Chapter Thirty-Two: Home Safety Tips for Children

Believe it or not, your home can unknowingly be a potentially dangerous place for your child. It is important that parents baby-proof their homes before their children are born, and take steps to keep the home safe for when kids get older and start exploring their surroundings. While exploration is essential for their growth, it is crucial that all safety precautions are taken to protect your child from hurting themselves in the process.

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Baby-proofing your home

If possible, the best way to protect your child from accidents in the home is to baby-proof the house before they are born. If you are first-time parents or do not have much experience with this, it is still fine to take safety precautions after your child is born, but it is essential that you do so at some point. The home can be an extremely dangerous place for kids, with knives, hot stoves, scissors, sharp edges and plenty of harmful chemicals available at their disposal. Being mindful and taking easy and quick steps can save you and your child from danger.

Babies do not know what is okay to touch and what is not, or how to handle certain objects that we know how to handle, so taking these necessary steps to baby-proof your house should be one of your top priorities – and best of all, the steps are extremely easy! As babies begin to crawl around the house, they can pick up many unsafe objects. Besides picking up a plethora of germs, babies can touch electrical outlets, get splinters, or shake and knock things over, hitting them in the head or elsewhere on their little bodies. To prevent this from happening, many parents place safety gates in doorways to keep children out of the room while activities that may be hazardous to them happen. These activities can include things such as, cleaning/sweeping the floor with hazardous chemicals, washing dishes (including knives!), cleaning glass, or cooking atop a hot stove. These safety gates also prevent kids from crawling around without supervision and potentially sticking their fingers into electrical sockets. If placing a safety gate around every door is not ideal, an easier way to prevent electrical shock is to cover these electrical outlets with outlet covers. They are simple to use, and can even make your home look cleaner and neater! Many parents also install door and cabinet locks in the kitchen and in the bedrooms. These locks not only prevent children from reaching into cabinets with dangerous contents, but also safeguard children from slamming their fingers in or hitting their heads on open drawers. Internal locks on the cabinets and drawers prevent children from opening drawers without parent’s help and/or permission.

Baby proofing checklist:

To help you make sure that your home is childproof below is a checklist recommended by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC).

  1. Use Layers of Protection with Pools and Spas.
  2. Carbon monoxide detectors (for in or near sleeping areas and at least 15 feet, or 4.6 meters, away from fuel-burning appliances)
  3. Corner and edge bumpers ( for corners of furniture and fireplace hearths)
  4. Doorknob covers and door locks (to prevent kids from leaving the home and entering rooms that have not been childproofed)
  5. Anti – Scald Devices (you may need a plumber to install)
  6. Outlet covers and outlet plates (make sure kids can’t easily remove them and they’re large enough that kids won’t choke on them)
  7. Safety gates (use gates that screw to the walls for stairs; don’t use older gates with "V")
  8. Safety latches and locks (for kitchen and bathroom cabinets and drawers)
  9. Window Guards and Safety netting (for balconies and decks)
  10. Cordless Window Coverings (to prevent strangulation in cord loops and inner cords of window blinds)
  11. Smoke detectors (one for every level of you home, especially near bedrooms)
  12. Anchors to Avoid Furniture and Appliance Tip Overs.