Children safety guide

Children safety guide

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Children safety guide

Children develop quickly and discover the world around them. You need to make sure it is safe and that they avoid accidents. Here are some tips on what you can do at home when your child is cycling or playing outdoors.

This text focuses on things you can think about from when your child is a newborn until about six years old.

When children discover the world

Children develop by discovering everything around them. They move, feel and taste things, climb and run.

Sometimes development is rapid. Suddenly, your child may be able to move in ways you’ve never seen before or grab things you thought were out of reach.

It takes time for your child to learn to control their body and understand what can happen. You need to be there, assessing risks and preventing accidents so that he can try and learn in a safe environment.

Avoid falling accidents

The most common accident among young children is falling from changing tables, beds, sofas, prams or other heights. Even newborn babies can sometimes move when they scream or wriggle to get out of the way. Therefore, never leave your child unattended on the changing table, bed or other high places.

On the changing table

Never leave your baby on the changing table and walk away. Always keep a hand on your baby when they are on the changing table, for example, if you reach for something. This way, you can feel if your child is moving and prevent falling.

The safest way is to change your baby’s nappy on a soft mat on the floor.

Own bed with high edges

Children up to three months sleep safest in their bed. The sides of the bed should be high enough to prevent the child from falling out.

If your child sleeps in a cot, use a cot cover to prevent them from getting their arms or legs caught between the slats.

Lower the bottom of the cot when the child can stand up. This prevents the child from climbing over the edge and falling.

Children who cannot yet roll over on their own should sleep on their backs. This is because the risk of sudden infant death syndrome increases if they sleep on their stomach and side. 

Put the babysitter on the floor

Place the baby seat on the floor when the child sits in it. Fasten the safety belt so that the child cannot fall out. The baby could be injured if it falls over. Therefore, do not place the baby seat on soft and unstable surfaces like a bed or sofa. Do not place it in high places such as tables or chairs. Also, do not carry the baby seat with the child in it.

Children who cannot sit on their own should not sit in a baby seat for more than short periods. In babysitters that can be adjusted so that the child is in a more reclined position, they can spend a little more time.

Set the harness correctly

Follow the product instructions if you use a baby shawl or baby carrier. Adjust it so that your child is comfortable and not in danger of slipping out of it.

Use the safety belt in the child seat.

Keep an eye on your child when they are in the child seat. Lift the child out of the seat if you are not supervising them.

Use the safety belt if the child seat has one. It prevents children who can stand up from falling. It is a good idea if the child seat is narrow so the child cannot stand up and fall out.

Sometimes children can kick the table with their feet and tip the chair over. If the chair is unstable, it can fall backwards. Many high chairs have a special anchor anchored to the table to prevent tipping over.

Check the stroller regularly.

Regularly check that the stroller’s brakes are working. They can wear out over time. Also, check that all parts of the stroller’s base are properly secured so that the stroller does not fold. The bassinet or seat should be securely attached to the base before the child is placed or put in the stroller.

Before the child can sit up on its own, use the carrycot. When the child’s back is strong enough to sit up on its own, you can switch to the seat part. It is then a good idea to use the harness in the pushchair so that the child does not fall out of the pushchair.

Attach reflectors to the pushchair, especially in winter. This will make it more visible in traffic.

Installing a gate at stairs

If there are stairs at home, installing a child gate on both floors is a good idea. Check regularly to make sure the gate is secure. If the steps are open, you need to check that the distance between the steps is not too great. Otherwise, your child could get stuck or fall through the stairs. Also, check that children cannot climb over the fence.

Put locks on windows and balcony doors.

Make sure that children cannot open windows, balcony doors or patio doors by themselves. Keep doors locked or have special latches so that children cannot open them themselves. Also, wear safety locks when airing.

Fasten heavy furniture to the wall

Furniture can tip over if children climb on it. You can do this with special furniture anchors. Anchor chests of drawers, bookcases, and TVs to the wall to avoid accidents.

Avoid choking hazards

One of the biggest accident risks for children is that things can get stuck in their airways, preventing them from breathing.

When young children learn to grasp, they often put things in their mouths. It’s a way for them to explore and understand the world around them. The best way to prevent choking accidents is to ensure the child does not get hold of the small objects.

Small things can get stuck in the airways.

Things that are small enough to get stuck in your child’s airways include:

  • large pieces of food or fruit
  • nuts
  • sweets
  • small toys
  • small stones
  • small round batteries
  • hard animal food.

Pull in dummies and feeding bottles.

Pull the soother to check that it is whole. Occasionally pull the rubber stopper on soothers and feeding bottles to check that they do not come loose.

Also, check that the child has not bitten the rubber stopper. Loose parts can go down the throat and get stuck in the airways. Throw away broken soothers.

Let children sit down and eat.

Food will get stuck in the airways can cause serious accidents. Adjust the consistency of the food to what the child can chew and swallow.

Children should sit down to eat to avoid getting stuck in their throats. This applies to children of all ages. Never let children run around with food in their mouths.

Avoid letting children eat while driving, as they can get stuck in their throats when the car is moving. The same applies if you are cycling with your child in a bicycle seat or pushchair.

