The most common accident among small children is that they fall from changing tables, beds, sofas, prams or other heights. Even new‐born babies sometimes manage to move about when they cry or wriggle. Never leave a child unsupervised on a changing table, bed or other high surface.
On the changing table
The safest way to change a nappy is on a soft changing mat on the floor. Never walk away from a child on a changing table. Always keep one hand on the child when he/she is lying on the changing table, for example, if you are stretching to reach something. Then you will feel if the child moves about and you can prevent a fall.
The safest place for small children to sleep is in their own bed
Children up to the age of three months sleep most safely in their own cot. The cot must have a cot protector so that the baby’s arms or legs cannot get stuck in the rails.
Children who cannot yet roll over by themselves must sleep on their backs since there is a greater risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome if they lie on their sides or, especially, on their fronts. Make sure there are no blankets or quilts in front of the child’s face so as to ensure his/her breathing is completely unrestricted. It is good to let children have a dummy while they sleep since that can also reduce somewhat the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Lower the base of the cot once the child is able to stand up so that the child cannot climb over the side and fall down.
Keep baby bouncers on the floor
Read the instructions for the baby bouncer to find out which ages it can be used for. The instructions will also state the maximum weight of the child. Place the baby bouncer on the floor when the child is sitting in it. Fasten the safety strap so that thechild cannot fall out of the baby bouncer. Do not put the baby bouncer on soft and unstable surfaces likea bed or a sofa, nor on a table or a chair. You should not carry the baby bouncer around when the childis sitting in it. If it tips over or you drop it, the child can get hurt.Children who are not yet able to sit by themselves should only sit in a baby bouncer for short periods oftime since their backs are not strong enough to hold up their bodies.
Baby slings must be properly adjusted
If you use a baby sling or baby carrier, follow the product instructions. Adjust it so the child sits comfortably and there is no risk of him/her sliding out of it.
Use a safety strap on a highchair
Always supervise a child sitting in a highchair. Lift the child out of the highchair if you cannot keep aneye on him/her. If the highchair has a safety strap, use it. It prevents a child who is able to stand up from falling. It is good if the highchair is a snug fit so that the child cannot stand up and fall out. Sometimes children can brace their feet against the table and try to tip the highchair over. If the highchair is unsteady, there is a risk it will fall backwards. Many highchairs have a special clasp that canbe attached to the table so that they cannot tip over.
Check the pram regularly
Check regularly that the pram’s brakes are working. They can get worn down over time. Also check that all parts of the pram’s undercarriage are attached in the correct way so that it cannot fold down unexpectedly. The bed or seat must be properly attached to the undercarriage before the baby is laid or seated in the pram.You should use the bed until the child is able to sit up by itself. Once the child’s back is strong enough so he/she can sit up unassisted, you can change to the seat. It is good to use a harness in the pram so thatthe child cannot fall out. It is advisable to have reflectors on the pram, especially in winter, since they make the pram more visible in traffic.
Put gates up by stairs
If you have stairs in the home, it is necessary to fit gates, both downstairs and upstairs. Check regularly that the gates are properly attached. Also check that the distance between the steps in a staircase is not so wide so that the child can get stuck or fall between them. Make sure the child cannot climb over the banister.
Put safety catches on windows and balcony doors
Make sure children cannot open windows, balcony or veranda doors so they cannot fall out. Use a safetycatch whenever you open a window for fresh air. Keep doors locked or have special catches on them sothat children cannot open them by themselves.
Fix heavy furniture to the wall
Furniture can tip over if children start to climb on them. To prevent accidents, you should attach chests of drawers, bookshelves and televisions to the wall. This can be done using special furniture catches.