Play is a vital part of children’s happiness and all-round development – so you certainly want to encourage it. You simply need to safeguard the areas in your home where innocent play might lead to more than just a minor bump.
Being mindful that anything can become a plaything
For young children, anywhere and everywhere can be a playground. You can’t always predict when – and with what – a child will want to play. So, you just have to try to look at the whole home through their eyes. This will help you to identify potential danger areas – so that you can take steps to reduce the risks.
Some of the most serious injuries to children at play come from the tip-over of unsecured furniture, from choking on small objects and from falls out of windows or down the stairs. Fortunately, your home can be a place where children at play is a joy, rather than a worry.
Did you know
With a higher centre of gravity compared to an adult, a child can easily lose balance and fall over.
Reducing the risk of serious falls
Because children can lose balance so easily, it’s best not to give them the opportunity to climb up into dangerous positions. For example, a child could use furniture that’s next to a window sill to climb up – and potentially fall out of the window.
What to look out for so that playtime is a safer time
Imagine that you’re a child again, full of curiosity and adventure. Now, with that perspective, take a walk around your home to see where mishaps could happen.
A few tips to help prevent falls and tip-over injuries
Storage furniture and TVs can cause serious injury if they tip over – always secure them to the wall.
Store the heaviest items lower down for better stability of storage units.
A child may be tempted to climb furniture to reach a toy or other item – store them on lower shelves to reduce the risk.
Small children have relatively heavy heads so can easily lose balance – restrict access to windows and fit safety locks to prevent them falling out.
Children can fall over while running around – anti-slip underlays and corner bumpers can help to reduce the risk of getting hurt.
A few tips to avoid choking and other play injuries
Babies and children explore with their mouths – keep small items out of reach to avoid the risk of choking.
Toddlers love to play with older siblings’ toys – make it a habit to check such toys for small parts.
If swallowed, button batteries can cause chemical burns that may be fatal – so keep them safely stored away.
Some houseplants are toxic and plant pots may contain small stones or other choking hazards – best to keep them out of reach.
Window blind cords are potential strangulation hazards – secure them to the wall or instead choose blinds with hidden cords.
Playing near power cables risks strangulation or pulling over electrical appliances – keep them out of reach.
Products for happy playtimes
A small selection of IKEA products that may help you to create a home for children to play in.