How to Childproof Your Home

Children, by nature, are curious about their world. They explore by poking, prodding, and prying into everything they can possibly reach. While youthful fascination can bring smiles to our faces, it can also bring danger and harm to children when they investigate things they shouldn’t be tampering with.

If you have small children in your home, either from being a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or babysitter, then you should childproof your home so disasters can be prevented. These are some of the most common safety hazards for children and their remedies:

Choking Hazards
The world of a small child that is still crawling around on the floor is pretty much limited to the floor level. Have you ever noticed that most anything they see on the floor ends up in their mouths? Small children can easily choke on objects that get stuck in their throats. In fact, for children under one year old, choking is the number one cause of injury-related deaths. To help avoid this accident from happening, make sure you check your floors often. Pick up small objects such as coins, stones, paper clips, rubberbands, pen caps, erasers, et cetera. Also, be sure you remove items that can fit into a small child’s mouth from your coffee tables, lamp tables, low counters, and anywhere else they can reach.

Poisonous Hazards
Have you ever read the warning labels on one or more of the products in your house? Most store-bought cleaning products such as household bleach, furniture polish, drain cleaner, stain remover, and bathroom cleaners contain ingredients that are poisonous to humans. If you’re like most people, you store these products underneath your sink. This storage practice can enable children to easily reach them. You can easily protect your children from poisonous hazards by
installing childproof latches on all your floor-mounted cupboards. As long as the latches are kept locked, they will eliminate the chance of your children getting into the cupboards and drinking or spilling poisons or caustic solutions on themselves.

The only hazard remaining will be if you or someone in your family leaves a poisonous product setting out where it can be reached by small children. Therefore, you should practice safety by setting cleaners and other caustic poisons out of their reach until you’re done using them.

In case one of your children does ingest a toxin, keep the number of the local Poison Control Center by your telephone. You should also keep a bottle of Syrup of Ipecac in your medicine chest. This syrup can typically be purchased at your local drugstore. Syrup of Ipecac is used to induce vomiting. However, DO NOT administer it to your children unless you are instructed to do so by a poison control center professional! Some poisons and caustic chemicals do more harm when they are thrown back up!

Falling Hazards
Falling injuries involving children account for more than two million emergency room visits annually. Did you know that falls are the leading cause of wounds, fractures, and brain injuries too?

Stairways can be especially dangerous to small children who are just beginning to walk. Being that their leg muscles are not fully developed, toddlers tend to lose their balance easily. This can cause them to tumble down a flight of stairs within their reach. To prevent this accident from happening, you can purchase childproof gates. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for installing them. You should install childproof gates at the top of every stairway in your home.

Look for a gate that is easy for you to release so you can get up or down the stairs, yet one that will effectively deter your children from opening it up.

And don’t forget to childproof upper story windows! These, along with doors that lead to balconies, are another leading cause of accidents for children in their homes. You can purchase window guards and safety netting to help prevent your children from falling out these vulnerable areas of your house.

Electrical Hazards
Electrical outlets are the most common electrical hazard for a child. Not only most outlets within their reach, but outlets also provide easy-to-reach holes in which children can poke things into. You can easily eliminate this hazard by purchasing and installing safety covers on all of the electrical outlets in your home. Safety covers are easy to install and remove when you need to use an outlet.

Also, keep electrical cords out of your children’s reach. Electrical cords can be an electrocution hazard, plus, they can also be a strangulation hazard. Not to mention the injuries a child can endure when he or she pulls on a cord and pulls a lamp, iron, or coffeemaker down on top of them!

Burn/Scalding Hazards

The easiest way to prevent this accident from happening is to set your hot water heater to a temperature of one hundred and twenty degrees Fahrenheit. This simple act will go far in helping to reduce the chances of your child getting scalded by turning on the water faucet themselves.

You can also purchase anti-scald safety devices for your faucets and bathroom shower heads. By following the manufacturer’s directions, you should be able to install these devices yourself.

And, when you’re cooking in your kitchen, don’t allow your children to play anywhere near where you are working. Don’t allow them to play near the cooking stove or near a wood burning stove.
In conclusion, after you have childproofed your home, you’ll need to periodically check to make sure the guards and devices are in place and are working properly. This will help to ensure that your children remain safe and free from accidents in your home!

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