Living in high-rise apartments here in Singapore can be dangerous, especially if you have young children. A parent’s worst nightmare would be to find that their child had fallen out of their apartment…and this happened not too long ago in Yishun. That’s why we all need to know some child safety tips.
In November 2013, it was reported that a 6-year-old girl fell 6 stories from her Yishun apartment. She had fallen on to a grass patch close to block 459 on Yishun avenue 11. Luckily for her, she survived.
This happened two days after a 7-year-old boy fell to his death from his Aljunied crescent home.
The block where the girl had fallen from. Photo credit Hedy khoo
The girl had been home alone and her parents learnt about what had happened only after they returned home with their shopping.
Neighbours reported that when they found the girl she had been conscious but in pain. She had been taken to KK women and children’s hospital in an ambulance, where she was reported to be recovering.
What happened to this little girl is an eye opener for us parents. We pay a lot of attention to the safety of babies around the house by baby proofing everything we can. Safety gates at staircases, safety guards at stoves, safety locks on cupboards and the like.
We worry about safety of our babies, but tend to think older kids can determine what’s dangerous to them
But we tend to relax on these safety measures as kids get older. Both the kids who fell from their homes were above the age of 5 – the age we tend to think that they could determine what would be dangerous.
This story was an eye-opener for me. My little girl is 5 and I too sometimes take it for granted that she’s at an age where she can recognize what could be a hazard to her.
But now I realise that I need to continue watching out for her safety at home.
Here are 5 child safety points we may overlook when our kids are bigger:
1. Do not leave your child unattended at home. Even kids aged 6 – 10 are not old enough to look after themselves alone. Always have a trustworthy adult watch your kids when you have to step out. Even 5 minutes is enough for a child to get themselves into trouble.
Don’t leave your kid home alone! Boredom can lead them to do dangerous things
2. Check your balcony door locks if you live in a high-rise apartment. As kids grow, they learn how to get around general household locks. Make sure you install a lock that they can’t open themselves.
3. Don’t let kids lock themselves in rooms. My little girl too, tries to close the door when she’s playing in her room. But as you can imagine, we have forbidden it. Locking herself in and not being able to let herself out is one thing. But the possibility of having an accident in her room (be it something as simple as falling down and knocking her head when dancing) while the door is locked is way too dangerous. This is one of the crucial child safety tips to remember.
4. Don’t leave stools on the balcony. Since many of us live in high-rise apartments, kids might get curious to see the view from the balcony. Do not leave anything that will allow them to climb on for a better view.
Be mindful about what you place on your balcony
5. Install grills on windows and if possible on the balcony. This is an essential child safety tip, especially if you live in a high-rise apartment.
Also read: Home safety reminder: Child stuck in washing machine
(Lead and feature image courtesy: Hedy Khoo)