Accidents happen. Any parent with a young kid knows this – whether it’s bumps and bruises or scrapes and burns. It’s hard to think about anything worse happening beyond a bloody nose or skinned knee, but it’s essential to take the time to make sure your home is safe for children to avoid a more significant injury.
Here are five ways you can ensure your children’s safety in the home:
1. Watch out for drowning hazards.
You would be surprised at how little water it takes to cause a big problem for small children. Never leave buckets of water around, especially outside. Even dry buckets can fill with rainwater, and sturdier ones won’t tip over if a child climbs inside. Make sure pools, or hot tubs are also fenced off with a locked gate.
2. Fire safety is a top priority.
When was the last time you checked your smoke detectors? Do you have fire extinguishers in your home? Do you have a quick escape route upstairs in case of fire? Make sure every room in your home is prepared for a fire, whether it’s safety ladders to climb out of second-story windows or a kitchen fire extinguisher. Also, keep flammable materials away from small prying hands, including lighters, matches, stovetop burners, and hot appliances.
3. Avoid falls with gates and guards.
Falls are one of the biggest causes of ER visits for young children. Make sure you have sturdy safety gates installed at the top and bottom of every set of stairs in your home. Even a few stairs could injure a young child. Check the latches regularly to make sure they are steady. Additionally, make sure you have window guards protecting children against falls – remember, screens aren’t meant to hold weight and won’t protect against a fall. Any window above the first floor should have window guards.
4. Keep chemicals, cleaners, and medicines behind locked doors.
Any parent will tell you – kids will eat just about anything they can find. Keep all cleaning supplies, cleaners, chemicals, and medicines behind locked cabinets or drawers. Don’t rely on tall shelves to help you out here; children can climb or knock things off high places easier than you’d think. To safeguard against a medicine getting into their hands, make sure to buy ones with child-resistant caps.
5. Avoid electric shock or choking hazards by managing your cables.
Keep electric cords and power sockets away from your kids, especially toddlers who are curious about different colors or objects. To avoid electrocution, install safety switches (with the help of a professional) that cut off power and use socket covers for unused outlets. You’ll also want to consider how you manage cables. Are they tangled up and running amok? Bundle them up with cable organizers to keep them neat, tidy, and out of the way of small children.
There are many ways to protect your children from hazards in the home. Besides following these five safety tips, keep your young child within sight whenever possible. You may not realize you have a bottle of aspirin sitting out, or a bucket of water that filled up during a storm in your yard. But, with a few precautions and a bit of prep work, you can rest assured in the safety of your home and your children.