Holiday is a period where children are vulnerable to all manners of risks to their security, health and safety at home. It’s a period where children engage in uncontrolled games and unsafe behaviours mostly at home and get injured or experience health related illness due to domestic hazards. This is so because they are less engaged in studies and other activities that could have be putted them under strict control.
Due to the busy nature of some parents and guardians, the holiday period seems to be very challenging for families and children are allowed to roam about with less cares and attention which many times expose them to dangers at home and in many occasions have cost the lives of children.
Incidences of domestic accidents involving children such as children getting burnt by fire; falling from upper structures in the house; getting shocked by electricity; slip, trip and fall on or above the ground; abuse of alcohol and drug; severe cut with sharp objects etc. are mostly reported during holidays. The holiday period is also a period where there are occurrences of high level of domestic damage accidents involving children, security and social abuse of children. These incidences are compounded due to the carefree nature of children and lack of knowledge about basic domestic security, health and safety hazards as such they may take actions which they may not know what would be the likely outcome.
Parents and guardians are better placed and its reasonable of them to protect children at home at all times since children lack the ability to make sound security, health and safety choices and judgment on the course of their actions. Children need to be guided and adequate attentions must be given to them at all times.
Few measures are outlined below for the protection of children during holidays by parents. The domestic security, health and safety control measures should be implemented by parents, guardians or responsible persons to ensure the security, health and safety of their children at all times.
- Provide access protections and perimeter fence around your building including supporting monitoring equipment like CCTV Cameras to checkmate security and safety of your home.
- If possible, provide a designated accommodation and room for games for your children. Ensure that they are free of any dangerous material at all times
- Keep drug, alcohol, dangerous substances and dangerous equipment out of reach of children
- Undertake regular inspections on your accommodation and ensure that all domestic health and safety hazards such as kitchen equipment, electrical installations and appliances, electronic appliances, fire materials, sharp objects etc. are well controlled and out of children’s reach and exposure
- Prevent children from accessing any height structure within or outside the building at all times. If this is required for game or any other justifiable reasons, ensure that there are adequate edge protections to prevent children from falling from height
- Design and implement home safety management plan that covers the activities of children at home on every single day. This can be supported by schedule for activities that are realizable
- Maintain good housekeeping and ensure that slip, trip and fall agents are adequately controlled at all time within the building
- Avoid engaging children in domestic activities that they are not competent to perform
- Monitor to know the location of every child and what he or she is doing at every given time within the building
- Provide adequate health and safety instructions including home safety rules for children at home always
- Engage children in domestic educational and vocational activities during holidays
- Where premises are shared, provide adequate protection on the access and restrict children from unguided outdoor games within the premises
- Keep your children away from your guest and neighbours always if practicable and ensure strict monitoring of your children on occasions which they have to interact with your guests or neighbours.
- Engage a competent care giver to look after the children in your absence
- Provide at least one functioning emergency communication equipment and train children on how to use them in any case of emergency
- Swiftly respond to all emergency calls from your children at home and take due actions
- Provide first aid equipment at home and at least one member of the family should obtain necessary competency on how to use them
Children are blessings from God as such they deserve our protections. No measure is too big or expensive compared to the health, safety and security of your children. Do all what you can for their health, security and safety in the course of discharging your parental duties. We fail in our parental responsibilities when our children get hurt at home or anywhere else. Children are the future and their health, safety and security is essential for a better tomorrow that we all hope for. Let’s protect our children.