IS YOUR HOME A SAFE PLACE FOR CHILDREN?
When you bring a new baby home, that sweet little bundle is your top priority. Right now, baby boy is as safe as can be, but in the blink of an eye, he’ll be mobile. Have you thought about how you’ll protect him when he’s taking his first wobbly steps? What about when he’s a toddler running through the house and getting into everything?
Surely, you can stop worrying about your child once he’s in primary school, right?
Actually, no. Home safety should be a priority for many years.
Did you know that unintentional injuries are one of the top reasons that children visit the ER each year? Prevention measures can drastically reduce your child’s risk of injury, so let’s look at some of the ways that you can address your home’s most dangerous spots.
Do You Have These UNSAFE Things in Your Home?
Be on the lookout for these hidden dangers lurking around your home:
You may have already locked away the most toxic chemical cleaners and medicines, but what about other things like your face cream or toothpaste? Baby girl can get quite a bellyache if she gets into mom’s beauty supplies. Leaky batteries are another chemical danger, but they’re doubly hazardous because they are both poisonous and a choking hazard.
Even with undeveloped fine motor skills, your child can still manage to fit a piece of metal or a part of a toy into an outlet. Any unused outlets should have child-proof covers. There are several options for covering them, so if you have questions, speak with a professional.
Not Sure Where to Start Your Childproofing?
Kids are often much stronger than you’d expect, so keep electrical cords hidden or lifted above their reach. If your baby is starting to grasp items in her hand, she might be strong enough to pull a cord out of an outlet. Power strips are especially dangerous because they have so many tempting spots to stick little toys. A professional can suggest cord management strategies to help you keep them out of your baby’s hands.
Baby’s first wobbly steps are the heart-melting result of unsteady little legs and feet. One of the first things you should do as soon as the baby boy starts sitting up is to cover the sharp edges of your coffee table. One little wiggle is all it takes for baby boy to topple over, and table corners are especially dangerous to his little eyes and forehead.
As soon as the baby girl becomes mobile, make sure that you protect the top AND bottom of the stairs. If she can crawl up three stairs, then she can fall down those three stairs too. Until your child is out of toddlerhood, keep your stairs protected.
If you have a pet, you might already have heat-resistant gates for your fireplace, but there are ways that your fireplace can be dangerous even when it’s not burning. Electric fireplaces often have small, decorative rocks inside that are choking hazards. Choking is the number one cause of death for small children, so search every area of your home, including your hearth, for potential dangers.
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, make sure that you have a locking gate so your baby cannot get into any leftover soot and ash.
Believe it or not, that beautiful lamp that you love presents a double danger to your little one. Not only can a little girl pull the cord out of the outlet, but she can also accidentally pull the fixture down onto herself. Beyond the bonk she can get from the lamp, she could also cut her little hands and feet on glass from a broken bulb or lamp base.
If you have questions about how to childproof your home lighting, schedule an in-home consultation.
Do You Have These SAFE Things in Your Home?
You don’t have to live in an empty, padded house to keep your young children safe. By adding a few simple safety features, you can dramatically reduce your child’s risk of injury.
CABINET LOCKS & SAFETY LATCHES
You already know that you need to lock away your cleaning supplies because even a small amount can be toxic to a young child. However, you should also consider putting a safety latch on any cabinet that your child can reach. While pots and pans aren’t likely to do major harm, they can give your toddler a pretty good bonk on the head or a pinched finger.
PADDING ON SHARP CORNERS
Tables, fireplace hearths, and even wall corners can be dangerous for kids of all ages. Padding the sharpest edges won’t prevent little bumps, but it’ll significantly reduce the impact so your little one can shake it off and keep going.
If you need an immediate solution, a plastic outlet plug is a better option than leaving an outlet exposed. However, even a very small child can accidentally wiggle the cover off if she’s determined enough. A better solution is to have a professional install of spring-loaded outlet covers.
Another wise outlet solution is to have an electrician install ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in rooms that have either running water or high levels of moisture. When an appliance plugged into a GFCI outlet comes in contact with water, the flow of electricity stops automatically, preventing electrocution. GFCIs are smart for homes with or without children, because accidents can happen to anyone.
Stairwell gates are a smart way to protect your kids from falls, especially if you use frame-mounted rather than pressurized varieties. Gates are also handy to block off unsafe rooms like the bathroom and kitchen. Sometimes, it’s not practical to childproof every square foot of your home, so gates keep your kids out of dangerous spots unless they’re under your supervision.
RECESSED AND DIMMABLE LIGHTS
Recessed lights are a smart choice in a home with children. There are no cords to pull on, so you eliminate the risk of your little lady pulling the lamp down onto herself. Also, there’s no way for her to pull the plug out of the socket to expose a dangerous outlet.
If your lights are on a dimmer, you can create low, ambient lighting to help your child wind down at the end of the day. Anything you can do to make bedtime easier is a major parent win!
Childproofing Made Easy
With just a few deletions and additions, you can get your home baby-ready. If you don’t have time to address the issues in one or two rooms, get a few gates and wall them off until you can devote time to babyproofing.
Kids are curious, but sometimes that can land them in dangerous situations. If you need help identifying potential electrical dangers in your home, schedule a consultation today. Just remember, even with every possible home safety measure in place, your careful monitoring is the best way to keep your children safe.