Child Safety Week 2017 – Sharing is Caring Monday

If you’ve been reading all our posts, you may have noticed that I’m expecting.

So this year, Child Safety Week is even closer to our hearts than ever! And the theme of this year’s Child Safety Week is #SharingIsCaring.

In Darlington the Health Visitors come out to your home to check it’s ready to accommodate a baby. My home check is in three weeks.

What does this mean?

This means I’m asking for your help. We’re good on electrical safety – after all, it’s our job – but this is our first child. Every time we think we’re covered, we notice another hazard. The Boss Jr is already showing signs of an overactive attitude, so I’m expecting a real handful!

So what are your top tips for child safety? Is there something you noticed that most people don’t?

This week I’ll be looking at the following things around our home:

  • Electrical safety (obviously!)
  • Living room
  • Kitchen
  • Bedroom
  • Bathroom

Join us as we start to baby-proof our home, and please share anything you think that we might have missed!

Electrical safety

Well, it’s my favourite subject, and one I actually know a bit about!

We’re already very conscious of what gets plugged in where, but ours is an older house and there are never enough wall sockets. So for every time I declare extension leads shouldn’t be a permanent solution, I’m also highly aware that we have them all over the place.

If you saw my posts on the home office a few weeks ago you’ll know I prefer 13 amp extension leads with individual switches for each socket, and use them for the bare minimum. When we buy any electrical appliance, we PAT test it (paranoid? Maybe. Has it been worth it in the past? Oh yes!). Part of that includes checking the fuse, which helps keep us from overloading the extension leads.

We both also consider the length of the extension we use, and where we put it. None of our extensions go under rugs or furniture, they’re all the shortest length possible, and we never used an extension that isn’t fully unwound. We also avoid using extension reels unless we have to.

Socket covers

It may come as a surprise to some of you that we will not be having socket covers in our house, for several reasons:

  • UK sockets are highly regulated, and among the safest in the world. UK plugs have to be made to very specific standards – it’s why we talk about counterfeit, rather than substandard, power leads.
  • Socket covers are not regulated. They often have pins which are too thick for the socket holes. This means they have to be forced in and levered out, risking damage to the socket.
  • Some can be inserted upside down, particularly on extension leads. This actually overrides the safety shutters built into the sockets, opening up the live port.
  • UK sockets are deliberately designed so that children cannot get their fingers in.
  • Some are quite brittle, and the pins can snap off in the socket. Again this overrides the safety shutter mechanism.
  • The Department of Health actually recommends against them.

I could go on and on, but that’s enough to put me off using them!

Product recalls

As part of our job we check electrical items are safe. I see no way of doing so without staying up to date on recalled appliances.

I check the recall listings weekly. Any time something we own has been recalled, we follow the recall instructions to the letter. This doesn’t happen often, fortunately!

Some that have caught us include:

  • Amazon’s recall on Kindle chargers
  • Fiat’s recall on Seicento petrol tanks (a while ago now!)
  • A recall on Danfoss fridge compressors

Other electrical hazards

Fan heaters and hair tongs are other obvious electrical hazards. We are careful about how and where we use these. Going forward, we’ll have to be even more cautious.

Button batteries are a less obvious hazard. Not only is there a real choking risk, but they can also leak battery acid once consumed, causing internal injury.

Fuses – of which we have hundreds – are another choking hazard. And trailing power leads could be a trip hazard for us or strangulation hazard for The Boss Jr.

What can you think of?

This is our first time so there are bound to be things we’ve missed. Can you think of any? Let us know, and help us keep our little one safe!

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