Each year, children are injured by common hazards in and around the home. Sometimes these injuries can lead to death if severe enough. The most common injuries to a child that can occur in a home are burns, choking, strangulation, and serious falls. The good news is that there are a number of ways that you can childproof your home to effectively reduce or eliminate the risk of any of these injuries to your child.
Fire Injuries and Burns:
Fire injuries and burns happen most often in the kitchen. Childproof your kitchen by keeping hot foods and liquids away from the edges of countertops and tables. Children can pull on a tablecloth or climb up cabinets enough to pull the containers down onto themselves. Always cook with pots and pans on back burners and turn the handles toward the back of the stove to avoid your child knocking them down onto himself. Never carry children and hot foods or liquids at the same time.
Choking and Strangulation:
To prevent choking injuries, make sure that there are no small objects lying around your home. Get down on your hands and knees and check your floors regularly and thoroughly. Check the toys you give to your child to make sure they don’t have small things on them, such as buttons that can be pulled off and become a choking hazard. To prevent any risks of strangulation, make sure that any window cords in your home are cut very short or tied well out of reach of a child.
Keep your child from taking a serious fall by installing mounted gates at the top and bottom of all stairs in your home. Always keep any hallways and stairways well-lit and free of clutter and tack down all rugs and runners in your home to ensure your child won’t trip and fall down. Install window guards on all windows that are not designated as emergency exits to prevent them from being opened more than 4 inches. Regular window screens will not prevent a child from falling out of the window.
Keep all of your medicines, cleaning products, and even products like shampoos and makeup well out of reach of your child or inside a locked cabinet. There are a number of safety devices sold that will help make your home almost completely childproofed. Here are a few of the most common and important gadgets:
* Safety latches and locks for cabinets and drawers in kitchens, bathrooms, and other accessible areas that may contain dangerous items such as medicines, cleaning products and knives. These will help prevent poisonings and other injuries.
* Door knob covers and door locks will help prevent children from entering certain rooms that you wish to keep off-limits and that may have hazards.
* Corner and edge bumpers to help prevent injuries in the event your child falls against the sharp edges of furniture.
* Outlet covers and outlet plates to help prevent electrocution. Be sure the outlet protectors you use cannot be easily removed by children and are large enough so that children cannot choke on them if by chance one is removed.
Remember, the best way to prevent injuries to your child is to monitor your child at all times and never leave your child alone for long periods of time. An accident only takes one second to occur.