Posting on Facebook under the name “Mel Tee”, as it is common for doctors to maintain their privacy online, the Australian hospital paediatrician said her list is “a reminder for those with children who are mobile and inquisitive: it’s so easy for an accident to happen fast, particular at this time of year where many of us are out of our usual environments.
Working in a hospital emergency room, she continued: “These are the things I talk through with parents after admitting kids with injuries, and yes, I’ve seen all of these happen.
“Some are for older children, so might not yet apply, but will creep up sooner than you think.”
The checklist, which has been widely shared on social media, provides advice on 12 essential safety areas, and whilst we strongly suggest reading the post in full as the doctor intended, here are the main areas covered:
Poisons: “Medicines in handbags, including grandparents and visitors.”
Button batteries: “Deserve their own category as these can kill silently. These are often in things like novelty toys or electric candles.”
Small calls: “High bouncers can easily obstruct an airway.”
Plants: “May be poisonous (e.g. oleander, angel’s trumpet.)”
Heat: “Water, tea cups or pots, the kettle… Campfires need to have clear edges, ideally within a barrier, and be fully put out with heat dissipated. I regularly see kids who have walked into coals.”
Cars: “Always triple check there is not a small child behind you when reversing, and enlist help in this. Get in the habit of leaving your bag in the back and looking in the car seat to make sure your child is not left in a hot car… Make sure your kids are in proper car seats for their size – I’m all for extended rear facing.”