The preschooler stage is when children become more curious about their surroundings. At this age, children like to explore and look for unusual objects they can find anywhere inside the house. So it is of great importance that parents set up safety rules for preschoolers at home.
Why is home safety important?
Keeping a safe home for children is essential in preventing accidents from happening. Just like the saying “prevention is better than cure”, establishing safety rules at home is better than dealing with any kind of major accidents and danger.
Home safety isn’t just about keeping your children away from risks, but is also a means to ensure that your children will enjoy and have fun in a safe environment.
Minor bruises and scrapes are a natural part of childhood, like little battle scars that children will get along the way.
Having a safe home is just a preventive measure to avoid any serious and life-threatening accidents from taking place.
Childhood accidents and safety rules for preschoolers at home
We cannot deny the fact that preschoolers ages 3 to 5 are prone to minor and major accidents. It is because their curiosity is at its peak, as well as their mobility.
Here are the common house accidents that your preschooler might experience and how you can prevent it:
Preschoolers’ most common accidents are falls. They are in the stage of their childhood where they find it fun and exciting to run and climb all the time.
Since they are still learning to be pros with mobility, they might lose balance or become unaware of their surroundings that might result in falls. Here’s what you can do:
- Place safety gates or barriers at the top and bottom of stairways. Adding this to your safety rules for preschoolers at home will prevent accidental falls down the stairs.
- Have window guards fixed mainly on windows installed on the top floors of your house. Window guards are durable enough in keeping your child safe inside your home even if they try to climb on it.
Also, having single hung windows is safer if you have young children at home. This type of window can only be opened by moving the sash (window frame) up and down, making it difficult for your child to access.
- Doors that lead down to the garage or basement must be kept shut.
- Always keep a close look when your preschooler is climbing on top of furniture and other high areas in the house.
- Furniture, like your child’s bed, must be placed away from the window. This will prevent them from opening or climbing on the window when unsupervised.
- Tidy up cords that are lying around in the floor areas of the house.
- Put a non-slip rug in the bathroom and carpet grips under unsteady rugs and carpets.
- Always keep floor areas dry, especially on porcelain tile or marble floors. Aside from falling in high places, falling on slippery surfaces might also cause the most serious injuries.
Even though preschoolers are better at eating compared to children ages 2 and below, they can be more susceptible to choking since they are fond of putting different things in their mouths. To prevent choking, you need to:
- Make sure that your child’s food is cut up into bite-sized pieces for easy chewing and swallowing.
- Children ages 4 and below shouldn’t be given choking hazard foods such as nuts, whole grapes, popcorn, hotdogs, and hard, gooey candies, if unattended.
- Buy age-appropriate toys. Toys that have little trinkets in them are not advisable for preschoolers since they tend to put things in their mouths.
- Keep tiny items such as coins, buttons, clips, jewelry, and other miscellaneous stuff out of your child’s reach. This will prevent them from playing with these items and putting them in their mouths.
Young children who often play with curtains, cords, and other hanging objects might cause strangulation. To avoid strangling, it is important to:
- Keep curtains, hanging cords, blind chains and decorations tucked away. This will prevent children from playing around these objects and accidentally strangle themselves.
- Avoid giving your preschoolers items to play with that they can use to wrap around their necks such as ribbons and strings.
Aside from choking, poisoning is also another life-threatening accident caused by preschoolers’ fondness of putting anything in their mouths.
These safety rules for preschoolers at home can help prevent poisoning from occurring:
- Store laundry and cleaning products, medicines, toiletries, and batteries in cabinets that are inaccessible to children.
- Keep an eye out for expired food products since preschoolers like to look for food in the pantry or the fridge.
- Plants might also cause poisoning—that is why thorough research is needed before buying plants.
Electrical shock is common in young children since they always like to touch and fiddle with objects that are new to them. Preschoolers aren’t aware of the danger when touching new things. To prevent electric shocks:
- Use plastic socket covers on unused electrical outlets to prevent your children from poking it with their little fingers.
- Keep all appliances out of your children’s reach since some appliances short circuits while used, which causes an electric shock.
- Electrical items in the bathroom, such as hair straighteners and blow dryers must be stored right away after use.
Life-threatening electric shock occurs when plugged-in appliances fall in water. It is also dangerous to handle appliances with wet hands or while standing in water.
Since preschoolers are so active, drowning is also rampant in this age group. The safety rules for preschoolers at home to avoid drowning includes:
- If you have a bathtub, never leave your child unattended when bathing.
- Never leave a big bucket of water without a lid. Preschoolers might think of reaching something in the bucket, which might cause them to fall over.
- When toilet training, do not leave your child without supervision since they might accidentally fall into the toilet.
Burns and Fires
Burns and fires are two of the most common accidents where children might end up dying or be in a critical state. This is what you can do to avoid these accidents from happening:
- Put all hot drinks and foods as well as cooking ware in a remote area where children aren’t often present.
- Do not cook or consume hot beverages while holding a preschooler since they are too active to stay in place.
- When cooking, turn pots and pan handles away from where you stand while you cook. When preschoolers run around the kitchen, they might accidentally tip over a pot causing its content to spill over them.
- Wait for your child’s food to cool down before handing it to them.
- Keep combustible materials away from fire or heat-emitting appliances or objects.
- Store matches and lighters in out of reach areas.
- Check and fix house wiring every now and then.
- Have fire extinguishers ready in different areas of your home in case of fire.
- Smoke detectors are also a big help in preventing serious accidents from taking place.
In cases of accidents and emergencies, it is best if parents are well adept in first aid and CPR. This will help them give immediate medical care to their children. Always remember to call your local emergency hotline for immediate medical attention.
As parents, you always want the best for your children. That is why you’re trying your best to give them a comfortable and safe home. However, you don’t need to excessively shield them from getting hurt, as it is a normal part of their growth.
Establishing and observing safety rules for preschoolers at home all the time is enough to keep your children safe.
Keep in mind to always watch over your children and teach or remind them to be cautious of their surroundings while still nurturing their curiosity.
Learn more about parenting, here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.