Ensuring the safety of small children in a home is of paramount importance. Unintentional injury is a leading cause of death in small children with more than a third of those injuries occurring within the home. Young children have the greatest chance of being seriously injured in the home as that is where they spend a majority of their time. However, there are plenty of ways to ensure a safe environment for a child to grow and learn in.
Hazardous Materials and Chemicals
There are many chemicals needed in a household to maintain sanitary conditions. These materials should be gathered and kept in a few specific cabinets that are protected with child safety locks. Keeping what you can together is a great way to actually keep track of what is in and out of the cabinet rather than having 5 different locations to put things.
Children often get confused by the appearances of fluids. A bottle of blue cleaner may just look like a bottle of blue juice to them. A great way to help prevent the child from drawing that association is through a sticker series from Poison Control featuring “Mr. Yuk”. Mr. Yuk is a sour-faced sticker that can be put on your chemical bottles so a child that picks one up can associate the sour face with the liquid and not want to taste it.
Prevent Falling Items and Furniture
Stored items and furniture are always problematic when it comes to an exploring child. Heavy items such as cabinets and bookcases should be anchored to the wall with hardware from the top. Store heavier items on lower shelves and drawers so they cannot be pulled off by inquisitive hands. Ensure anything on the stove, whether cooking or simply stored, rests with the handles turned to the back.
Safety Around Windows
As adults, we are so used to interacting around windows that we do not often stop think just how unsafe they can be to a child. A screen is not sturdy enough to support the weight of a child and will break if they lean on it. Thus, you want to prevent the child from being able to stand on the window sill or lean on it from furniture. Move furniture away from windows. If possible, use the top half of double-hung windows for circulation purposes.
Double check window coverings to ensure there are no looped cords for operation. Models made in recent years have started to gravitate more towards separate cord operation as opposed to one looped one. Looped cords present a strangulation hazard should a child get wrapped up in it.
General Household Safety
There are many other ways to help childproof your home. The bathroom is an area that should definitely have electric socket covers and securely stored materials. Safety devices such as toilet locks and anti-scalding devices can help prevent accidents. It only takes a few seconds for a child to sustain 3rd degree burns from scalding water.
Safety gates and door knob covers can round out a safer household for a child. Just ensure they are easily operable by an adult so they are not a detriment in an emergency. Corner and edge bumpers will help prevent a child from cracking their skull should they run into a piece of furniture or other household item.
As a final measure, get down to the height of the little one you are child proofing for. Crawl around or look around from their perspective for anything that could potentially be unsafe. It is by far one of the most effective ways to double check your home for any potentially hazardous circumstance that might have been otherwise overlooked.
Jeff Gross is a blogger and writer, with four years of writing experience in the fields of SEO, internet marketing and DIY home improvement. He is currently appointed as a writer for a NY real estate agency that makes Queens Condos. This article was written by a guest author. Would you like to write for us?