Until you’ve had a child with special needs, you may not think about the potential hazards that could exist inside your home. The good news? With a few modifications, you can help ensure your child stays safe. Below, we highlight five ways to make your house suitable for a child with special needs.
1. Avoid hanging heavy objects on walls. If your child is prone to overexcitement, you may want to rethink what pictures or decorations you hang on your wall. Flailing arms and feet might knock items off the wall if it’s not screwed in, resulting in an injury to your child or someone else.
2. Bolt large items of furniture to the wall. For parents with children who like to climb, a dangerous situation awaits if large furniture like bookshelves and armoires aren’t bolted into the wall.
3. Move chairs away from railings. Stools or chairs situated near staircases could be a recipe for disaster. While it’s impossible to remove chairs from your home, you can place them away from dangerous heights.
4. Install locks on medicine cabinets. This could easily be a rule of thumb for any parents. Curious children may open a cabinet where medicine is stored and identify the pills or tablets as candy. Avoid the situation completely by making it impossible for children to do their own cabinet exploring.
5. Put dangerous items away immediately. Knives, blenders, cheese graters–anything that could cause potential harm to your child if they got their hands on it should be put back in its place as soon as you’re done using it. Since side conversations or telephone calls serve as constant distractions, it’s important to remove these items from your child’s reach before you forget to do so.
As any parent knows, keeping your children out of harm’s way is a nonstop responsibility. With these tips, however, we hope your job just got a little easier.
Beth Rubio is the Chief Clinical Officer for Atlanta-based Aveanna Healthcare, the largest pediatric home health care company in the country. Operating in 23 states, Aveanna is the parent company of Epic Health Services, which has three locations in Austin.