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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 September 28, 2020

    The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

    The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

    At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

    Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

    One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

    When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

    So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

    Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

    This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

    Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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    When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

    Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

    One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

    Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

    An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

    When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

    Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

    Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

    We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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    By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

    Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

    While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

    I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

    You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

    Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

    When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

    Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

    Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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    Con #2: Less Human Interaction

    One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

    Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

    Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

    This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

    While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

    Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

    Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

    This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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    For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

    Con #4: Unique Distractions

    Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

    For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

    To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

    Final Thoughts

    Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

    We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

    More About Working From Home

    Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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