Avoid a visit to casualty – sweep the room!

February 12, 2008

Naturally I am not insinuating that your house needs cleaning, but it’s a visual sweep I am talking about. If you have small children, or visiting grandchildren, there is a potential hazard that often goes unmissed. Babies and toddlers love to put things in their mouths so I thought it might be useful to list the apparently most frequent things that Casualty departments are called on to remove so you can avoid a visit to them.

Naturally you keep the floor and coffee clear of small items that can be swallowed or pushed into a nose or ear – the favourite places – but things fall on the floor or they are so natural to see in that place that you actually don’t notice them and these three fall into that category:

1. Pieces of lego, beads, caps for pens, and coins. If you have older children, Lego pieces are probably the most common things left around or they fall out of pockets behind cushions. Coins creep between magazine covers and down the sides of chairs. Never underestimate the tenacity of a toddler to root out something unsuitable so include these items when doing a scan of the room.

2. Batteries. Everything nowadays seems to require them and in the process of changing them or opening the device to check them they can go missing. These are potentially fatal to children so always dispose of used batteries immediately and safely.

3. Leaves that have fallen from indoor or outdoor houseplants can be too big for small throats and cause choking or an allergic reaction. As my cats will try and eat every fallen houseplant leaf I have got this one cracked, as they are usually violently sick afterwards I make sure I remove them as soon as I see them.


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