If you are a new parent or soon expecting to be, you’re probably wondering about childproofing your home. Studies have found that the vast majority of injuries to infants and toddlers happen inside the home due to accidents, so keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the best ways to child proof your home.
Evaluate Your Surroundings
Child proofing the home usually starts with a good look around. Get down on your child’s level and see what the environment is like from his or her view. Keep an eye out for anything sharp that could cause injury. Even some blunt objects could result in contusions if your child falls on them.
Next, figure out which cabinets are accessible and make sure that anything harmful, such as cleaning chemicals and medications, are kept well out of reach. Also keep in mind that, those out of the way cupboards might not remain so out of the way as your child grows, so plan to repeat this process from time to time.
Child Proof Outlets
As curious children explore their world, electrical outlets can present a hazard. The simplest way to protect your child is to install plug-in covers. However, some children have been able to remove these, and when they do, the small pieces of plastic present a choking hazard. If your little one is particularly adept, consider replacing the entire outlet cover with one that closes completely and has a safety latch.
Making Windows Safer
Many parents don’t realize the danger that windows represent. Dangling cords on blinds can strangle small children and there is always the risk of falling through an open window.
To prevent strangulation, make sure to either secure the cords out of reach or to get special blinds that do not have cords.
To prevent falls, latches can be installed so the windows cannot be easily opened. If you have the option, consider only raising windows from the top and remember to always close windows when you are not in sight of them.
According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), two children die every day in the U.S. from accidental poisoning. An important first step in preventing accidents like these, is to understand what constitutes a poison.
Many parents don’t realize the dangerous toxicity of common household items such as soaps, cleaning chemicals and bleach. The CDC recommends reading labels to understand what risks are associated with the chemicals in your home and then keeping dangerous ones well out of reach of children.
The CDC also advises parents to be mindful of any medications they may be storing. It isn’t uncommon for a small child to mistake pills or tablets for candy and easily overdose. Always keep medications in their original packaging and consider storing them in a locked cabinet for greatest security.
For added safety, keep the poison control center phone number, 1-800-222-1222, close to the phone.
Drowning is the leading cause of injury for children under age 14 and can happen even if you do not have a pool. Be wary of bathtubs, toilets, sinks, and even buckets. Most instances of child drownings happen in the tub, so never leave your child while they are bathing.
If you own a pool, taking some precautions, such as installing a fence with a locking gate, teaching your child to swim and then always watching them in the water, are key steps to preventing drownings.
Gates and Heavy Furniture
A recent study revealed that from 1999 to 2008, 100,000 children a day were taken to hospitals for injuries related falling down stairs. Consider installing safety gates at the top of the stairs and make sure they are securely mounted and always latched.
Aside from falls, children are also at risk from tip-over accidents. In 2015, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) launched its “Anchor It” campaign, encouraging parents to secure heavy furniture, appliances and televisions to the wall. The warning came after a study revealed a high number of emergency room treatments and deaths related to heavy objects falling on children.
The CPSC encourages parents to secure top-heavy furniture and televisions and remove tempting items that might encourage children to climb on top of objects in your home.
If you have a dog and a child, keep in mind that your canine may interfere with your child proofing in ways your child cannot, potentially opening up dangerous situations.
BOLT Insurance Agency wants to make sure your home is well protected and safe for your family. To make sure you have the right insurance in place, contact us to compare quotes on the coverage you need.