- To provide a physically safe environment at home and in the community.
- To promote safe, secure attachments.
- To prevent child abuse and neglect.
As baby develops new skills, the ‘baby-safe zone’ has to be adjusted accordingly. But our homes also need to meet the needs of everyone who lives there. We have places in our homes where we do cooking, laundry, relax, sleep, study, wash or go to the toilet.
Different living situations
We may have a lot of space or very little; we may have a lot of people living there or only a few. There may be people of different ages living there, and we might live with whānau members, friends, flatmates or boarders.
Helping others stay aware
Not everyone is going to be as focused on keeping your baby safe as you are, and they might not be as aware of how your baby is developing and growing.
They might not be thinking about how having a mobile baby in the home means that ‘things have to change’. For example, they may need to change where they can safely leave their belongings or their hot drink, and whether they leave doors open or closed.
There is so much to think about. Even though you won’t have to do everything straight away, you will need to do more as your baby gets mobile and starts to access more places in the home.
Discuss the following as a group.
When you think about your home:
- What immediately springs to mind that you will need to change?
- How accessible is the kitchen, the glassware and crockery, knives and cleaning detergents?
- How hot is the water?
- Where are the accessible power cords and plugs?
- Where do people smoke?
- What happens when strangers are visiting?
- What about when people are drinking alcohol — how do you keep your baby safe?
Invite the participants to get down to floor level and look around the space. Ask them what they can see that might be a problem.
Now let’s look a bit higher — to where our baby can reach when they can kneel, stand and climb. Ask the participants:
- What is baby doing now, especially with their motor development?
- What has changed recently with baby?
- What new dangers can you see as the ‘baby-safe zone’ goes higher?
There are many sections in this Group Programme related to safety for different age groups. A ‘topic’ search will show how many and which stage of development they specifically relate to.
The Well Child/Tamariki Ora My health book and Plunket’s Thriving under five also have child safety sections. Spend some time looking through each. At the preceding workshop you might even ask the group to bring their own copies with them.
With the group, look at the safety around the home page
Ask the participants to think about their own homes, and together work your way through each room on the list. There is also an ‘Emergency’ section that’s worth looking over too - https://www.plunket.org.nz/your-child/emergency/
My health book (p. 214) also has a helpful section called ‘Emergencies — urgent action needed’ covering CPR, choking, burns and poisoning first aid and prevention information. You may like to look through this with the group also.
- What else might you want to know about first aid?
- Where could you get this first aid information?
Look at the SKIP poster ‘Children need 6 things to grow into happy, capable adults’.
- Is there anything here that could help us and other adults to keep our babies safe?
Look at Aroha in action.
- What messages are in there about keeping baby safe around alcohol?
- What does this mean for you, your baby and your whānau?
- Well Child/Tamariki Ora My health book
- Plunket Thriving under five
- SKIP Whakatipu booklets: ‘Ngā tohu whānau’ sections
- Aroha in action
- SKIP poster: ‘Children need 6 things to grow into happy, capable adults’
- Safe Kids website: www.safekids.org.nz