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Spring Cleaning and Safe Proofing

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

Katherine Whitby | Registered Paediatric Nurse | Health Visitor | Baby Massage Instructor | Mummy of Two | Founder of Baby Steps


With the sunshine finally appearing you may be welcoming the fresh air and doing some Spring Cleaning. This is the perfect opportunity to see what safe proofing you need. As your little one passes through their developmental milestones, busy exploring, it’s essential that you keep reviewing what is in place.

Spring cleaning, bubbles, rubber gloves, cleaning products, safe cleaning

No safe proofing can 100% prevent an accident but you can make sure you avoid big accidents and you reduce your stress levels!


Let’s have a think about some of the key areas in your home...


Firstly let’s check out the living room.

A place where we spend lots of time and your little ones may play.


BEWARE LITTLE HANDS GETTING HOLD OF:

  • Flexes - little hands love to pull and chew on flexes. This may mean they pull something heavy down on themselves causing an injury, along with the potential dangers of chewing a flex or putting a phone charger in their mouth!

  • Batteries - In A&E I have seen children find batteries in remote controls and ingest them. The small, round lithium batteries are particularly dangerous. Batteries of course are in many of their toys, musical books, household items etc and it is important to make sure the cover screws are kept tight and batteries stored out of reach.

  • Take a good look at things on a low level and see what they might get their hands on - any loose coins, buttons, low drawers or cupboards they may open, anything lost under your sofa!. Put things out of reach. Remember everything goes into the mouth!

  • Corners and edges of coffee tables, hearths of fireplaces may need protecting with corner covers or protective edging to prevent head injuries

  • Hot drinks - little hands will easily be able to reach up to a low coffee table or even a dining table and grab a hot drink or food. Use a travel cup with a lockable lid for full safety (and a hot drink!) or put out of reach and make visitors aware too

  • Fires that are in use require a secure fire guard around them

  • Plug sockets covers are no longer needed


One of the main areas to focus on with a little one is the cupboard under the kitchen sink. Easily one of the most hazardous places in the house!


Cupboard under the sink, safety for children, remove hazards out of reach

With cleaning products galore, usually brightly coloured and squishy, it is paradise for little hands but sadly can be lethal. While cupboard locks can be a deterrent I strongly advise that the following are moved out of reach. I frequently see families in A&E where parents have diligently fitted locks but after retrieving a tablet and then turning to load the washing machine or dishwasher their little one has scooted into the cupboard!

So swap the contents of the cupboard over for safety - it won’t be forever!


BEWARE LITTLE HANDS GETTING HOLD OF:

  • Washing capsules - colourful and squidgy and can be squirted into the eye or mouth

  • Dishwasher tablets - again colourful and sadly highly corrosive so will burn the skin if it is wet, which little hands often are from drooling

  • Cleaning products with clicky lids - they are children resistant but not child proof. 20% of children under 5 can open them. Usually the products have big black crosses saying ‘corrosive’ stay away from children because unfortunately they again will burn

  • Remember everything goes into the mouth!


We know children need supervision in the bathroom but bathtime is often when we are tired, we can be looking the other way and little ones are quick!

Baby safety while in the bath, temperature, monitor
  • Bath water is the second most common cause of burns. Unless you have a thermostatic mixing valve add the cold water and then add the hot.

  • Do not rely on a bath thermometer. The safest way to check your child’s bath water is with your elbow

  • Do not leave your child unsupervised in a bath seat. Sadly babies can drown in only a few centimetres of water, very quickly and with no noise or struggle. While bath seats can be a useful tool they are just a support, and NOT a safety device.

  • Keep medicines, essential oils and cosmetics out of reach

  • Don’t keep bleach by the loo - 20% of children under 5 can open the clicky lid as we know from the kitchen!

  • Make sure heated towel rails are not too hot as little ones are often naked, and they like to hold onto the rails too


For reassurance, confidence and peace of mind, why not do one of my First Aid Courses which are tailored to your little one’s age and stage and focus on home safety and accident prevention as well as emergencies big and small.


Working in Paedaitric A&E for over 20 years and as a Mum of two I cover what you really need to know!


Baby steps  child and baby first aid courses at the studio with Katherine Whitby

The last few places are available for Baby & Child First Aid at the Baby Steps Studio in the woods on Friday 7th July 10am-12.30. Babies welcome :)


Baby steps  child and baby first aid courses in your home with Katherine Whitby

I would be so happy to help you with a First Aid course in your home for friends, family or just for you.


Baby steps child and baby first aid courses online in your own time with Katherine Whitby

There are loads of invaluable tips included in my online Ultimate Baby and Child First Aid and Home Safety course It covers not only what to do in emergencies but the day to day stuff - the toolkit you need.

You can watch in your own time, in the comfort of your home and go back to it again and again, perfect for the whole family.


I look forward to supporting you,

Katherine x


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