Children up to six years of age are at most risk of injury in and around the home where they should be the safest.
Batteries, bunk beds, magnets, TVs, blind cords and baby change tables are among the hidden dangers around the home that every year cause serious injury and death to Queensland children. One of the hidden hazards is;
Batteries - are used in hearing aids, toys, watches, calculators, greeting cards, remote control devices and other many other products. If a toddler or child swallows a button battery at first there are no symptoms. It can be an hour or two before the damage is severe enough to cause symptoms. While button batteries can pass through the body and are eliminated in the stool, some may lodge in the oesophagus. If you think they have swallowed a battery or even a magnet seek medical attention or them to a hospital immediately. Always keep spare or spent batteries, magnets and poisons out of reach in a locked cupboard. Also where possible keep everyday items that have batteries in them such as remotes calculators etc out of reach of children or if possible gaffer tape the battery components closed.
Consider your child safety in the home and put on your workplace health and safety hat while having a good look around. Some of the dangers to look for include:
- Doors that can slam shut onto little fingers and amputate them.
- Could you install a baby gate at the top and/or at the bottom of the stairs or use it to prevent access to the kitchen.
- Get down on the floor and look for choking hazards, double adaptors and exposed power points and any items which will encourage toddlers to climb onto furniture.
- Kitchen is the worst room for burns and scalds. Tea, coffee and hot liquids too close to the edge of the bench account for over 300 scalds in the Royal Children's Hospital burns unit every year.
- Close the doors to the rooms you don’t want the kids in and secure the knob with a childproof cover. This will limit the area of immediate supervision.
- Install locks on cupboards and secure your furniture to the wall.
- Look around your house for these hidden dangers. Think about what hazards you can remove to minimize the risks of injury to your child. Can any furniture including the TV fall onto the kids? Can you secure your TV to the wall or cabinet with straps? Children cannot identify what the hazards are but you can. Click here for your free home safety checklist.
The top three causes of poisonings
in children are household cleaners, medications and paracetamol. Keep
them in a high cupboard secured with a child safety lock. If a toddler
or child swallows anything suspicious seek immediate medical assistance
or contact Queensland Poisons Information Center on 13 11 26 or go their web site
Do you know CPR or what to do if your child chokes or is burned? Kidsafe teaches emergency paediatric first courses Injury Prevention and First Aid Instruction regularly at Kidsafe House in Herston or contact your local St John, Red Cross or Royal Life Saving and book into a first aid course before you need it.