Most accidents that happen to children occur in the kitchen so be particularly vigilant there.

Always turn the handles of pots inwards so that your child cannot reach them.

Fires give off poisonous gases. Never leave a fire burning without opening a window slightly unless there is a chimney above the fire.

Never place a gas cylinder on a stove or in a hot place as it could explode.

Cover cooking fires with water not sand, as soon as you take the food off- a child could easily pick up an apparently cold piece of coal and burn herself, or walk on still hot coals if they are covered with sand.

Teach your child that the whole of the stove area is likely to be hot. You can convey the meaning of hot by letting her feel something uncomfortably hot but obviously not hot enough to harm her.

Steam can cause extremely painful burns. Make sure the spout of the kettle points towards a wall or away from possible contact with a child and keep the cord short.

Primus stoves are easily knocked over. Always keep them well out of reach of children. Do not use an overly large pot on a primus as it could easily overbalance.

All open fires and heaters should have guards. The round plastic encased heaters are safest. Children are likely to poke sticks or pieces of metal into bar or fan heaters.

It is extremely dangerous to hang clothes in front of a heater to dry. Hanging clothes or nappies over an asbestos heater is also dangerous.

When buying clothes, especially nightclothes for your child, avoid highly flammable nylon and other pure synthetic fabrics. Pure cotton, wool or mixtures are better, and pyjamas are safer than nighties.

Matches have a fascination for many children. Keep out of their reach.

Never use flammable liquid to make braai fires burn more quickly. Many children are terribly burnt by the sudden flare, or by pouring flammable liquid on the fire.


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