Home Safety for Kids: A Parent’s Guide
Making your home a safe place for your children is a priority, but it can be a big job; if you take a look around, there may be dozens of hazards you never even thought of before, from the cords on your window blinds to that plant in the corner with toxic leaves. Depending on how old your child is, he or she could be facing dangers in every room of your home, so it’s imperative to know what to look for and how to prevent injuries.
The best way to get started is to walk through your home and make a checklist. Look at everything from a child’s point of view; in fact, it might help if you sit on the floor and look around — especially if you have a baby or toddler — to see what they see. Otherwise, you might miss the extension cords snaking out from behind the television stand or the bookshelf that would be so easy for a toddler to pull on top of himself once he starts climbing.
Keep reading for some great tips on how to help your child stay safe at home.
Start in the Kitchen
The kitchen is often one of the busiest rooms in a home, and as such, it can potentially hold the most hazards. From sharp knives to hot stovetops, this area requires supervision when your children are in it, along with some prevention tactics. If possible, remove the knobs from your stove when it’s not in use, or buy knob covers that prevent them from being turned. Always turn pot handles inward so they aren’t sticking out when on a hot burner. Keep knives up and well out of reach of little hands, and turn down the temperature on your hot water heater to ensure that no one gets burned if they turn on the wrong knob when washing their hands. For more great tips on how to make your kitchen safer, read on here.
Secure all Furniture
Many toddlers like to explore, and once they get the hang of it, they tend to climb on things: the couch, the bed, bookshelves, and even bureaus. Secure all furniture with anti-tipping devices — these are typically strong nylon straps that are screwed into the back of the item on one end and secured to the wall on the other — so that if your child does get the notion to climb, he won’t pull the heavy piece of furniture on top of himself.
Use Foam Bumpers on Sharp Corners
If you have a coffee table with sharp edges, a fireplace with a brick hearth, or kitchen counters with too many corners, look for foam bumpers that can be placed all along the sides for padding. For a pop of color in a play area, you can cut a foam pool noodle in half and use double-sided tape to secure it. This will ensure that your child won’t take a tumble and suffer a head injury.
Secure All Cords
Electrical cords can be a shock hazard, while the cords that control your window blinds can be a choking hazard. Secure all cords and keep them well out of reach of your child. Cover all electrical outlets with safety plugs, and don’t forget about extension cords and surge protectors.
Making your home a safe place for your child can be a big job, but it’s an important one. Go through each room carefully and make a list of all the things that need to be taken care of, from removing plants to setting up a baby gate to prevent your child from going up and down the stairs. With a good plan and careful attention to detail, you can ensure your home is safe and comfortable for your entire family.
* Article provided by Wendy Ross at www.safertomorrows.org.