According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.3 million children are accidentally injured each year and over 2,500 are killed in accidents. Many of these occur from situations that could have been easily prevented. Here are a few ideas to help increase children’s safety and well being in your home.
Check to ensure that your baby’s crib meets safety standards – visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website, cpsc.gov, for tips. Make certain pull cords from blinds/window treatments are out of a baby’s reach from the crib, and keep the crib away from windows if possible. Do not place stuffed animals or heavy blankets in the crib with your baby, as these may be suffocation hazards.
In the bathroom, install safety latches and locks on the cabinets/doors. Make sure to place safety guards on toilets to make certain that children can’t get into them and accidentally fall in. Also, place guards on cabinets or drawers, especially ones that contain medication or any other hazardous items. Have your plumber install an anti-scald device on faucets and shower heads. These devices regulate the water temperature to help prevent burns.
In the kitchen, locking stove knobs will keep children from igniting stove burners. For garbage disposals, purchase a cover that will safeguard little hands. Attach safety latches and locks to secure any drawers that contain knives, sharp utensils and scissors. Make sure your kids cannot access any cabinets that house household cleaners and chemicals.
Outdoors, keep little ones away from the grilling area, as well as any structure or shed that might contain tools, lawn mowers, and other outdoor objects. Childproof the pool by installing a fence around the pool’s perimeter. Make sure that the gate to the pool has a lock that prevents children from entering alone, but can be opened quickly by an adult in case of an emergency. Never let water accumulate on the top of a pool cover, as it is a drowning hazard.
Place covers over any unused outlets. The best outlet covers to purchase are the sliding covers, as the push-in ones can be pulled out and possibly choked on. Put up safety gates throughout the house, especially in front of stairs. Installing corner and edge bumpers on furniture will help prevent injuries from falls against sharp edges. Using doorstops and door holders will keep small fingers from being crushed or pinched in doors and doors hinges.
In a small amount of time and for a minimal cost, you can ensure your baby/child’s safety throughout your home. Taking these precautions may make a significant difference in your family’s future.