Accidents in the home are the leading cause of injury and death in young children. The Triple P – Positive Parenting Program can help parents recognize and remove some of the dangers in the home so accidents can be avoided.

Home Safety

Young children need constant supervision, but that does not mean parents must hover over them and track their every move. Instead, parents can ensure their children are safe at home by taking a few precautions before letting their children play around the house.

√ Place household cleaners, chemicals, matches or lighters and breakable items on high shelves or in lockable cabinets.

√ Cover all exposed power outlets with plastic safety caps

√ Keep all appliance cords out of reach so children do not pull appliances down on top of them.

√ Keep all plastic bags out of reach to avoid suffocation.

√ Any object less than 11⁄2 inches wide such as buttons, coins, needles or pieces of toys should be kept secure to prevent a child from choking on them.

√ Never leave you child unattended in the bathroom – children can drown in just 2 inches of water.

Safety Outside the Home

Parents should take steps to make sure the environment outside the home is as safe as possible.

√ If children are playing near a pool, they should always be supervised and taught basic safety precautions like not running near the pool.

√ Outdoor play equipment should always be checked regularly to make sure it is in good condition, and soft surfaces like woodchip bark should be used underneath to cushion falls.

√ Always supervise your children around family pets, like dogs. Teach children to approach dogs carefully, and not to approach strange dogs at all. Teach children how to be gentle with all pets to avoid any injuries.

√ During the summer, it’s easy for children to get sunburned. Always make sure your child is wearing SPF +15 water-resistant sunscreen and long sleeved shirts and hats when they are going to be in the sun for an extended period.

√ Parents should always have a list of emergency numbers on hand in case accidents happen.

Ensuring a safe environment for your children can also decrease misbehavior, according to Dr. Matthew Sanders, founder of Triple P.

“If they’re being supervised and watched then they’re doing this in a safe world where the parent doesn’t have to keep saying things like, ‘don’t do that,’ ‘don’t touch that,’ ‘come away from there,’ or ‘leave that alone,’ which means there are fewer instructions, giving children less opportunity to disobey, which means there is less misbehavior.”

Dr. Matthew Sanders is a clinical psychologist at the University of Queensland in Australia and founder of the Triple P - Positive Parenting Program.