Test if things are too small

To check if something is too small for your child, you can use a small cylinder. It’s about the size of a three-year-old’s throat. An object that fits in the cylinder may get stuck in the child’s throat. Then you should remove it. Small balls, pellets and other spherical objects should be more than five centimetres in diameter to avoid blocking the airways.

Cords can get caught around the neck.

Things that your child can get around their neck or over their face can prevent them from breathing.

These could include:

  • plastic bags
  • scarves
  • ropes and nooses
  • cords for blinds and curtains.

Hooded sweaters and jackets can pose a choking hazard if the child gets the hood caught on something. Therefore, it is good for the hood to be fastened with press studs. This way, it will come off if the child gets stuck in a climbing frame.

Choose toys by age

Toys should be CE marked and age-appropriate. Toys for children under three years old should not have loose parts that the child can choke on. The age of the toy is usually indicated on the packaging.

Check whether eyes, noses, and other small parts of soft toys are attached from time to time. If they are loose, they may fall off, and the child can put them in their throat.

Toys must not contain certain harmful substances present in other things. Therefore, children should not play with things that are not toys, as these can leak chemicals. This is especially true when children bite on things or put things in their mouths.

Loud noises can damage hearing.

Loud noises can damage your child’s hearing. Check the sound of toys before use to make sure it is not too loud. Also, keep an eye on the noise level if your child uses headphones so that the sound is not too loud.

Things to consider in the kitchen

Many sharp and hot items in the kitchen are important to watch.

Do this:

  • Place knives and scissors where your child cannot reach them.
  • Place dishwasher tablets, detergents and other cleaning products where children cannot reach or see them.
  • Keep a cover on the stove so that children cannot put their hands on the plates or reach for pots and pans.
  • Keep a tip-over guard on the stove so that the child cannot tip it over.
  • Put a child lock on the oven door so that the child cannot open it and get burned.
  • Place coffee makers, irons and other hot appliances where the child cannot reach them. Ensure that cords are not hanging so that the child can pull the appliance down on top of him.

Hot food and drink can cause burns.

Children can get burns from hot food and drinks, among other things.

So keep the following in mind:

  • Place hot drinks and hot food out of the reach of children.
  • Do not drink hot drinks or eat hot food while your child sits on your lap.
  • When carrying kettles or pots with hot contents, be careful that the child is not near you.

Other things can also cause burns. So keep this in mind:

  • Place matches and lighters so that the child cannot reach them.
  • Check that elements do not get too hot.
  • Make sure that children do not burn themselves on barbecues or stoves.

Pinch protection on doors, edge protection and pinch protection in contacts

It’s easy for children’s fingers to get pinched. The risk is greatest in doors, windows, cabinets and car doors. You can buy and install anti-squeeze devices on doors at home.

Protection against sharp edges

Put guards on sharp edges, for example, on tables.

Electrical outlets must have plug protection.

Sockets, wall plugs and broken cords can cause electric shocks.

Make sure that the electrical outlets in the walls are fuse-protected. This means that children cannot stick their fingers or other objects into them. If the sockets are not secured, you can buy special plug covers and put them in the socket to cover the holes completely.

Regularly check lamps, cords, mobile phone and computer chargers and other electrical appliances to ensure they are not broken and can cause shocks.

Reducing the risk of poisoning

Children can become poisoned and very sick if they ingest dangerous chemicals.

For example, it is important to store dishwasher detergents, cleaning products, laundry detergents and lighter fluids high up where children cannot see or reach them. This also applies to medicines.

Some chemicals are so dangerous that it is good to avoid having them in the home. For example, caustic soda, cork removers and strong acids.  

When visiting others, be aware that they may have dangerous chemicals and medicines where children can reach them. Also, be aware that people coming to your home may have medicines or other items in bags that they might put on the floor where the child can reach them.

Avoid the risk of drowning.

Always supervise your child when bathing. This applies whether your child is bathing in a bathtub, on a beach, in a pool, from a jetty or at a pond.

Be with your child when bathing or near water.

You need to be close enough to grab your child if they lose their balance.

Even a few centimetres of water can be a risk of drowning. Children may have difficulty getting up if they fall and can drown even in large puddles or water-filled ditches, for example. Always empty inflatable toddler pools of water when not in use.

Never leave your child unattended, even if you have pulled the plug out of the bath. When someone drowns, it happens quickly and quietly.

Use life jacket

  • Lifejacket
  • Enlarge image
  • A lifejacket with collar.

Children need to wear a life jacket when boating, playing on or near water and on jetties. Young children need a lifejacket with a collar. The collar will turn the child onto its back if it falls into the water with its face and stomach down. The size of the lifejacket should be adapted to the child’s weight and be CE marked.

Bathing in a bathtub or hot tub

Always feel the water first. Feel with your elbow or use a bath thermometer. The water should be about 37 degrees Celsius. Be aware that the water in the hot water tap can get very hot. The child may get burned if the water is too hot.

Use a slippery mat in the bath or shower. This will prevent your child from slipping and hitting himself. Babies can swim in a bathtub. You need to have a firm grip on the baby.

