Paramedic mum reveals the FIVE rules she has at home to keep her children safe – and why you should never let your kids eat in the car
- A mum and former paramedic has shared her top five safety rules for her kids
- Nikki Jurcutz founder of Tiny Hearts Education shared her rules in an online clip
- Her first rule is not letting kids eat whole nuts until they are at least five years old
- Secondly she said to keep children in rear facing car seats for as long as possible
- Nikki never lets her kids eat in the car unless an adult is in the back to supervise
- Finally, the Queensland mum has banned button batteries from her home
An Australian mum and paramedic has revealed her top five rules she enforces at home to keep her children safe from potentially life-threatening accidents.
Tiny Hearts Education founder Nikki Jurcutz’s strict rules she has in place to ensure her kid’s safety include no whole nuts, no eating in the car and no button batteries in the house.
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Tiny Hearts Education founder Nikki Jurcutz (pictured) shared her top five rules she has in place to ensure her kid’s safety including no whole nuts and no eating in the car
Tiny Heart Education founder Nikki Jurcutz’s top five rules to keep kids safe
1. No whole nuts
2. Keeping children in rear-facing car seats for as long as possible
3. No eating in the car
4. Always have contact supervision for chidren when they are around any form of water
5. No access to button batteries
Her first rule is her children are not allowed to eat whole nuts until they are at least five years of age due to choking hazards.
In a Tiny Hearts blog post, Nikki said children can choke on just half a nut so recommends grinding them down or using a thin slice of nut paste like peanut butter instead.
Nikki’s second rule is keeping children in a rearward-facing car seat for as long as possible as it’s ‘the safest way in an accident’.
Currently in Australia, the legal requirement is for babies under six months must be in a rear-facing car seat, and children above that age are permitted to be in a front facing car seat with the appropriate restraints and harnesses.
However, Nikki recommends keeping kids in rear-facing car seats for well beyond six months as it lowers the risk of serious injury and even death should an accident occur.
‘Number three, no eating in the car. Choking is silent and it is extremely dangerous if you are driving and notice your little one is choking,’ Nikki said in the clip.
In a previous video, the cautious mum said this is a ‘non-negotiable’ rule and that she will only give her little ones a snack in the car if someone else is driving and she can supervise them by sitting in the back.
Nikki’s number four rule is to ‘always have contact supervision for my little ones when they are around any form of water’.
Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children between one and three years of age in the world according the to United Nations.
Nikki said it’s important to keep a sharp eye on children at all times around water as drowning can happen ‘in only small amount of water, in just 20 seconds and is silent’.
The mum’s final rule is banning button batteries from her home which are coin-sized batteries used to power many children’s toys especially those that light up or make sound effects
Finally, the former paramedic said she has a ban on button batteries in her home.
Most common choking hazards
– Food such as grapes and chocolate mini eggs
– Bottle tops
– Pen lids
Button batteries are used to power many children’s toys especially those that light up or make sound effects including plush toys, toy cars, digital pets, early learning watches, light-up yo-yos, games, novelty items and singing Santas.
The coin-sized batteries pose a serious choking risk to young children and can easily lodge in their throat restricting breath ways or cause severe burns due to the chemical reaction triggered by salvia.
Button batteries can also be found in a range of household items such as remote controls, calculators, watches, torches, flameless candles, digital kitchen or bathroom scales and thermometers.
Nikki’s clip amassed more than 975,100 views and dozens of parents in the comments shared their own rules for reducing the risk of injury around their homes.
‘All good points. Add in slice grapes length ways,’ one mum said.
‘Just remember button batteries are hiding. Those fun sing along books, garage controllers, electric toothbrushes all have them. Be vigilant,’ another cautioned.
‘All of this for me + Constant supervision around kids and dogs, no dogs in the kids faces (from mum who was an animal control ranger),’ a third responded.
‘Six, don’t have any blind cords hanging. Seven, don’t have buckets of water in the laundry for soaking. Eight, always have a safe spot where you can see your kids when reversing your car,’ a fourth recommended.
Top ten steps to keep children as safe as possible in the car
1. Always buckle up
The use of any restraint is preferable to not using a restraint
2. Rear-facing as long as they fit
Infants are safest if they remain in their rear-facing restraint as long as they still fit in it.
3. In-built harness as long as they fit
Once a child is too tall for their rear-facing child restraint, they should use a forward-facing child restraint with an inbuilt harness as long as they still fit in it.
4. Booster seat as long as they fit
Once a child is too tall for a forward-facing child restraint, they should use a booster seat with a lap-sash seat belt until they are tall enough to fit properly into an adult seat belt.
5. Seat belt? Check 5
Have you taken the 5 step test? Your child will fit the seat belt in different cars at different ages. Does your child meet the 5 step test? If not they should remain in their booster seat.
5 step test: Back against seat back, knees bend over front seat, lap belt low and touching thighs, sash belt over the middle of the shoulder and can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?
6. Correctly fitted and adjusted
All child restraints and booster seats must be installed correctly and the child buckled in correctly, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
7. Safest in the back seat
Children 12 years of age and under are safest in the rear seat.
8. Is your car right for the job?
When planning any journey with children, use a motor vehicle which allows each child to be in the appropriate restraint for their size.
9. Accessorise correctly
Never add accessories to the restraint that were not provided by the manufacturer with the restraint.
10. Regular car seat check ups
Check your restraint regularly to ensure it is still installed correctly and adjusted for the child – an accredited restraint installer can help with this.