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Little kids are so prone to injury. Can child proofing keep them safer?

 

Can Child Proofing Prevent Your Kids From Home-Accidents?

‘Curiosity Kills The Cat’ - haven't we all heard that?! But in fact, the level of curiosity in kids often becomes the measure of intelligence. It is in their nature to ask questions, to set themselves on little quests of what that drawer holds, an anticipation of whether this pill (which could very well be for killing pests) tastes like the other toffees, or will I fly like my superhero when I step out through the spaces of the parapet.

While their little adventures might give you sagas to tell when they grow up, there is a grave possibility of them being injured. And more than everything, the curiosity phase is rather a long one and it's a mammoth task for any busy multi-tasking parent to keep an eye on their child's every move....every minute of every day right?!

 

So how does one keep kids safe from dangers lurking within  walls of their own residence?

Childproofing to the rescue! Although the concept of baby proofing is not at all new and has been widely adopted in western countries, it's only recently started catching on in Indian metros -  given that most apartments or houses in India are not designed with a child's safety in mind, it's time to take matters in your own hand and mitigate risks and chances of injuries to hyperactive toddlers and kids who fear nothing!

Must-try tactics to Childproof Your Home

  • Safety latches on drawers and cabinets in the kitchen, bathroom, and other rooms can keep your kids from accessing sharp objects such as knife and scissors, chemically hazardous cleaners, and other objectionable things which you don’t want your kids to play with.
  • Safety Gates come in real handy if you have a staircase at home - every time the child goes anywhere near the staircase, your heart probably starts pounding. Accidental falls on a staircase can give anyone nightmares. But there's a simple fix - just secure any area with a safety gate where you think your kid might be in danger without your presence. 
  • Balcony Safety Net are a great buy when you have balconies with grills (most common in apartments) or open balconies with banisters.  Not only does the safety net prevent your child from putting their hand in the grills, it prevents them from accidentally getting stuck and hurting themselves.
  • Electric socket covers for lower level plug points or electric panels are an absolute must! It's the riskiest thing and socket covers are an easy and inexpensive fix. I don't think any adult needs to be An accidental electric shock is one of the most hurtful accidents and has the potency to damage your kid’s health for a lifetime.
  • 'Anti-fall Safety straps' are a very effective way to secure 'Standing Furniture' like a bookshelf, television, display rack or a lightweight cabinet which are usually installed as stand alone units. Basically, these pieces of furniture are not fastened to the wall and risk tipping over by a child who's exploring or pushing on it. You can either opt for childproof latches of metal or use 'safety straps' to  the wall you won’t need to worry about anything heavy falling on your kid.
  • Toilets are a hazard for young children! Not only are they home to bacteria and viruses, huge water spouts and nozzles can really hurt if a kid trips or slips in a wet bathroom. To start with, securing lids of the toilet seat with latches will make sure your kid doesn't use this place as a toy storage! If you have a bathtub, make sure you keep the outlet always open when not in use. In case your kid opens the tap, the tub will not get filled saving any accidental drowning. Water spout covers are taps are also very useful to avoid head injuries.
  • Bumping into sharp objects or corners seems to be a rite of passage while growing up! Don't we all relate to the searing pain?  So let’s spare our little ones today from these injuries - there are some good quality corner guards available in the market which will keep your kids from having a bumpy head!

By no means, is this list exhaustive. Most parents have this idea of child-proofing being an enormous task or a complicated one. We assure you - It's neither!

In fact, with just half a dozen contraptions, you should be able to child proof your house in the span of an afternoon.

Bumps & bruises are surely part of growing up -- but let's keep kids safe from injuries from sharp objects or unstable furniture much as possible.

And here's another big advantage! A much more relaxed set of parents who aren't fretting every time your kid crawls into the balcony or the bathroom!

Should you use a car seat for your child? A loud 'Yes'!

 

Most parents love for their kids is demonstrated by keeping them in close proximity. So letting toddlers or older kids sleep with you or keeping them in your lap when outside is a fairly common sight - it's a demonstration of  parental love and the proximity makes both child and parent feel more secure.

This need for proximity is also evident while traveling with children - it’s very common in India to see parents sitting with children in their lap in the car’s front seat so the child doesn’t have to sit alone in the back - either it’s the child who insists or throws a tantrum for the sitting in the front and or parents don't want them sitting in the back alone!

Unlike western countries, where the laws are very strict regarding car seats for children and heavy penalties for violations - parents & children are trained from the beginning that kids stay back in the car seat and adults in the front. And there are no exceptions.

Awareness around car seats & safety in Indian metro cities is on the higher side but still a large number of parents don’t install car seats for kids as they don’t grasp just how dangerous it is to let children sit in the front.


 

Did you know airbags can suffocate children?


Airbags are designed as per an adult’s weight & height and sometimes even in minor collisions, airbags do go off. The impact is strong enough to injure an adult so for a child it is massively powerful. It can cause suffocation, serious injuries to the face, chest, neck or head at and in rare cases, be fatal. 


Even when no airbags are deployed, in a car crash, the child sitting in the lap of a parent is likely to be thrown at the windshield. Needless, to say no parent ever wants to risk a scenario like that.

