Hesperian Health Guides

Chapter 9: Safety

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HealthWiki > Helping Children Who Are Blind > Chapter 9: Safety

In this chapter:

When children first begin to crawl and walk, we often pay a lot of attention to their safety. As a child learns to move around, he also learns to avoid things that might harm him. Children who can see can avoid many dangers. But you need to be extra careful if a child cannot see well.

There are many things you can do to make your home safer and to teach your child about hazards. And by working together with people in your community, you can make your village or neighborhood safer for your child and others — often these changes will benefit many people.

To help your child move about the house safely

a child walking past a table that has cushions on the corners.

Cover sharp corners on furniture, cupboards, and objects. Remember, not all dangerous corners and edges are at floor level.

a child who has tripped over a chair and fallen.

Try to keep furniture and objects in the same place, both inside and outside your home. Tell your child if you move something.

To help your child identify dangers

Warn your child about hazards such as fires, hot pans, and wet floors. Place a marker, like a mat, to help him know how close he can come.

a woman cooking as she speaks to a child standing nearby.
Sonu, the fire is hot. Stop at the edge of the mat so you don’t get too close.
the woman speaking after she has finished cooking.
Now the fire is out and the ashes are cool, Sonu. You can walk by here now.

To help your child move safely when the ground is not flat

a man speaking to a child after repairing a floor.
Now it will be safer to walk here.

Make the floor as even as you can by fixing holes and bumps.

an older child helping a younger child go up stairs.

Put railings next to stairs inside and outside your home. Put a gate across the stairway until he can crawl or walk up and down safely.

These are a few examples. You will find your own safety problems and solutions in your home. For more information about helping your child move about safely, see Chapter 10 on “Movement.”

a woman speaking.
We were worried that we wouldn’t think of all the dangers our child might find. Then our older children suggested that they close their eyes and walk slowly around our house so they could find safety problems. Afterward we all talked about ways we could make our home safer.

To make the area outside your home more safe

Cover all open wells, ditches, and holes. Show your child where these are and explain what and why they are there.

a man speaking to a child while they both touch the cover on a well.
These boards will cover the well behind our house.
a girl speaking to a child touching a fence.
This fence keeps the chickens from getting out, Manuel. It’s between the house and the big tree.

Make fences safe to touch and high enough that a child will not trip over them. Show him where the fences are and explain what they are for.

Put a barrier between your house and a busy street until your child learns to stay away from traffic. A sign can also remind people to drive slowly.

a motorcycle rider passing a sign on a house that says, "Careful: Blind Child."

If you know other parents with blind children you can work on safety together. Try meeting with your neighbors to discuss how the community can be made safer for all children. (See information about parents groups.)

a group of men and women discussing a list of safety projects; one project is to make steps down a hill.
Safety Projects
make steps down the
hill to the football
plan a Neighborhood
Safety Day.
clean up behind
the market
fix the holes in
the bridge
Let’s pick a project we can finish quickly.
How about the steps? We know just where to put them.
Yes, and everyone will want to help with that too.