The Importance of Childproofing Your Home

The tragic shooting death of a 10-year-old Fayette County boy has a tough lesson to teach us about child safety. While authorities have not released the boy's name or the exact details of the shooting, which appears to be a tragic accident, they did reveal that the boy died from a gunshot inflicted by his 12-year-old brother. With far too many firearms accidents involving children, curiosity gets the better of one or more of them and leads to deadly results.

But child safety is not, of course, limited to our preteens. From the time children become toddlers they are naturally curious about the world around them and begin to explore. Whenever you become jaded or have a bad day, look at the world through a child’s eyes – everything is new, different and exciting. A child does not have the context to know what might happen next, and of course, they are curious about the outcomes of trying new things. Unfortunately, those outcomes can include getting burned by a hot stove or stung by that strange buzzing creature that has been flying around your head.

That’s why it is also vital to put yourself in your child’s shoes when it comes to matters of child safety in the home.

If you have a new baby, it’s important to child proof your home before that child is old enough to explore and find trouble. And believe me, as a father I know that children are capable of antics that I never would have dreamed possible.

To start, get down on all fours, at your child’s level, and explore every room in your house. Yes, it sound silly, but no one but your family will be there to see you and this exercise could mean the difference between a healthy, happy child and an injured one.

And don’t forget that children are crafty. Never dismiss a space or a room simply with “No, she could never get there!” because the space seems too unreachable or you have a baby gate. Accidents happen and sometimes people are careless with the baby gate. Wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry? It’s a sad fact that 2.5 million per year are killed or injured by products found in their own homes.

Also, no matter how safe your own home is, it’s also important to ensure your child’s other environments are safe. Do you routinely drop him or her off at a babysitter or take him to a daycare? It’s your right as a parent to inquire about child safety measures that have been taken on the premises. Again, it may sound pushy, but do you want to endanger your child’s safety simply to spare a care giver’s feelings?

Speaking up and getting vocal when it comes to child safety concerns does not only keep your child safe, it may advocate the importance of safe practices to others. You’d be appalled if you went to a restaurant and saw a roach crawling across your silverware. Be just as appalled when you take your child to a caregiver and see exposed corners or unprotected stairs.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a list of tips for properly child proofing your home.