Following yesterday’s post about the vital importance of childproofing, here are some tips on how you can keep children, from baby to teen, safe in your home.
1.) Take the time to really examine your home from your child’s point of view. If you have small children, get on your hand and knees on the floor and examine everything you can reach (Thanks to @Naanad, a @mlnlaw friend from Twitter, for this tip!)
2.) Make sure that any second-hand equipment has not been recalled. This goes even if you are using the same car seat, stroller, etc. that you used for an older child. It’s easy to miss recall notifications.
3.) Keep the phone number to your family physician, the hospital, and poison control (1-800-222-1222) in a conspicuous place. Be sure to share this information with babysitters.
4.) Invest in baby gates for stairs and off limits room and guards for windows. A window may look high but remember that children can be persistent when something attracts their attention.
5.) Cover all electrical outlets.
6.) Cover sharp corners with edge covers.
7.) Be careful with breakables. Move them out of the child’s reach or put them away altogether until your child has grown a little.
8.) Use nonskid backing on rugs. Young crawlers and toddlers tend to slip on unstable surfaces.
9.) The strings and loops from blinds can be an asphyxiation hazard. Tie them up high so that they are out of reach of small hands.
10.) Keep your child away from the stove, the dishwasher, the dryer and other hot areas. Turn pot and pan handles inward.
11.) Test all of your appliances, tables and other pieces of furniture. Some may be less steady than they look and could tip when a toddler tries to pull himself up.
12.) Set the hot water heater to a maximum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent scalds. Curious children can manipulate hot water handles without you realizing it.
13.) Use childproof locks or doorknob covers on exterior doors.
14.) Never leave liquid deeper than two inches available to your child. This may mean going so far as installing a toilet lock for young children.
Also, learn to think diligently and creatively. You may have the safest house in the world but one small change, such as washing a set of knives in the dishwasher, could lead to an unsafe behavior. Children are way more curious about the world than we are and will try everything they can to examine an object that interests them.
While child proofing is not the most fun part of being a parent, it your job as a parent to be cannier than they are and find danger before it finds your children.
Did I leave anything out? Please feel free to add your tips or even child safety product recommendations in the comments.