Scottish Housebuilder Advises on New Homes Safety for Kids

Posted 5 September 2019 by Helen Christie

Barratt West Scotland provides ‘In-Home Safety’ guides at each of its developments to help promote well-being and safety within a new home...

Creating a safe and nurturing environment for children is challenging in the home. There are many hidden pitfalls that mean children can easily become injured or unwell within the safety of their own home.

WhatHouse? Award-winning housebuilder, Barratt Homes continues to work with home safety partner, Good Egg Safety, to promote wellbeing and safety within the home. The housebuilder provides ‘In-Home Safety’ guides at each of its developments and includes these in its move-in packs where residents are known to have children. These tips are ideal for parents to be mindful of during the summer holiday period but will help parents create a safe-haven all year long. 

Living room

The living room tends to couple up as a play room for many families and so the threat of injury increases. There are a couple of ways that parents can keep the living room a safe space without any expense; remove loose or curled up rugs because these can act as a trip hazard for any children or those who are unsteady on their feet. Move any furniture away from lounge windows and keep the windows closed while children are in the room. This alleviates the change of children climbing on furniture and falling. Blind cords can easily become twisted around children’s necks so all cords should be tied up, out of reach, or secured using a cleat. For a minimal expense, there are a couple of easy, additional tips that can be implemented throughout the home; for any little ones who are finding their balance, it is wise to add corner cushion pads on to furniture such as coffee tables or TV stands. Additionally, any unstable or top-heavy furniture should be fastened to walls to avoid them tipping over onto children.

Kitchen

The kitchen is where most parents think their child is most likely to come to harm. There are a few easy hacks that will considerably reduce that likelihood. When using the hob, always use the back rings to keep hot pots and pans out of reach of small hands. If you need to use the front rings, make sure the handles are facing backwards so that they cannot be reached by a child passing by the cooker. Keep hot food and drinks away from the edges of tables and worktops, especially hot cups of tea and coffee – they can still scald a child’s skin 20 minutes after being made.

Bathroom

When bathing a child, make sure that they are sat on a non-slip bath or shower mat to reduce the risk of them sliding under water. Just 3 – 5cm of water can drown a child, within a matter of seconds. Empty the bath immediately after it has been used to avoid any curious children getting back in, or falling in and risking drowning. Hot water can be particularly dangerous for children so, when running a bath, add the cold water first and top up with the hot water. Even better, install a thermostatically controlled mixing valve which will monitor the temperature for you.

Baby’s room

As tempting as it may be string a line of toys across your baby’s cot or pram they can easily become loose and wrap around your baby’s neck or interfere with their breathing if they land on the child’s face. Additionally, it’s best to avoid giving your child toys with long hair or lots of fur, these can very quickly become a choking hazard. Finally, it’s advised that all toys are removed from the baby’s cot when it can sit up or get onto all fours. Pets are inquisitive when a new baby comes into the home and while it is great to nurture a relationship between your pet and your baby, pets are notoriously jealous of new arrivals so keeping them out of your baby’s room at all times is advisable.

Master bedroom

A parent’s bedroom might not seem an obvious risk for children but tired parents can be hazardous themselves. Never fall asleep with a young child in your bed, there is the risk that you could roll over and crush, or suffocate, the child.

Estelle Sykes, sales director, Barratt West Scotland says: “It is our aim to build safe communities across Scotland. We do our best to educate local communities as to the risks associated with building sites through our in-school sessions, we make sure health and safety is always our top priority on-site and we like to see that commitment through to when our residents move into their new home.

“We continue to provide parents with the Good Egg In-Home Safety Guide when they move in to their new homes and we will aim to provide guidance wherever possible to people who live at our developments. These tips only scratch the surface of those available within the guide but hopefully they help parents across the country to take small steps in ensuring their child’s safety within the home.”

Jan James, CEO for Good Egg Safety CIC adds: “We are delighted to be working with Barratt West Scotland once again and it is really heartening to see the level of care they place on keeping precious little occupants in Barratt Homes safe from harm. It’s often the small things that can cause really serious injuries - and being aware of what they are goes a long way towards preventing them.”

Barratt Homes is building across the West of Scotland; Riverside @ Cathcart located on the south side of Glasgow City, Braes of Yetts in Kirkintilloch, Lairds Brae in Kilmarnock, Brackenhill View in Hamilton, Weirs Wynd in Brookfield, Waterside at Ferry Village in Renfrew, and Merlin Gardens in East Kilbride.

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