By Platinum Team June 16, 2015

Making your Home a Safer Environment for Children

Your home ought to be a safe abode, but even our homes can be a real threat to our children’s safety. To help keep your home as safe as possible for your little ones, consider the following: Look at your home through children’s eyes As Baby Center puts it, “the best way to childproof your home for babies and small children is to get down on your hands and knees to see what your baby sees. What looks tempting? Carefully lock up all cleaning products, medications, sharp objects and anything that could be a choking hazard.” Childproofing is an ongoing process that should be reevaluated as your child grows. Consider your kitchen appliances Your dishwasher is a potential accident waiting to happen. Make it a habit to point knives, forks and other sharp utensils down in the basket. Also, be sure to keep detergent stored safely in a locked cabinet. It is extremely corrosive and should not be handled or consumed by your kids. Kitchen ranges are another potential hazard. Teach your children the dangers of reaching up and touching the stove. Keep the handles of pots or pans out of your child’s reach by using the back burners. Never allow children to climb on oven doors, and be sure to install anti-tip brackets as an extra safeguard. Protect electrical outlets According to Baby Center, “It’s a good idea to protect electrical outlets with outlet covers. Unfortunately, the removable little plug-in caps can easily end up in your baby’s mouth. Instead, replace the outlet covers themselves – at least those that are accessible – with ones that include a sliding safety latch.” Tip-proof your furniture Children love to climb, but climbing on furniture can be dangerous. Large or heavy bookcases, dressers and appliances can all pose a threat. Make sure to put heavy items on the bottom of bookcases, so they are not top heavy. Keep dresser and bookcase drawers closed to discourage climbing. Place floor lamps behind a piece of furniture and out of children’s reach to prevent tipping. It’s also helpful to pad furniture corners with pads to soften any impacts. Give attention to windows and coverings Never place a baby’s or young child’s crib/bed beneath a window. Keep low windows locked, or install window guards, so they can only open a few inches. Keep furniture away from windows. Window blinds and curtain are can pose a threat as well. A baby’s neck could become caught in the loop. Use cordless window coverings, cut off the pull cord or use cords that wind-up. Lock away or replace hazardous products Cleaning products, toiletries and medications are just a few dangerous products you may have in your home. Read labels, and keep these products out of children’s reach. You may also consider replacing these products with safer alternatives where possible. Keep in mind that even baby products can pose a threat, and don’t be fooled by child resistant packaging. According to Parents.com, “Some bath and baby oils contain liquid hydrocarbons, which can cause a serious pneumonia-like condition, irreversible lung damage, and even death if a child aspirates the substance into their lungs.” Fence off-limits areas Most parents use gates to cordon off a room to keep babies and toddlers from entering or exiting. It’s important to purchase a brand new safety gate as designs have evolved to be safer in recent years. If you are using a gate at the top of stairs, be sure to install the type that screws to the wall. Practice water safety According to CPSC “an infant or toddler can drown in a few seconds in as little as a few inches of water.”  To protect your little ones:

– Never leave a bucket of water unattended. – Never leave you child alone in the tub for even a few seconds. Stay within an arm’s reach of your baby or toddler, and remember that ring or bath seats are not safety devices. – Install a safety latch on toilets. – Drain wading pools after use. – Keep pools gated, and never ever leave any child unattended.

Monitor interactions with pets Never leave young children alone with the family dog. Teach them to respect your pets, never disturb a dog while they are eating. Keep dog food and small dog toys out of your child’s reach, as both can be choking hazards. Keep visitors’ belongings out of reach When visitors stop by, it’s easy to get wrapped up in entertaining and forget about the extra safety concerns they may bring. Be sure to keep their belongings out of children’s reach. Purses often contain things that are intriguing but not safe such as pens, medication, hard candy, lighters or matches. These tips can help make your home a safer environment for babies, toddlers and young children. Remember, SUPERVISION is the best safety precaution for young ones.  ]]>