Creating a Safety Culture at Home

Some say you can’t put a price on your child’s safety, but I’m here to say that you can.

It can be very expensive to childproof your home, and while you need some of it, you really don’t need it all. What you need even more is an attitude that keeps your child’s safety in mind at all times. That means you don’t need to race out to the store and buy every child safety product in sight.

In other words, babyproofing your home is important, but what’s even more paramount is putting safety first and having a mindset where safety is number one. A safety culture. Here’s how you can do that.

safety culture
Image via Pixabay

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Be aware of your surroundings

Every home is different with unique hazards and unexpected dangers that can arise at any time. However, most of that can be overcome by a solid walkthrough of your home. We all know that babies and toddlers love to put things in their mouths and hold any item they can get their tiny hands on.

So, make certain that small objects are put away not only so they don’t end up in their mouths, but so they don’t trip and bump their heads. Medicines and vitamins should be stored high enough out of a child’s reach, and so should cleaning products, as well. Plug covers are inexpensive and a must for every outlet in the home. All furniture should be attached to the walls. 

You’ll be surprised what you can find that’s a danger to your little one if you look at it through his/her eyes.

Be prepared for the inevitable

No matter how safe we are, and no matter how many steps we take to protect our children, accidents are bound to happen – that’s why we all keep Band-Aids on hand. But there are other things you can do to get ready for what might come.

For starters, have a first-aid kit not only in your home but in each vehicle. You’ll dive into that much more than you realize.

You’ll also want to have a plan ready with your spouse and children in the event of a disaster, whether natural or man-made, while also preparing for the possibility that communication may be disrupted.

You could also take a class in first-aid and CPR. There are different steps when administering each to tiny children as opposed to adults. It’s good to know the difference.

And of course, have the direct numbers to all emergency medical services. In most places, “911” will cover everything, but it’s still crucial to have them all ready just in case: Poison control center, hospital emergency room, fire, police, doctor, and all contact numbers for both parents. Don’t forget to write this down and have it handy in your home, because you never know when your phone will not work, operate slowly, or you can’t find it. A handwritten list is always best for surefire backup.

Make sure you have team players

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You and your spouse need to be on the same page with all of this, because like at any workplace, the culture starts at the top. You’ll also need to educate any grandparents, relatives, neighbors, babysitters, and friends who have a hand in tending to your child.

You can’t have a strong home safety program if everyone isn’t fully on board with your effort. So, help them understand all the safety steps in your home, and ensure that they monitor it. You might be surprised at how careless other people will be about forgetting the plug cover after they’ve charged their phone at your home. You can’t fault them if they’re not used to having little ones around, but it’s a scary thought if a tiny paper clip gets jammed into that outlet.

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Set a good example

Now that you and your spouse are united in your safety mission, and all of those people who will be caring for your child have been educated on your vision, you have to remember one extra set of eyes that will be watching you all the time: your child. Even if he’s little, he won’t be forever, and it’s important to be a solid example starting from birth.

It could mean that you’re not going to text and drive. Perhaps you’ll put away scissors and knives after using them. You might put on safety glasses when mowing or trimming branches.

Whatever the activity might be, show those wide eyes around you that safety is all about leadership, because you’re their biggest, most important leader of them all.

What do you think?

Creating a Safety Culture at Home

Tom Konecny is a dad of four children and husband to wife, Erika. Tom currently serves as a private consultant in writing, communications and marketing. In 2013, Tom founded Dad Marketing, a site dedicated to exploring the world of marketing to dads. He previously worked in sports marketing, served as an associate editor and writer for several publications, and directed an award-winning corporate marketing department. His first book, "DADLY Dollar$" will be published this summer, and he is c ... More

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