Safety at Home: Keeping Your Foster Child Safe
As any parent will tell you, keeping your child safe is a full-time job. All it takes is a turned back and a couple of seconds for your child to find himself in harm’s way. Accidents can happen anywhere, including in your home. Every year in the UK, over a quarter of a million children under the age of 5 have to go to hospital because of a fall, scald or swallowing something that may be harmful. It is important for foster parents to look closely at their homes and the potential safety issues that could arise.
The Front Door
As a foster parent, it’s important to teach your foster child about how to answer the door if there is a knock or if the doorbell rings. At your foster child’s previous home, they may have been instructed to open it without regard for who was there or what time of day it was. This sort of behaviour can possibly lead to dangerous situations, including home invasions or child abductions. Instructing your foster child early on about these seemingly small details can go a long way in ensuring their safety.
In the kitchen, it’s important to make sure all sharp knives, forks and scissors are in a place your foster child cannot reach or in a drawer that has a childproof latch. Your foster child may claim that they have handled knives or other sharp objects before at his parent’s home, but it’s important to set your own ground rules early on and make sure they understand.
It’s equally as important that all cleaning supplies, laundry detergent and dishwashing soap be kept out of reach of children. This especially holds true for the new laundry detergent and dishwashing pods that could look appetising to children’s eyes but are quite poisonous to their bodies.
Everyone likes to look out of a window and see what’s going on outside. Children are no different, and that can be a problem. That’s why it’s vital that any window that isn’t an emergency exit has a window guard on them.
Poison – Look to Make Sure Your Child Can’t Touch
Research has found that where families don’t store medicines safely (locked away or above eye level) children are more likely to have to go to hospital because of a poisoning. It’s important to put away medicines and household chemicals straight after using them.