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Danger zone: Making your home safe for children


A little over a week ago, Ruth Wangari left her four children in bed while she walked to a market near Kiserian town to buy vegetables.

A little while later, a neighbour called her with the tragic news that the children had died in a fire that had engulfed her home.

Apparently, Wangari had left some water boiling on a kerosene stove, which is suspected to have burst into flames that engulfed the house, burning the children to death.

“I feel as if life has become worthless. I have lost everything,” she told The Standard shortly after the tragedy.

Wangari is not the only parent to suffer such a loss caused by accidents that occur in the home. This fate appears to befall families, especially those in informal settlements, at a rate that should cause concern to any child caregiver.

Ideally, the home is supposed to be a safe haven for children, but it can also be a most dangerous place. Studies show that many accidents involving children occur around the home.

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Most of the hazardous materials and implements that cause harm to children are usually found in the home. These include various types of fuels, electrical appliances, detergents, as well as sharp knives. Some could be within the reach of children.

We look at some of the hazards around the home and how you can keep your children safe during the holidays, when they are bound to spend much of their time indoors.

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