The need to childproof your home springs from the very nature of children; natural curiosity, lack of proper judgment, and physical developmental stages (such as learning to walk and balance). Being a responsible parent, requires you to evaluate your home for potential hazards and risks for small children. The most common accidents involving children at home are falls, electrocution, poisoning, burns and scalds, choking, and strangulation. Here are the top 6 areas of the home that should be childproofed to avoid such accidents from occurring.
Living and Family Rooms
Sharp-edged furniture and décor can cause cuts and bruises when children bump them when they are running and playing inside. Remove hard-cornered furniture from rooms that children frequently play in. Tape down rugs and cover loose wires to avoid falls. Secure all glass and breakable décor on high shelves where children will not be able to accidentally knock them over. Parents should also cover exposed electrical outlets to avoid electrocution. Be sure to have gates at the top or bottom of staircases for small children.
Keep all housecleaning chemicals away from children’s reach and locked in cabinets. Have toxic materials placed in proper containers with correct labels. Children are also at risk for burns and scalds due to kitchen appliances. It is a good idea to teach children about kitchen safety and avoid leaving them unattended in the kitchen. Childproof your stoves and burners. Inform children when food temperatures are hot and that they should wait to eat or blow on the food until it cools down to avoid burns.
The bathroom can also be an accident prone area for children. The bathtub and shower especially pose danger to children. Hard surfaces in the bathroom could be wet causing a fall or serious injury. Leaving the door closed to the bathroom can be a simple solution to this. Never leave a small child alone in the bathroom, even for a few minutes. Always ensure the bathroom is empty before leaving and closing the door behind you.
Outdoors and Garages
If you have a swimming pool at home or a garden pool, do not allow young children to swim alone. Always have an adult to watch over swimming kids. Make sure the adult will keep his/her eyes on the kids and not be doing distracting activities such as listening to music, reading a book, using a cell phone or laptop. Instruct your children they are not allowed to use the pool without adult supervision. If close supervision is not always possible, it is best to leave pools covered to avoid accidental drowning.
If you have an automatic garage door, install an alarm system or sensors that could prevent the garage door from closing down on young children. Check with suppliers for the best system for your children’s safety.
Animals are a very real threat to small children who may not be sure how to act towards them. Decide if keeping a pet is manageable in your household. When deciding on pets, choose a breed that is child friendly and can tolerate small children. Ensure that you have a secure area in the house for the pet in case you need to limit child and pet interaction.
Toy or Playroom
Choose toys that are appropriate to the child’s age. Be well-informed on chemical toxicity in the toys that you buy. Always go for reputable toy manufacturers and be on the lookout for product recalls. Always read the labels and instructions for toys carefully before allowing your child to play with them.
Overall, the key to child safety at home is supervision and proper childproofing. Supervision is making yourself available and aware of what the children are doing in the house. When children are not in view, avoid leaving loud music and the TV on to be able to hear if the children need help or are hurt. Knowing your children’s behavior and relaying that on to other potential childcare givers could very well mean the life of your child. Be sure to teach children about safety and how they too could avoid being hurt.
Your home should be the safest place for your child. Safety is a collaborative effort so make sure that all adults in the household will help keep the safety rules in your household.
Christensen and Hymas offers free initial consultations. If your child has been involved in an accident from another individuals negligence or for more information regarding Utah children accidents, click here. Give us a call at (801) 506-0800 to set up an appointment today.