Parents play crucial role in preventing children from falling from buildings by modelling safety behaviour

While stringent building regulations addressed structural safety, the responsibility fell on parents to supervise and educate their young children on the dangers of balconies and windows.

KOUSALYA SELVAM
KOUSALYA SELVAM
20 May 2024 11:26am
Photo for illustration purposes only.
Photo for illustration purposes only.
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SHAH ALAM - In Malaysia, the safety of children in high-rise condominiums or apartments hinges on meticulous attention to both architectural standards and parental vigilance.

While stringent building regulations addressed structural safety, Co-founder of Power of Play Madeleine Yong said the responsibility fell on parents to supervise and educate their young children on the dangers of balconies and windows.

Yong said in understanding the dynamic interplay between child curiosity and environmental hazards, parents should lead by example, maintain constant vigilance and create secure play zones within their homes.

She said children learn by observing the behavior of those around them, particularly their parents.

Therefore, she said parents needed to model safe behaviour consistently.

"This includes always locking the window and balcony, being cautious around these areas and demonstrating responsible behaviour when interacting with potential hazards.

"By seeing their parents prioritise safety, children are more likely to emulate these behaviours themselves," she added.

By understanding the various facets of child development, Yong said parents could better anticipate and address the risks associated with balconies and heights.

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"This empowers parents to implement appropriate safety measures, provide adequate supervision and effectively communicate with their children about the importance of staying safe around balconies, ultimately reducing the likelihood of falls and accidents," she told Sinar Daily.

She said while it was important to ensure that buildings adhered to rigorous child safety design policies for high-rise residential structures and meeting stringent safety standards, families should also understand that young children, particularly preschoolers, were driven by curiosity and often explore their surroundings energetically.

Therefore, she said in ensuring safety at home, keeping a watchful eye on little children was crucial, especially in areas where falls can occur, such as near windows and balconies.

"Direct supervision of children in proximity to any potential height-related hazards was important to protect them against serious falls," she told Sinar Daily.

Yong suggested that parents create a designated safe play area in their home where children can play freely without worry.

She said creating a safe home environment required ongoing awareness and proactive measures to address potential hazards.

"Parents should regularly inspect windows, balcony railings and other safety features to ensure they are secure and functioning properly.

"They should also be mindful of any changes in the home environment that could pose new risks to their children's safety and take prompt action to mitigate these risks," she said.