When it comes to home safety, we may be well aware of dangerous objects like knives or other sharp objects. However, we must exercise even more caution if there are young children at home. As children are very curious, they could be interested in almost everything they can find in the house.

We must be more aware of the dangers posed by common household items and consumer products. Certain things (e.g. medication, cleaning products, alcohol and pesticides) can be dangerous if mishandled and we must exercise caution in keeping such items out of a child’s reach to ensure his/her safety.

Here are some tips to help you create a safe environment for your child:


  • Keep all medications out of reach from your children (e.g. high shelf in a cabinet or a locked medication box) to prevent them from accidentally consuming the medications.
  • Educate your children about medications. Do not coax them into taking pills and medicine by telling them that they are sweets. They may eat other medicine they find lying around, mistaking them for sweets.
  • When giving medicine to sick children always double-check the concentration and calculate the dosages beforehand to avoid giving the wrong dosage or medicine.
  • Keep all medicine in childproof bottles or in their original containers which are clearly labelled.
  • Follow the instructions on the labels. Dosages are based on your child's age and weight. If there is a dispenser that comes with the medicine, be sure to use it.
  • Dispose of all expired medicine.
  • Do not doctor-hop when your child is ill. Different doctors may be giving the same medicine, which can lead to unintentional poisoning. For example, paracetamol poisoning may occur if the caregiver gives the same medicine from more than one doctor to the child.
  • Do not leave beer cans or wine bottles around, especially after a party. Young children can consume these and get alcohol poisoning.
  • Do note that vitamins and minerals, when taken in excess, can be dangerous to young children.
  • Some medications have a minimum age requirement. Be sure to check that your child meets the requirement before administering it. Medications should be obtained from a healthcare professional.

Household Chemicals

  • Keep all household chemicals such as cleaners, detergents, aerosol cans and other poisonous substances out of your child's reach.
  • Keep cleaning products in their original containers to prevent children from mistaking them as anything edible. 
  • Label poisonous substances with a prominent label with a warning sign. Teach your child to recognise these labels and the contents of containers bearing these labels as poisonous. Emphasize that the contents are not edible.
  • When using cleaning products or household chemicals, be careful not to let your child touch the bottles and consume the poisonous substances inside.
  • Do not leave rat poison, cockroach powders and other pest baits lying around the house. Choose alternative methods of pest control such as spraying. If you must use pest baits, place them in a location where your child cannot reach.
  • Keep your child away from areas where you have just sprayed insecticide. Allow him or her to come back only after the insecticide has been cleared up. Always follow the user instructions that come along with the insecticide to avoid any risk of poisoning.

Other Potential Home Hazards

  • Cosmetics, hair dyes, hairsprays, shoe polishes, nail polishes, nail polish removers, perfumes, toiletries, gardening products and car-cleaning agents are also chemical hazards and potential poisons. Always store them in a safe and secure place, out of your child's reach.
  • Button-cell batteries are poisonous and can pose as a safety hazard because of the alkaline content, because your child can easily swallow or choke on them. Keep them away safely.
  • Do not grow plants with poisonous leaves or flowers at home. Teach your child never to put leaves, stems, bark, flowers, seeds, nuts or berries from any plant into his or her mouth to prevent poisoning incidents.
  • When you bring your child to visit family and friends, always supervise your child to make sure he or she has no access to potential household chemicals and home hazards.

Important Tips to Keep the Family Safe

  • Keep a first aid kit in your home for use during emergencies.
  • Have a list of emergency numbers next to your phone for easy access.

Keep a first aid kit to treat any injuries caused by home hazards and dangerous chemicals at home. 

If your child is suspected to have ingested any medications/chemicals, do seek medical attention immediately. Please do not feed the child anything as it may worsen the symptoms. Do also remember to take note of the time of ingestion and the substance that has been ingested, as you will have to tell the information to the medical professional that is attending to your child.

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