Regardless of whether laws in India require you to, risking a child’s life on the road should be a complete no-no. Yes, children may find it annoying or cry about sitting in the front, but stick with it.

Safety much more important than a little crying & hurt feelings!

If your kids are under the age of 12/13, we urge you to use a car seat made for kids instead of using seat belts or making them sit on your laps. Yes, in spite of the absence of any law about it, it is crucial that every parent understands the importance of installing car seats.

Why You Should Opt For Cars Seats For Kids Rather Than Your Lap Or Seat Belt

As reported by NDTV, World Health Organization said that using a child car seat decreases the fatality rate by 70% in infants and 80% in kids. Also, they specifically stated that children aged less than 12 years are safer on the rear seat.

A specific study that analyzed the data on 7151 children who were involved in road accidents found that children made to sit on booster seats have half the injury risk of those strapped with seat belts.

Now that you know that a child car seat can ensure your child's safety, there should be no debate to whether or not you should get one!

So, lets help you choose the Right Car Seat!

Rear Facing Seats are designed for infants and newborns. Although it was believed that this seat works until the kid turns 1, most parents are advised to consider the baby’s height before switching to front facing seats.

Forward facing seats should be your pick after your child turns two. And as soon as your kid crossed 40 pounds, preferring booster seats over seat belts would be a wise thing to do.

Consider The Size Of Your Car Before Choosing The Seat
 
An SUV would require a larger seat than what a hatchback might need. Consider the size of your car and its rear seats before picking your kid’s car seat. Be as precise as possible and use exact metrics for measurement.
Rear-Left, Rear-Right, Or Rear-Middle


Before you take the measurements, have you decided where will you install the child seat? You have three options, rear-left, rear-right, and rear-middle. As we are right wheelers, the proximity of rear-right side to the moving traffic is more which could be an unsafe factor. Rear-left is better than rear-right but rear-middle is the best! There’s no risk of moving vehicles in the middle and it would be much easier for you to access your kid. So, choose the side before you pick the seat! 

 

Child Safety Trumps All!

It's best to start getting children in this habit early so you'll face less reluctance. Also it's important to explain to the children what to expect - why they need to sit at the back and if you're the one driving, it's especially important to explain why they need to be calm and allow you to focus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Toxic Are Children’s Toys?

 

 

Shopping for toys is usually a fun excursion for both parent and the child - the child is squealing with delight in the toy store and parents out of love and affection just want to buy their kids whatever their adorable daughter or son wants!

We don't want to alarm you but parents should have all the information - especially when it comes to their little one's health & safety.

There have been recent news reports which stated some very surprising facts. Unregulated toy manufacturing and distribution has resulted in many products for children which are not safe to use - there are harmful chemicals that can cause long term damage to a child's health! 

Are EVEN toys not safe for kids?

Recent surveys, on a global & national level found that children toys that were tested were found to have a high level of chemicals and toxins.

Even sippy cups, used by every toddler and kid, were not safe! What was very alarming that even products with safety labels such as 'BPA Free' were found to be have harmful chemicals.

Is your child’s health affected by substandard quality of toys?

If the toys are not being manufactured within toy safety guidelines, you are most likely buying toxic toys for your child.

This is how harmful common toxins can found in substandard toys can be to kids: 

    Bisphenol A (BPA) : Commonly found toxin in toys known to disrupt hormonal system in babies. It negatively impacts behavioural and emotional aspects of girls and can lead to early puberty in girls. Health experts have found that BPA can also lead to depression and anxiety in boys.

    Lead (PB): The most harmful talked about toxin in the medical world as it is considered dangerous for most of our body organs, especially the nervous system. Lead is used as a stabilizer in some of the toys which are made of PVC plastic.

    Cadmium (Cd):  Cadmium is a carcinogen and affects children’s bone health and more importantly their brain development if ingested in large amounts. If you are wondering where in your kid’s toys could cadmium be, it could be in the surface painting of the toys, kids jewellery or can also be used in the base.

    Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs): There is a class of BFRs which can disrupt the thyroid functioning, liver and is also considered as a carcinogen. This is by far the most common toxin found in toys.
    So much so is its prominence that even Barbie dolls found in China consisted of this toxin.


    Toxicity In Indian Toys

    A global survey was conducted to detect toxins in plastic toys across the world by very reputable organisations - among participants was a Delhi-based environmental organization named ‘Toxics Link’ and several samples from various Delhi markets had been forwarded.

    The study’s results were alarming as four out of six samples had much higher amounts of OctaBDE and DecaBDE toxins than prescribed safety limits.

    How do you keep toxic toys at bay?

    It is natural for your kids to want attractive, bright & colorful toys.

    However, since toxins in toys are rampant (even from major brands) be very careful about what you're buying especially if your kid is likely to be sucking on it or putting toys in its mouth.

    Imported toys from China have been banned in India in the past because of high-level of toxins so be aware of company and brand reputation while buying.

    These days many local companies in India are manufacturing toys from wood and other sustainable material like rubber, organic cloth etc and they use dyes which are made from vegetables & fruits are safe and non-toxic.

    Kids don't really need a lot of toys and many things around the house can be made into toys. It's wise to buy toys only from very well known brands so as to avoid compromising the child's health in the long run!