Ever felt that CHILL down your spine when you see your baby approaching an open window, stairs or unprotected balustrades?
Take these necessary precautions to avoid preventable injuries
WINDOWS & GLASS SLIDING DOORS
- Cut looped window-blind cords that are too long, alternatively use blind cord cleats OR blind cord winders to shorten.
- Mark sliding doors and other expanses of glass with Baby Proof Sliding Door Transfer Stickers. Place transfer stickers on windows, at child’s eye-level, to make them more “obvious” to a child.
- Keep children away from low, unbarred windows & balconies. Safeguard your balconies with perspex – LEARN HOW
- Keep baby away from open windows. Safeguard your windows with a Baby Proof Window Lock.
- Do not put furniture or anything else a child can climb onto close to windows that don’t have window locks.
- Never place a crib close to an unbarred window, bars must be no more than 8,5cm gap in-between.
- You should be able to lock all windows & keep locked if no safety devices are in place.
Blinds and Safety considerations.
- Window blind cords and chains must be kept out of reach of babies and small children. Parents need to be aware of the potential hazards that can be posed by unrestrained cords, loops and chains of the blinds.
- Furniture should be positioned a safe enough distance so children cannot climb onto blinds.
- Cords and chains should be secured on a child safety cleat when near cots or beds.
- Keep aware when children are around vertical blinds with bottom chains.
STAIRS, BANISTERS AND BALUSTRADES
- Hand Rails should be provided on both sides.
- Hand Rails should not exceed 65mm in cross section, so they may be easily grasped by children.
- Openings which allow a child to slip below the hand rail, or with footholds that might encourage climbing, are dangerous to a child. Avoid horizontal banisters, which can give a child a “leg up” over the railing, and cause a fall. Safeguard banisters by installing perspex to avoid the “ladder” potential.
- Make sure there’s not enough room for a child to crawl under the banisters (some types of staircases have banisters that do not reach to the floor, but are attached to another lower rail).
- Banisters should be no more than 8,5cm apart, so that a child can’t push his or her head through. If your banisters are wider apart, safeguard them with solid perspex panels.
- Runner carpets should be well secured and checked regularly for signs of loosening.
- Block stairs at the top and bottom with a sufficiently high, and well manufactured security gate.
- Cover stairs in non-slip treads, not carpet, which is slippery.
- The time to teach your child to use the stairs is when he or she is walking well.
- Teach your child to negotiate stairs properly.
- Children should be taught from an early age not to run up/down stairs & that this is not a play area.
First aid & Medical
- It is important to learn First Aid. Resuscitation should be known by every parent or child minder.
- For more on the available First Aid Courses visit: www.med-x.co.za
- Be aware that prepaid (pay-as-you-go) phones can be a huge hazard in an emergency. Running out of airtime can be fatal.
- Unfortunately the response times of all EMS providers in South Africa, both private and government, are dismal! Ideally the response time from collapse (when the victim loses consciousness) to providing Advance Life Support measures should be less than 10 minutes. There are very few places in the world that come close to this time but nevertheless this is the goal. This is why this time frame has been nicknamed the
“Platinum 10” as opposed to the now outdated “Golden Hour”.
- There are many telephone numbers that could be utilized throughout South Africa. But, instead of being helpful, it unfortunately simply confuses the public and results in additional delays which ultimately decrease the chances of survival for a critically sick or injured victim.
- Keep all important numbers (EMS – emergency medical services) by the phone in the house: Ambulance; Fire; Doctor; nearest hospital emergency room; nearest poison control helpline; the police; etc.
- NB NB NB! Do NOT take for granted that these numbers are always in use. Update these numbers regularly by phoning & checking that they exist; however trying not to hold up the lines in case of a real emergency incoming call.
- Netcare 911: 082 911
- Emergency – Ambulance & Police – 10177
- Fire / Ambulance – 011 375 5911
- Emergency – Cell phone – 112
- Emergency – National – 10111
- Difficulty with emergency services – 1022
- ER24 Call Centre: 084 124
- Child Emergency – 0800 123 321
- Poison Information Centre’s in South Africa
- Red Cross Children’s Hospital (021) 689-5227
- Tygerberg Hospital: (021) 931 6129
- St John’s Ambulance – 011 403 4227
- Water – 011 688 1500
- Electricity – 011 375 5555
- Disaster Management – 011 375 5911
- Poison Control Helpline – 0861 555 777
- Gas Leaks and Faults – 011 726 3138
- Child line – 0800 055 555
- If possible in an emergency try calling different EMS numbers from more than one phone; this will increase the chances of getting a prompt response during an emergency situation.
- Always have a First Aid Kit available & take stock regularly replacing used items.
- Keep appropriate medical supplies in the house; & make sure everyone knows where they are & how to use them.
- Don’t take medicine in front of children, these may look like sweets-Monkey see monkey do!
- Read instructions & side effects, dosage & directions, warnings on enclosed leaflet before giving a child medicine.
- Don’t self diagnose – rather consult with a professional doctor.
- Discard medicine’s & vitamins that have exceeded the expiry date stated on the package.
I hope this information has provided some valuable tips and advice, should you wish to book a safety consultation to baby proof your home, kindly contact Michelle on 082 499 5858 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org