Finally, you should check that the gaps between your banister posts are narrow enough to prevent you child from squeezing through.

Living room
The living room is generally a fairly safe room for kids in comparison to the kitchen and bathroom. However, there are still several possible danger zones. Firstly, many nasty accidents are caused by the sharp corners or coffee tables. So if at all possible, choose a table with more rounder corners. You should also take care not to place any heavy or potentially harmful objects within reach of small children. All shelves should be firmly secured and if you have patio doors try to place something in front of them. Many a child has run straight through the glass and severely injured themselves.

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