When I was pregnant with Miss T, I was paranoid and baby proofing was top of my list. I was going to child proof everything. I researched, I read… Well, we were staying in a smaller place so there wasn’t really much to do but when baby came, I had done a bit of work to make sure that the apartment was baby safe.

Then baby got older and we moved to a bigger place and I kept saying I will, I will….

This past week, children got stuck in a car and died in South Africa. That rang a bell in my head, but I still didn’t think too much about checking my own home to see if it was child proof. Until this morning….

We were getting ready to go to church with Miss T. So I got porridge ready, put it on low and went to get her clothes and water ready. She was up at this time (for some reason she was up early this Sabbath). I heard her play in the living room/ kitchen area and came running as soon as I called her. I went to check, did a quick scan and thought everything looked in place.

Halfway through bathing Miss T, I smelt something burning. I looked outside, no smoke. I continued bathing her but the smell was getting stronger. I looked out, there was nothing burning on the stove. So I went back to the bathroom but the smell was getting stronger and stronger. I actually went outside and when I realised that the smell was only in the house, I ran back to the stove and lo and behold, Miss T had turned on all the knobs that were off and I had a pot with dishcloths I was going to boil later that had burned and was now all back. I just took out the pot and put it outside. Not sure I can redeem my pot or if I want to, it now serves as a reminder of my recklessness as a parent.

What am I on about? Accidents will happen, children are children, they will try things out, even if you have told them not to. What should we do as parents…. make sure that we do not tempt them. Whatever things we can see that are a hazard to them, we need to put way out of their reach. Child proof your home. If in doubt, child proof it! That should be the rule.

When you have little ones around, make sure that you know where they are and what they are doing all the time. Miss T should have never been out of my sight. I should have paid more attention, I should have been there. I was busy with something else, but that is not an excuse. I was lucky that this time it was nothing serious, next time it can be something far worse.

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