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Child proofing your home

We asked Siobhán Butler of First Aid for Everyone to help us out with some expert advice around child proofing. I still remember how toddlers can get themselves into difficulty so easily, they’re into everything !! I had to call the poisons helpline myself when Ruby was 18 months and managed to get her hands on some ibuprofen – luckily she was fine but we did spend a night in a&e just in case.

Child proofing your home: 

70% of visits to accident and emergency departments among children up to the age of five are caused by accidents in the home / garden.

Get on the ground on your belly or eye level to the child to check for possible dangers in the home:

 ( If you are going somewhere new take a few minutes to check your surroundings ). 

  1. Toddlers are more likely to suffer burns and scalds in the home by pulling kettles and hot drinks from tabletop. Keep handles turned in and away from the edge of tables and counter tops. Keep handles of pots / frying pans turned inwards and if possible use the back rings instead of the front.
  2. If they are having a bath, put the hot water in first and then add the cold. If you have a mixer tap, give one last flush with cold water as they can burn their hands from the hot faucet.
  3. NEVER leave them alone in the bath. Children can drown in 2 inches of water, and it is very silent and can happen very quickly.
  4. Lock away all medicines and don’t store medications within an easy reach to children or in handbags. In the event of ingestion, you can call 018092166. This is the national poison centre open 7 days a week from 08:00 – 22:00. This number is for the public to use.
  5. If you are using stair gates, make sure they are secured correctly as per instructions on the box. There have been occasions where children have fallen down the stairs as a result of the stair gate not being screwed in properly.
  6. Teach your child how to bum shuffle or crawl down the stairs safely, so in the event of finding themselves on a stairs they know how to do so correctly.
  7. Make sure there are no blind cords unsecured. They need to be secured to the wall at all times. Folding them up is not good practice.
  8. There have been many severe and fatal injuries from children falling from windows. Ensure there are no chairs, tables or stools in front of the window that they can climb on. Upstairs windows should have a child safety window restrictor, this prevents the window from opening more than 100mm.
  9. Have a chain on the front door if you see your little one attempting to open the door.
  10. Children see by doing. So if you are doing something that is not correct they will copy you.

And remember, accidents do happen, but prevention is better than cure.

We established First Aid for Everyone in 2009 in response to a lack of organised professional courses related to teaching Paediatric First Aid Training in Dublin.
I worked for over 20 years in an acute hospital setting. I travelled and worked in the UK, Saudi Arabia and Australia. Before setting up First Aid For Everyone I worked at a busy Accident and Emergency department in a Dublin hospital for 11 years.. For a few years I did both my nursing and First Aid. Like most mums, over the years, I have encountered many scenarios where my first Aid skills as well as my nursing background came in very useful.
I work full time in First Aid For Everyone now and I love it.

You can find more information on our Instagram page @firstaidforeveryone and details of courses on our website

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