Approximately 2.5 million children are injured or killed each year by hazards in the home. Many of these accidents could have been avoided if some simple precautions were put in place. Childproofing your home is one of the easiest ways you can keep your children safe. Infants, crawling babies, toddlers and young children can easily injure themselves on many items around the house. Stoves, cabinets, cleaning supplies and electrical sockets are just a few of the items that can cause injury or something worse. Take some time to childproof your home and put your mind at ease using the tips listed below.
Take a walk through your home, looking for small items a child might be able to reach. Anything from pens and paper clips to keys and hair bands can cause harm. Children investigate and touch everything, so pack away items with sharp edges or things small enough to choke on. Keep them out of reach at all times. For places you just cannot clear of hazardous items, like an office or kitchen, use childproof gates to keep babies and toddlers out. Use them to keep little ones away from stairs and doors, as well. If you don’t do anything else, make sure to cover electrical sockets with outlet plugs. Cover any and all outlets, which will prevent your child from touching the socket or trying to stick items into it. Even if an electronic is plugged into the socket, try to keep your child away from the area, since they may be able to pull the cord out and gain access to the outlet.
Childproof furniture should be soft and safe. Pointy edges and top heavy furniture just won’t cut it. While you can’t be expected to get rid of your coffee tables and Grandma’s china cabinet, perhaps you could store some pieces for a few years or place them in a room that is not easily accessible to children, such as a guest bedroom. There are also products available in the form of cushioning to wrap around the edges of such furniture and protect a child if they happen to bump into it.
Any furniture that is not securely stable must go. Children can be severely injured as they begin to walk by pulling on the edges of tables, cabinets and dressers; they will use anything to pull themselves up to a standing position. Bolt or mount bookshelves to the wall. Mount televisions to the wall, high out of reach, instead of using a TV stand.
Chemicals, liquids and poisons
All cleaning products should be stored in a locked cabinet or in cabinets that are childproof. Otherwise, your child may have access to the cabinet, where he or she can open bottles and potentially consume them. Do not store any of these items in bathroom cabinets, where they are easily accessible. Many beauty products can also be poisonous, so be sure to keep these out of reach or locked away, as well. Get childproof hooks for your cabinets where these things are stored. These will allow you to open cabinets with an extra click of a hook, but if your child attempts to open the cabinet, it will not open more than an inch or so.
Blinds and curtains
Blinds, curtains and ties for window treatments are easy for your child to get tangled up in. Make sure your blinds do not have hanging cords or ties that your child can reach. These cords can get caught around your child and cause strangulation or can be easily put into their mouths. If you can, stick to wooden or vertical blinds.