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Close the door on unintentional injuries in your home

Close the door on unintentional injuries in your home

The excitement of buying or renting a property can be an overwhelming process, so much so that it is easy to overlook some simple child safety precautions once you move in.

When checking injury prevention around the home, the focus is often on ensuring that children do not have unsupervised access to stairs; to kitchen appliances such as ovens and stoves; and to areas outside including swimming pools and spas. Injury hazards posed by objects such as doors and glass can often be overlooked.

While doors and glass do pose a significant injury risk for children, there are simple steps that you can take when settling into your newly purchased home or rental property to ensure the safety of your children. If you are renting, make sure you have a friendly chat to your landlord about making your homes safer as per current tenancy laws.

Door Safety: Young children are both adventurous and inquisitive as they become more mobile and start to crawl or wander around the house. It is easy for their little fingers to be jammed or crushed in open doors and hinges. Install finger-jam protectors which prevent small fingers from being crushed in door openings. They are easy to install and are an invaluable addition to the home when protecting the safety of your child. Add closers to slow and control the closure of doors in windy locations. Open doors present an opportunity for the jamming of fingers. Adding closers, particularly in windy locations, allows the doors to close slowly and therefore greatly reduce the risk of injury.

Doors can also provide children with unsupervised access to potentially dangerous parts of the home including laundries, garages and outdoor areas. To assist in restricting children’s access to potentially hazardous areas around the home, install door knob covers which fit over door handles and make them difficult for children to open, always have doors that lead on to play areas, garages, other outdoor areas or into driveways closed, preferably self-locking and self closing. This restricts children’s access to areas that pose injury hazards such as swimming pools, garages and sheds.

Glass Safety: Furniture such as glass coffee tables and outdoor settings, sliding glass doors and low windows can all pose an injury hazard for children.

There are a few simple steps that you can take with glass to reduce the risk of injury to your children, including:
• Install safety glass- In the unlikely event that safety glass breaks, it forms small particles not large shards, reducing the likelihood of penetrating injury to children.
• Install safety film- Applying an organic-coated plastic safety and security film is an economic measure to reduce the likelihood of injury from broken glass.
• Place colourful stickers on glass doors and low lying windows (so that children to see that there is glass present, and will assist in preventing them from trying to walk through it). Using stickers of cartoon characters can make this a fun activity for your children as well.
• Avoid the use of glass around children’s play areas to ensure that if children trip or fall while playing, they won’t fall through glass furniture, windows or doors.

As you can see there are many simple solutions that you can take to reduce the hazards posed by doors and glass around the home. Remember to include door and glass safety on your checklist when buying or renting a new home and help reduce the risk of unintentional injuries to your child.