Looking after your own child can be daunting enough, but looking after someone else’s children is a whole different ball game. To avoid any mishaps as a child minder, here are 10 safety features your home needs…
According to the Child Protection Company, it’s a childminder’s responsibility ‘to keep the children in your care safe from harm, and to report any concerns you have that a child might be at risk.’ Of course, child minders are usually qualified to deal with all of this, but it’s important to go the extra mile in order to protect you and the children.
If your child has a brain injury from bumping their head, for example, that’s a terrible thing to deal with. But, if it’s someone else’s child, it doesn’t just stop there. In fact, you could be liable for a claim made against you if the child has an accident under your duty of care.
1. Don’t Use Plug Socket Covers
Yep, you heard right… apparently, it’s a myth! Over the years there have been several concerns regarding the safety of plastic plug covers. In June 2016, the Department of Health released a document stating ‘13A electrical socket inserts should not be used in health or social care premises, nor supplied for use in a home or residence’ and ‘any socket inserts currently in use should be withdrawn and responsibly disposed of’.
Further research shows that plug sockets can be easily removed by children and cause damage to the internal electrics, with the potential to cause a fire.
2. Check The Temperature of Your Radiator
You should always be extra cautious of hot appliances in your house, and radiators are no exception. Most radiators are positioned at ground-level and, as a result, children can seriously burn and scar themselves when the radiators are boiling hot.
To steer clear of this, keep your radiator at a consistent low heat; this way your house will stay warm, and you’ll avoid any nasty hiccups. Other options include safety gates and radiator covers. But, unless they’re securely fastened and have been quality-checked for fire hazards, they may do more harm than good.
3. Toy Storage Boxes
What kid doesn’t own too many toys? To avoid your house looking like a complete mess and the kids toppling over every two seconds, purchase a toy storage box so everything stays neat and tidy.
Don’t be put off by the put off by the thought of a huge plastic box in your living room! Whether you’re looking to create a handwoven basket, a lidless box on wheels, or one that doubles as a stylish coffee table, there are plenty of options to choose from to fit in with the style of your home.
4. Cupboard Clips
Children are incredibly curious, and are likely to want to rummage through everything in sight. Constant supervision is essential but, as an added extra, be sure to secure straps and clips onto your cupboards to stop toddlers from accessing harmful products such as bleach and carpet cleaner.
On top of this, make sure the lids to your corrosive liquids have the child lock securely fastened. The last thing you want is for a 5-year-old to find a bottle of bleach that hasn’t had its lid top screwed on properly.
5. Cordless Blinds
Window blinds often come with long cords that can be hazardous for kids. When running from a to b, children can become entangled and accidentally wrap the cords around their necks. To avoid the worst-case scenario and help put your mind at ease, the Consumer Product Safety Commission suggest buying cordless blinds in homes with young children.
6. Safety Gates
When looking after multiple kids, it’s a good idea to try to keep them in the same room when possible. That being said, you can’t always be everywhere, and it’s almost impossible to expect kids to stay still.
Safety gates are a fantastic way of ensuring the child you’ve momentarily left is in a safe and secure place. If you’re a babysitter and don’t have a safety gate at the top of each staircase, you might want to think again!
This may seem like an obvious one, but making sure your handrails are the correct height for the children you’re looking after is essential. Having an adult and child handrail on your staircase may not be the best-looking feature in your house, but it’s a way of safeguarding against the kids taking a tumble.
8. Table Corner Covers
You’ll begin to realise how many sharp corners there are in your house the moment you start looking after children. To avoid that painful poke of the eye or horrible hit to the head, invest in some table corner covers which will ease the blow if the kiddies do have an accident. These handy features also work well on the corners of fireplaces, desks and radiators!
9. Kid-Friendly Knives
Knives should always be out of reach from children and placed somewhere out of sight, but knife covers and blade guards are a great way to add extra protection. If you’re childminding a budding chef in the making and they’d like to get involved in the cooking, you could also invest in some safe kid-friendly knives which come in all shapes and sizes and varying sharpness.
10. Door Finger Guards
There’s nothing worse than the pain of shutting your finger in a door. Even as an adult, it can be incredibly painful. According to Raising Children, the hinge side of the door often causes the worst injuries, especially for children aged 1-2 years.
To prevent this as best as possible, buy simple and affordable door guards. These are U-shaped, soft, flexible pieces of foam that fit onto the edge of a door and stop it from slamming shut.
What Else Should I Do to Safeguard My Home?
As well as investing in all the above childproofing features, there are many more where that came from. With this in mind, it’s probably a good idea to ensure you complete regular safeguarding training courses. This way, your knowledge and qualifications are always up to date.
Otherwise, building a healthy and honest relationship with the children’s parents is also a good plan. This way, if in the unlikely event anything did happen, you can have an open and calm conversation about the situation at hand.
Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained medical professional. Be sure to consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you’re seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.
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