Over three million children visit the emergency room each year from injuries received in their own home. When parents think of keeping their children healthy and safe, they often think of preventing sickness and illness, but in fact more children die each year from home related injuries than from illness. Here are some things to look for when childproofing your home. Some are obvious, and some are not so obvious.
Put locks on all cleaning supply cupboards, or put them out of reach.
Have the poison control number in plain sight.
Keep all medications out of children’s reach, and never refer to medicine as candy.
Never leave children unattended in the bathtub or swimming pool, not even for a few seconds.
If you have a swimming pool, have a 5′ fence around the entire pool, with a locking gate. A good suggestion is to put an alarm on the door leading to the pool so you know if your child has opened the door and gone outside.
Don’t leave kiddie pools, bathtubs or anything else with water in them. Children can drown in minutes in just inches of water.
Don’t rely on safety flotation devices for your child’s safety.
Leave toilet seats closed. Locks for toilet seats are also available.
Put outlet covers on all outlets to avoid electric shock.
Survey your house for choking hazards, including small toys, coins, even small balloon pieces.
Avoid “hiding” things up high where a curious or determined toddler may want to climb and find it, causing a dangerous fall.
Anchor tall, or heavy objects (bookshelves, entertainment centers,dressers, grandfather clocks) to the wall to prevent the object from falling on a child.
Replace batteries in smoke detectors often.
Check the settings on your water heater. Having it too high can scald your child, especially if he turns on the water himself. Most people set the temperature to a setting hotter than they will ever use.
Look suffocation or strangulation dangers such as plastic grocery bags, curtain or blind cords.
Avoid putting furniture by windows, and make sure you have adequate locks on your windows to prevent falls.
Use the back-burners on stoves when cooking and turn the handle toward the center of the range.Each house is different, and poses different risks. This is a small, general list. There are many dangers in your home and many resources out there to help you get educated. With a little extra precaution and education, we can provide a more safe environment for our children.