Childhood Safety and Health Checklist for Around the Home
Essential information: looking after babies and young children
Nothing in the world compares with losing a child....... Nothing! Out of the millions of parents who have to stand at the graveside of their beautiful child, most would trade places with them in an instant. Quite often it's even more tragic when the sense of loss is overshadowed by the sense of guilt. Guilt, because just a moments forgetfulness or inattention can lead to unimaginable tragedy.
Young children are very vulnerable to injury from accidents, and haven't quite learned what is dangerous for them. Accidental injury is one of the biggest single cause of death in the UK for children over the age of one. Every year, over 2 million children are taken to hospital after having an accident. This is an enormous figure, and contrary to what you might expect, around half of these accidents happen when the child is at home.
Two million are just the accidents that are reported. Many more children are hurt in accidents, but are treated at home, or by a doctor, a nurse, or not at all. These are not counted in official statistics. The largest number of non-fatal injuries happen when children fall, either on the same level, or from height, including stairs. Scalds, burns and poisonings account for huge numbers of home accidents, and house fires claim so many its painful to even contemplate.
Road accidents cause the largest number of serious injury and deaths among children. In 2004, over 28,000 children were hurt in road accidents on UK roads. The local park, sports facility and school account for over 500,000 accidents in the 5-15 age groups, while over 33,000 were injured in public playgrounds in 2002.
PLEASE PRINT THIS PAGE AND GO AROUND YOUR HOME TICKING OFF THE ITEMS ONE BY ONE. DOES YOUR HOME REACH A HIGH STANDARD OF SAFETY? SEE WHERE YOU COULD MAKE CHANGES TO INCREASE THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF YOUR FAMILY.
Because Safety Matters, Do you...........
check play equipment and toys for sharp edges?
check for broken, missing or pieces working loose?
have a harness fitted to your pram, buggy and highchair? Do you use them?
check brakes on prams and buggies?
make sure gates and barriers, for stairs or room doorways, are properly sited and fitted securely?
lock medicines and tablets inside a medicine cabinet, out of sight and reach of children?
keep sharp objects such as knives and razor blades out of sight and reach of children?
keep matches out of sight and reach of children?
lock away household cleaners out of sight and reach of children?
keep polythene bags out of sight and reach of children?
keep alcohol and cigarettes out of sight and reach of children?
restrict access to the kitchen, except under your close supervision?
turn saucepan handles away from the edge of the cooker?
keep all hot and sharp objects away from the edge of kitchen units?
keep electric kettle flex short, or coiled, and beyond the reach of children?
have highly polished floors?
fit a gripping device to rugs to secure them to the floor?
make sure table clothes don't hang down from tables?
make sure cords aren't trailing from curtains or blinds?
keep floor space clear of obstruction to avoid tripping hazard?
encourage children to clear away toys and play things when they have finished?
have a step for small children to use at the toilet?
have a fire blanket, and know how to use it?
have smoke alarms fitted in appropriate places in the house?
have any double-glazed windows that don't open wide enough to escape through in the event of a fire?
have an escape route from every floor and/or room in the house?
have a fire evacuation plan, and practice it with the children?
make sure all fires and heaters have securely fitted child safety guards?
make sure all portable heating appliances are well maintained and guarded?
have heating appliances that comply to British and European design and safety codes?
have your heating and water heating equipment regularly inspected and maintained by an approved engineer?
make sure there are no electrical appliances in the bathroom, except those worked by a pull-cord switch?
cover all power points by child resistant socket covers?
check flexes regularly for fraying and replace any that are worn?
keep your chest freezer locked?
have child resistant locks on all windows, and keep keys safely at hand in case of fire?
have safety glass (toughened or laminated) for areas of glass that are at low level, such as the lower pane in a door?
have a sticker of other sign at child height on large glass panels or doors?
make sure the staircase is of a safe design, with banisters?
secure doors leading to a balcony or cellar?
keep garage and shed doors locked?
ensure gardening, DIY equipment and car products are locked away out of sight and reach of children?
cover or fence off ponds, water butts, fountains and other areas of water over one inch deep?
make sure garden fences and gates are secure?
make any steep steps in the garden inaccessible to young children?
make sure any loose wires or cords are not left trailing from rotary clothes lines?
make sure children of appropriate ages are secured in purpose built child restraints that fit them properly?
make sure children are not able to stand up between the front seats or on the seats, or to travel in the luggage compartment of an estate car or hatchback?
make sure the car has child proof locks?
supervise animals in the presence of children?
put a cat net over a baby's pram?
