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How to Create a Healthy and Safe Environment for Your Children

How to Create a Healthy and Safe Environment for Your Children

Bringing a child into your life is a wonderful and truly unique experience. However, there are a lot of changes that you should make in your home to make it completely safe for your child. We, as grownups, know how to navigate through all the parts of our homes without any problems, but there are many things that can pose a danger for your child, so it is important to take some necessary steps to make your home injury-proof.

Reduce the chance of falling

Falls are the most usual causes of the majority of child injuries, and this is why you should take various steps to make sure that you have lowered the chances of this happening.

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  • Stairs: One of the usual places where a child could fall and become seriously injured is the stairs. This is why installing safety guards on the stair entrance is a good way of preventing this from happening.
  • Balconies: The balcony is no place for an unsupervised child, so it is necessary to install a safety guard at the exit towards the balcony to prevent any falls.
  • Windows: Not many people realize that a child can easily fall through a window. Even though small children are usually unable to unlock and open a window, there are situations when this occurs. The best and most effective way of preventing this from happening is by installing window guards, especially installing them on the upper-storey windows.
  • Lights: Children regularly wake up during the night to go to the bathroom, so leaving lights on in the hallway is a great way to prevent tripping in the dark.
  • Floor type: There are specific types of floors which are healthier for children, and are also less slippery than traditional ones. This is a small investment that will keep your kids much safer and healthier.

Preventing burns and scalding from occurring

There are numerous things inside a household which can cause burns, such as the stove, hot water, hot beverages, ovens, microwaves, and heaters. The only way to prevent this from happening is to keep your child away from all these devices by locking the kitchen. When it comes to the hot water, it is necessary to set the water heater temperature right so that the water does not exceed 50 degrees Celsius.

Improve fire safety

There are many things that can cause a fire within a home and the best preventive measure that you should take is to implement smoke detectors inside your home. People usually install a single smoke detector on each floor of the home, which is a legal obligation in some countries. Even though it will result in a bit of a higher financial investment, it is a much better option to have these devices in as many rooms inside your home as possible.

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On the other hand, make sure that you have a fire extinguisher that is easily accessible in emergency situations. Make sure that you regularly test your smoke detectors and that you change their batteries once per year.

Become risk-free when it comes to poisoning

Children under five are especially at risk of accidentally ingesting poison. This is the age when children love to explore everything that surrounds them. There are numerous chemicals throughout the home that should be completely removed from the reach of children. Here are some of the solutions to this problem.

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  • Keep all poisonous liquids, such as cleaning chemicals, away from any space that is accessible to children.
  • Store all of these liquids in high cupboards which are unreachable by children. Keep them locked just in case — this will ensure that the child cannot reach them in any way.
  • Install child-safety latches. These are great gadgets that can help you in the case that you do not have cupboards which are high and unreachable. They make all of the cupboard doors practically locked while adults can still open them with a stronger push or a pull. Additionally, these latches are very useful for drawers as well, as they will keep your children’s fingers safe.

Don’t forget about water safety

African American boy washing hands

    This is something that depends completely on you. If your home has a pool, never leave your child unattended as they can easily fall in. You can always install a fence around the pool, followed by a self-locking gate. On the other hand, the same goes when it comes to the bath. No matter how shallow the water in the bath is, never leave a child unattended, nor should you leave him or her with an older sibling. Always be present, as these accidents can seriously endanger your child, and some can even be fatal.

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    Help your child steer away from electricity

    During the growing-up period, children are very explorative — this is why it is your responsibility to keep electricity, in any form, inaccessible to your child. We all know how dangerous and lethal electricity is, so make sure that you take these steps to ensure that your child remains safe from an electrical shock.

    • Safety switches: If you do not have a safety switches in your home’s electricity system, immediately call a professional electrician and have them installed. This device will turn off the electricity in your home if any kind of irregular activity in the electric system occurs. Additionally, these switches also help with fire prevention, making your home a much safer environment overall.
    • Cords: Keep every single electricity cord in new condition, as they isolate the electricity. If you need to replace them, invite an electrician — this will keep you safe and your whole family safe afterwards.
    • Sockets: The majority of electrocution injuries occur when a child inserts something that conducts electricity into a socket. To prevent this from happening, make sure that you use electrical socket covers which make it literally impossible for a child to insert anything in them. Make sure that you use the covers for all the sockets in your home, even for those which are found in rooms where your child does not usually spend time.

    Keeping your home safe for your child is a task that requires a single time and financial investment, but it serves to protect your child during his or her most vulnerable formative years. Keep in mind that the majority of these problems occur when children are unattended, so make sure that you keep your children in your line of sight at all times. It takes only a matter of seconds for bad things to happen, and no matter how safe your home is, accidents can still occur.

    Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/u/binyaminmellish/ via pexels.com

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    Vladimir Zivanovic

    CMO at MyCity-Web

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    Last Updated on August 20, 2019

    How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

    How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

    Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

    Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

    I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

    You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

    Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

    When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

    I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

    Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

    Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

    Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

    1. The Inner Critic

    This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

    • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
    • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
    • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
    • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

    The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

    Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

    2. The Worrier

    This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

    The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

    3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

    This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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    This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

    The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

    4. The Sleep Depriver

    This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

    The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

    • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
    • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
    • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
    • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

    How can you control these squatters?

    How to Master Your Mind

    You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

    Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

    There are two ways to control your thoughts:

    • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
    • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

    This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

    The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

    Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

    For the Inner Critic

    When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

    You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

    For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

    You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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    “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

    If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

    • They rile up the Worrier.
    • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
    • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
    • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
    • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

    Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

    Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

    For the Worrier

    Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

    Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

    You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

    • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
    • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
    • Muscles tense

    Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

    If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

    Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

    “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

    Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

    If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

    Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

    Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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    For example:

    If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

    “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

    Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

    “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

    Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

    For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

    Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

    The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

    • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
    • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
    • Muscles tension

    I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

    Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

    Breathe in through your nose:

    • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
    • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
    • Focus on your belly rising.

    Breathe out through your nose:

    • Feel your lungs emptying.
    • Focus on your belly falling.
    • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

    Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

    Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

    One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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    Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

    For the Sleep Depriver

    (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

    I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

    Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

    1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
    2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

    When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

    From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

    For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

    If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

    You can also use this technique any time you want to:

    • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
    • Shut down your thinking.
    • Calm your feelings.
    • Simply focus on the present moment. 

    The Bottom Line

    Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

    You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

    Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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