Children will always have accidents no matter how careful you are. They are especially likely to injure themselves when they first become mobile. You can help prevent unnecessary accidents by following the safeguards listed :
• Keep small hard objects and pieces of food away from the baby. Check all toys to be sure that nothing could be bitten or pulled off which might cause choking.
• Before the baby crawls, check your home for unguarded fires, trailing or dangling electrical cords, unsafe electrical sockets (use power outlet guards), breakable (especially glass) objects which are within reach of a crawler.
• All children's clothing should be fireproof.
• Fix guards to reachable windows and staircases.
• Keep all medicines and poisons out of reach and locked up.
• Have childproof doors on all low cupboards.
• Check water hazards. All fish ponds and pools should be absolutely inaccessible. Never leave the baby alone in or near a bath containing water.
• Guard against scalds : Turn saucepan handles in to the stove, never drink hot drinks while holding a baby, don't use a table cloth when serving hot drinks, keep your hot water temperature as low as practical. Safety taps are available for the bath.
• Project your baby from sunburn with creams and hats.
Learn and practise how to give artificial respiration and external heart compression. Every home should have instructions for these life saving resuscitation procedures and all adults and older children in the household should know what to do in an emergency.
Every parent will need to give first aid to children many times. Fortunately injuries are usually minor but it is best to be prepared for all kinds of emergencies.
You'll be surprised at what you can do in an emergency and it's important to know that you've done the best you can. Remember that help is only a phone call away. Write clearly the phone numbers of nearby doctors, the ambulance, the nearest Poisons Information Centre and some reliable neighbours on an adhesive label and attach it to the phone or close to it.