As parents, we are constantly worried about the general safety and welfare of our children. We ensure that we strategically watch over them at parks and playgrounds, we question the quality and health content of their food, and we read parenting guides that give us additional suggestions. However, as guardians we must also consider the place where they spend most of their time – our homes. According to SafeKids.org, an estimated 793,000 accidental deaths have occurred for children under 19 in the year 2013 alone. Nearly half of these deaths have occurred in or around the home, which include such unfortunate mishaps as drowning, falls, poisons, fires, and more. These deaths are largely prevented and had the right measures have been taken; they could have been easily avoided.
With that in mind, we should take care to childproof our living rooms, nursery, bathroom, fireplaces, kitchens…and essentially any place in our home that could provide a hidden threat. In short, the whole house! Childproofing your home is not as intense as it might sound and the whole thing can be complete very quickly and easily.
Use the following safety tips in order to ensure that your home remains safe for small children and babies.
- Ensure knives, forks, scissors, or other sharp tools are place out of children’s reach or tucked safely away in a drawer with a childproof latch.
- Install stove, dishwasher, and oven locks in order to ensure that children cannot turn on these items and accidentally burn themselves.
- Ensure step stools and chairs are placed away from the stove.
- While cooking, place all handles away from the user, turned inward, in order to ensure children cannot reach them.
- Ensure all kitchen appliances are out of the reach of children. In this vein, one can also unplug these items when they are not in use.
- Fit all garbage cans with childproof latches.
- Store all alcohol bottles, as well as cleaning products out of reach.
- Ensure that refrigerator magnets are out of the reach of children. If swallowed the results will be dire, so please contact emergency officials immediately.
- Keep a fire extinguisher on hand and learn how to operate it!
- Ensure that your baby’s changing table is equipped with a safety belt.
- Consider not buying crib slates that are less than 3/8 inches as well as ensuring that the headboard and footboard is free from large cut-outs.
- Ensure that all of the crib’s hardware is properly secured.
- Examine the crib’s mattress and ensure that it fits snugly into the crib, preventing the baby from getting wedged.
- Drop slides are no longer accepted, so ensure that your crib does not have one.
- Forgo large stuffed animals, soft bedding, soft pillows, or any other object that might compromise the child’s airway.
- Ensure that all medication bottles, pills, coins, and any other sharp objects out of reach.
- Window blinds and curtains should be tied in such a way as to prevent children from pulling.
The importance of accident prevention with young children can’t be overstated!