Young children are vulnerable to infections from a variety of sources, which lead to tummy upsets and even food poisoning. Reports of food poisoning have increased five-fold in the last ten years. Whether this is due to ignorance or economics I'm not sure, but it's the little people who are suffering for our lack of high standards of hygiene.
Because Health Matters, Do you...........
keep kitchen work surfaces clean?
keep utensils and implements used for preparing food, clean?
wipe over food preparation surfaces with a germ/bacteria killing solution every day? (eg. bleach, milton or dettox)
always wash thoroughly work surfaces and utensils that have come into contact with raw food?
understand the importance of keeping anything that touches raw food away from cooked food, to prevent bacteria spreading to the cooked food?
check kitchen equipment and work surfaces regularly for cracks and chips which could harbour germs?
replace your tea towel, apron and oven gloves frequently?
sterilise your dishcloths and wiping up cloths frequently?
keep your fridge between 4 degrees C and 5 degrees C?
keep your freezer at minus 18 degrees C (to stop bacteria multiplying)?
cover or wrap food in the fridge (to avoid cross contamination)?
keep raw meat at the bottom adn fully covered (to prevent blood dripping onto other foods)?
transfer food from tins to a dish or plastic container to store in the fridge?
always check and follow cooking instructions for frozen food?
know the difference between defrost slowly and cook from frozen?
know that you should never re-freeze food which has been thawed?
ensure that when you reheat food, it reaches boiling point all the way through (to ensure thorough cooking and that all bacteria are killed)?
warm babies bottles only once and throw away unwanted milk within one and a half hours?
cool cooked food quickly before storing it in the fridge?
check sell by dates and never use food that is older than it's end date?
never use green potatoes, and always cook beans and pulses thoroughly according to the instructions?
wash your hands after............
» handling raw food?
» going to the toilet?
» changing nappies?
» coughing or sneezing?
» wiping children's noses?
» touching pets or their feeding bowls, bedding, litter trays, etc?
make sure the children wash their hands after............
» going to the toilet?
» touching pets?
» playing in the garden?
» coughing or sneezing?
» before eating?
always cover food (and the fish tank) before using fly spray?
always wash and sterilise a baby's dummy that has fallen onto the floor, before putting it back into baby's mouth?
have a separate flannel and towel for each child, and wash them regularly?
put soiled terry nappies in a germ-killing solution in a lidded bucket and always empty the waste down the toilet?
make sure that wet/soiled nappies never come into the kitchen while food is being prepared?
wrap disposable nappies and dispose of them straight away?
remember not to change babies or put the potty on your kitchen work surfaces?
always tip the potty down the toilet, not the sink?
always rinse and disinfect the potty after use?
disinfect the seat and handle of the toilet regularly?
include the door handle and taps in the toilet/bathroom?
empty and clean out rubbish bins regularly?
always wear disposable rubber gloves to clear up blood and other body fluids?
never allow pets on to working surfaces?
keep animals' feeding dishes and litter trays out of children's reach?
clean up around pet feeding stations (to prevent bacteria build up or pests being attracted)?
wash up and store pet feeding bowls separately from utensils used by humans?
cover pet food carefuly when it is stored in the fridge?
keep animals clear of fleas, wormed and inoculated?
always exercise dogs away from the garden?
ensure stray dogs and cats do not use your garden as a toilet?
cover any sand pit over when not in use to prevent animals, mainly cats, getting into it?
never smoke in the presence of children, or cause them to breathe in other peoples smoke?
always empty and clean ashtrays before children can get near them?
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DISCLAIMER: This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.
The Haven Healing Centre is located at: The Orchard, Draycott Rd, Cheddar, Somerset, BS27 3RU