Childproof Home Safety Tips
As a parent, you want to protect your child from all harmful situations, especially in your home. While home cleaning and maintaining sanitized surroundings is smart, it is not nearly enough. Statistics show that over 2,000 children die each year in their homes. We can and should do more to ensure the safety of our children!
If you recently moved, have a new baby, or are part of a new blended family, perhaps it is time to childproof your home to ensure the safety of your children. Although, there is no better substitution for knowing what your kids are up to, it is not always practical or possible to watch their activities. These childproof home safety tips will help you secure your home and raise a healthy and safe child.
Security and Safety
It should not be a surprise that eventually infants become active. Very. Active. That is when the “trouble” comes and it gets “worse” as they become toddlers. They go from zero to 100 miles an hour practically overnight and are not only inquisitive but seem to have a knack for finding the one thing you do not want them to. Here are some things you can do to ensure your home meets the muster as far as safety is concerned.
- Use fasteners and brackets to ensure bookshelves, dressers and cabinets will not fall over
- Cover furniture corners as young kids are unsteady on their feet
- Keep breakable, hot, or dangerous items out of reach
- Keep windows locked and install metal guards if necessary (especially upstairs)
- Use electric outlet covers wherever possible
- Use safety gates on stairs and lock any rooms where access needs to be monitored
- Do not introduce toys with small removable parts (choking hazard)
- Buy locks for cupboards that contain volatile substances
- Test the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors periodically
- Use a secure cover or guard with all types of fireplaces
- Have an evacuation plan that has been practiced
The more mobile your children become, the more apt they are to get into mischief. While you want to encourage their curious nature, you also want them to be safe as they play, learn, and grow. These childproof home safety tips should help provide some peace of mind as you raise your kids.
Children can drown in an inch of water so keep standing water to a minimum! Whether you are cleaning or preparing a bath, you need to be extra cautious. Do not let your child near water alone, especially if they have not had swimming lessons. This includes bathtubs, pools and even the toilet.
Use safety latches to keep the toilet secure as kids will find this a fun and interesting place to play. Make the kitchen safer by latching some of the appliances such as the oven, refrigerator, and dishwasher. Secure the stove by using knob and burner covers. At first glance the fridge my not appear as a hazard but it only takes kids a second to start choking because they grabbed something when you were not looking.
You should not forget about plugged in electrical devices, especially if they are within the reach of your little one. There is a risk of inadvertent burning or electric shock or they may pull the item off the counter because they can reach the chord.
Put Dangerous Items Away
You should properly store the things that constitute a potential threat. It may sound obvious, but we often forget to do it. Here are a few dangerous items that need to be kept out of reach:
- Never leave medicines in places where children can get to them
- Instead of keeping the cleaning products under the sink, put them in a higher cabinet
- Ensure cutlery is not accessible
- Dangerous collections (like knives or guns) need to be secured
- Do your plant homework and remove any that could be toxic or dangerous (cacti)
Applying a little common sense with these childproof home safety tips will go a long way towards keeping your children safe and sound.
No matter how cute, lovely, and loyal they are, your pets can get a bit rough if threatened. In addition they may trigger an allergic reaction in some kids. Young children are very sensitive to their surroundings and thus very vulnerable when around pet dander and fur. If your kids are susceptible to allergies or asthma, contact with pets needs to be kept at a minimum until the situation is resolved or controlled with medication. If necessary, you may need to ask someone to care for your pets temporarily or find them a new long-term home.
For all the cat lovers out there, although these cute felines are very cuddly, they also have the tendency to bite and scratch. This is a good reason to supervise times your pets and children are together to determine if it looks like there will be issues. For dog owners, do not let kids pull on their tails, try to take food from fido while he is eating, and ensure you secure the doggy door (if applicable) when not in use as toddlers are able to pass through them. You can use safety gates here too.
Many young kids may think pet food is something for them to eat (and potentially choke on), so if possible, put the food in rooms that the children do not have access to (i.e. laundry rooms, garages, etc.). Children and pets live together all the time so you should not be overly concerned…just apply a little common sense. Spend a little time observing them together to alleviate any fears you may have about them living in the same home.
Get Ready for Emergencies
No one wants to have an emergency, but we should all be prepared in case one occurs. Some of the dangers that children face include choking, suffocation, drowning, broken bones, burns, and cuts. In some instances, we only get one opportunity to get it right!
Learn basic life saving tips and methods to take control in crisis and potentially save a life. CPR is an essential technique that you need to master. Here are the things you need to do if the child is not breathing:
- Immediately contact 911
- Check consciousness by tapping the child to see if he/she responds to your efforts
- Check if your toddler is breathing
- Put your child on its back (gently)
- If you suspect spinal injuries, you should move the child very carefully
- Give 30 chest compression’s to stimulate blood circulation
- Do rescue breathing by giving two breaths.
- Continue CPR compression/rescue breathing until the child can breath on his/her own or until professionals arrive
- If child is not responding, and a pediatric automated external defibrillator is available, read the instructions and use it
In case of choking, place infants on your forearm, with the face pointing down. Keep the head lower than the chest and slap the child’s back several times to dislodge the item.
Getting burned is another potential source of indoor injury you need to know how to take care of. Remove the toxic ingredient and gently wash the affected area with water. If serious, seek immediate medical assistance.
The best way to ensure a healthy and safe environment for your infant, toddler, or young child, is to combine common sense practices, taking preventive measures whenever possible, and ensuring you can administer life saving techniques if necessary. Our children’s safety should be our top priority to help keep them out of harms way and injury free so follow these childproof home safety tips and have peace of mind knowing you are taking their safety seriously.
Additional Home Safety Tips
Household Safety Checklists via KidsHealth
Pediatric First Aid by the American Red Cross
How to Baby Proof Your Home courtesy of Massachusetts Realtor, Bill Gassett.