Parents are very protective of their young children, they sometimes forget that one of the most dangerous places for a child is very own home. Because many homes have hidden dangers, it’s important that every parent takes the necessary steps to childproof their home to keep their child safe.
Every year, nearly 3 million children experience an accidental injury at home which requires a trip to the emergency room. Accidental injuries can also be life-threatening – nearly 3,000 kids die annually. Young child especially at risk of choking, poisoning, drowning, burns and falls. The good thing is that these accidents are preventable.
To keep your child safe, follow these simple steps to make your home a safer place.
- Install safety latches on cabinets and drawers containing household cleaners and other poisonous products to prevent your child from reaching them.
- Place pots and pans with handles on the stove’s back burners or turn the pot handles toward the back of the stove to keep hot cookware out of your child’s reach.
- Keep cookware and appliances out of reach and away from the edge of counters and tables.
- Install toilet locks to keep toilet lids closed as young children can lean and fall into a toilet. Even a small amount of water is not safe for a young child as he or she can drown in just one inch of water.
- Install anti-scalding devices on faucets and shower heads to prevent burns. To be on the safe zone, set the water heater thermostat to 120 degrees. In just three seconds, a child can suffer a third-degree burn from water at 140 degrees.
- Unplug hair dryers and electric rollers after use to prevent electrocution from contact with water in the bathroom.
- Use safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs. Gates with expanding pressure bars are not recommended.
- Make sure window blinds and curtains do not have looped cords since a child can become entangled in a cord and strangle.
- Secure bookcases, dressers and appliances (such as flat screen TVs) to the wall to prevent them from tipping over. To be on the safe side, place heavier items on bottom shelves and drawers.
- Use an outlet cover or safety caps to cover unused electrical outlets. Make sure outlets in the bathroom and kitchen are updated with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), which turn off electricity if appliances fall into water.
Remember, taking these steps to keep your child safe at home will greatly reduce the chance of an injury. However, the most important safety precaution you can take is to monitor your child closely at all times. Whenever possible, avoid children being left unattended. For more ideas on how to keep your child safe, visit webmd.com.