Hello Moms, I am so excited to be with you today!! Today, I want to share with you some of the dangers you should expect as a mother with a toddler.
One day, I got back home with my then two-year-old daughter and while trying to pack out different stuffs from our bag in order to wash the ones that I needed to be washed, I turned to look at my daughter and to my utter shock, there she was with a metal key in her hands trying to “open” an electrical socket with it. Thank GOD that the socket was turned off. You all know what the story would have been. Scary isn’t it? Well, that thought me a lesson. I never let her hold on to anything metal and I channelled all the sockets in the house to the height of a 10 year old.
Now, let us quickly run through some of the hazards lurking around that could pose a problem to these kids at home and you could also share them with the crèche you put them in too.
- Once your child starts crawling independently, one of the things you might want to do would be to make sure that every single electrical socket is far away from his/her reach. This tends to attract kids and they will want to explore what is in it. Also, kids are supposed to play with their toys and not your keys or any other metal. Do not send your 1-5 year olds to go put off the socket. Do not make them see the area as a play zone. Do not let them climb up to go and turn on and turn off the light. Believe me, they will enjoy doing it and if you allow it just because you are around to supervise, they will do it even more when you are not around to supervise. Make them see electricity as scary. The fridge is not a playground and they should not be allowed to go and open and close it to see if the light inside actually goes off. Do not allow it. Whatever, you look away at and allow in your presence could pose a danger in your absence.
- When there is a child in the house, another thing you will need to do will be to put every liquid that is not safe water away from your child’s reach. Kids love to take liquids so much and they will take anything liquid whether or not they know what it is. So many times at the pediatric ward, you will see so many mothers with kids that are suffering from one complication or the other just because they took one poisonous liquid kept lying carelessly around the house. I have even seen one that took kerosene and his mother did not know until the boy threw up while having dinner!! She tried going to wash the vomit off his face but the boy fainted even before she got to the bathroom. KEEP THEM SAFELY AWAY!!. If they find it, they will drink it. Let everyone in your house know what is in each container. Do not buy bleach and fill an empty EVA plastic with it expecting everyone to know what it is. Do not fill salt into a rubber that looks exactly like the rubber you filled your detergent with hoping that when the person that wants to use it opens it, they will perceive the smell and not pour it into a pot. Some bath and baby oils contain liquid hydrocarbons, which can cause a serious pneumonia-like condition, irreversible lung damage, and even death if a child aspirates the substance into their lungs. Do not assume that every baby product is safe for mild consumption. Products containing hydrocarbons require child-resistant packaging. Read labels and store all bath and baby oils out of your child’s reach, even if they’re in child-resistant packaging. (The same goes for other household and cosmetic products containing liquid hydrocarbons or mineral oil, such as some makeup removers, massage oils, and nail-polish dryers.) “Child-resistant caps don’t always keep kids out — they just slow them down
- Monitor who and who your kids call aunty and uncle. Kids in my children’s school are not allowed to call anyone not related to them aunty or uncle! Initially, I found it a little bit out of place but I came to realize that this policy can help a child differentiate between faces. Let them call them Mr this and Mrs or Miss that. Let your kids know who is a stranger.
- Give out strict rules every time you are leaving your child with someone so it gets registered in their head how important that child is to you. I will tell you two stories to buttress this point. My kids went on an excursion and when they got back home, I was a little bit away from home so I pleaded with my husband to help pick them up. When he got there, the school refused to give them to him because the management did not know him. Even when the kids kept shouting, “daddy!” What caught my attention was that when I called her from my cell phone eventually, the proprietress of the school said, “even if I will endorse a child to be given away like that, I will not easily do that in your case because of how you are always clamoring about your kids and their safety” Another scenario; a child in a school very close to where I live, drowned in a bucket of water that was placed carelessly in the school compound. This child wandered off from the class, and the bucket caught her eyes. She walked to this bucket and seeing the water inside the bucket, she bent to touch the soapy water which had pretty bubbles in it. Her legs weren’t tall enough to stay on the ground while she reached for the bubbles and she fell into the water and struggled to death. What caught my attention here is that a particular teacher was talking of a certain child that walks around the compound too much and someone was wandering why it wasn’t the child that drowned. The teacher said that if it was that child that left, the teacher in that class would’ve noticed because, “im mama no dey take am play” so the mother leaves every day with stern safety warning every morning which kept them on their toes about that particular child even though he wandered a lot.
- Keep drugs as far away from your kids as possible. Get a first aid box and keep it away from their reach.
- Having a pet is fine but there are some hidden dangers to that and I will treat that in another edition. Always strictly supervise every of your pet’s visit to your baby.
- When having a bubble bath or just bathing your kids, do not remove your eyes for more than 30 seconds. Anything can happen within that time and soapy water if inhaled into a child’s lungs in sharp scoops can be very harmful.
- NEVER KEEP BATTERIES WITHIN REACH OF ANY CHILD!!
- KEEP ALL SHARP OBJECTS AWAY FROM YOUR KIDS!!
- Did you know that the content of some paints include lead? This could pose as a potential danger to a child. Have an independent inspector conduct a lead inspection and testing on the paint for your home and as much as possible keep your children away until the toxic smell goes away. There has been instances of children who have reacted very heavily to house painting.
- Always keep your children away from every any room that you have just sprayed insecticide in. This can be extremely dangerous both on long and short term basis.
Remember that tragedy with kids can take just few seconds to take place. It would then be too late for anyone to turn back the hands of time.
Until we meet again, ALWAYS BE VIGILANT!!