Protecting children on the road

Wear reflectors or clothes with reflective fabric during the winter months. This allows drivers and cyclists to see children much better in the dark. This reduces the risk of accidents.

Here are some tips on reflectors:

  • Buy CE marked reflectors. CE is an EU label that means a product meets certain requirements, including safety.
  • Have reflectors that are big enough to be seen. Have several small reflectors if you do not have a large one.
  • Do not use scratched or worn reflectors.
  • Put reflectors at the end of your arms and legs. This way, drivers can see how you are moving and know if you are walking, running or cycling.

To test how well the reflector works, go into a dark room and shine a flashlight on it. Compare with a new one.

Safety in the car

Children should be secured in an approved child car seat when travelling by car. This applies to all children shorter than 135 centimetres. It is vital to protect your child in the event of an accident. 

The type of car seat you should think about depends on your child’s weight and size. This applies to:

  • For the first 6 to 9 months, children should sit in a so-called baby seat, which is fitted backwards.
  • From around seven months and up to at least four years of age, children should sit in a rear-facing car seat.
  • Children from 4-5 years up to 10-12 years should use a booster seat or booster cushion.

Reverse mounting

Baby Car Seat For Golf Cart should be installed rear-facing in the rear or front seat. This is important because a small child’s head is large concerning its body. Should the child be sitting forward-facing in a crash, they cannot withstand the strong force and risk serious neck and head injuries.

Some childcare centres, hospitals or municipalities have baby carriers that you can borrow for free or hire cheaply. Contact the child health centre or your local authority for more information.

Switch to a rear-facing car seat when the child can sit unaided or when the child has outgrown the car seat.

Booster seat or booster cushion

Change to a booster seat or cushion when your child has outgrown the car seat.

A booster seat is a cushion with a back that helps guide the belt straight across the shoulder and chest. It also protects the head. A booster cushion is a seat part that allows the child to reach higher and ensures that the lower part of the three-point belt rests against the hipbones and not against the soft parts of the stomach.

Only when the child is about ten to twelve years old can they ride safely in the car without a booster seat or booster cushion in the same way as an adult.

Replace the car seat and seat belt if the car is involved in a crash

If your car has been involved in a collision, you should replace the Golf Cart Baby Seat and seat belt.

Disengaging the airbag in the passenger seat

Most cars have an airbag in the front passenger seat. The airbag is designed to protect people over 140 centimetres tall in a collision.

When installing a child restraint or car seat, you must disconnect the passenger airbag. Otherwise, the child could be seriously injured if the airbag deploys in a crash.

Even if your child is big enough to sit in a booster seat but is less than 140 centimetres tall, you should disconnect the airbag. Side airbags, on the other hand, are not a danger.

Cycling safely

By law, children under 15 must wear a helmet when riding a two-wheeled bicycle. Wear a helmet even if your child is sitting in a bike seat or a bike trailer.

Children are not ready to ride a bicycle in traffic until they are about 12 years old. Before then, the brain was not mature enough, and children could not control and steer their bodies as they should. Children may have difficulty judging distances and how fast cars and other bicycles move. It can also be difficult to focus on anything other than their cycling.

Wear a helmet with a green chin strap

The helmet must be CE marked. CE is an EU mark that means a product meets certain requirements, including safety.

Approved toddler helmets have a green buckle under the chin. These helmets are suitable for children up to the age of seven. The buckle keeps the helmet on the head but opens automatically if the child gets caught in something, and the strap is stretched out. This prevents the child from being strangled by the buckle.

Sprint bike and scooter

Children can get up to speed even on scooters and so-called ‘spring bikes’, which have a saddle but no pedals. On a sprint bike, the child speeds up with their legs. They put their feet on the ground to stop. This can be difficult for children younger than three.

Two-wheeled bike

Wait until your child is about 5-6 years old to ride a two-wheeler. Most children cannot handle a two-wheeled bike and speed until then.

Choose an un-geared bike, has a foot brake and is the right size for your child. Small children cannot handle a handbrake.

Do not use training wheels.

Training wheels usually do not help your child learn to ride faster. On the other hand, training wheels can make your child go faster than they can handle and increase the risk of falling off the bike. It is better to use a bicycle bar mounted on the back of the bicycle. As an adult, you hold the bar while your child rides.

Wear a helmet for different sports

Children need to wear helmets if they go sledging, skating, skiing, inline skating or skateboarding.

When children are inline skating and skateboarding, it is also good to wear wrist guards, knee pads, and elbow pads.

Jump trampoline safely

The trampoline must be CE marked. Keep a safety net around the trampoline if it is larger than 1.5 metres in diameter. Leave the trampoline on a flat, soft surface, such as a lawn.

Ensure there are at least two metres between the trampoline and stones, trees, buildings and other solid objects. Don’t forget to make sure that no other children stand near the trampoline when a child is jumping. Make sure the trampoline is dry before a child jumps to do not slip.

Then allow children to jump one at a time, keeping an eye on them. Children younger than five years old may have difficulty controlling their balance and how they move.

 

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