Childproof your home
More than 4.5 million children are injured in the home every year. Try to childproof every room asking what is within reach of the child that may be a temptation. Childproofing does not guarantee safety—supervision is the most important key to preventing injury. Keep emergency numbers by the phone and keep a first aid kit on hand.
- Never leave a child unattended in a bathtub or bath ring.
- Always check the water temperature before placing a child in the bathtub.
- Install lid locks on all toilets.
- Keep toilet lids closed.
- Keep all medicines in containers with safety caps, and store them in a locked cabinet.
- Unplug devices when not in use, and store them out of reach.
- Set the hot water heater to a maximum of 120?F. Use antiscald devices for faucets and shower heads.
- Ensure crib slats are 2 3/8 inches apart.
- Never place a crib near windows. Cut blind cords so they are out of reach.
- Use toy chests without lids or with supports that hold lids open.
- Keep balls, balloons and other small toys away from cribs.
- Review recent recalls and safety product news.
- Make sure all drawers have stops.
- Keep sharp instruments in latched drawers separate from safe kitchen utensils.
- Keep glassware out of reach.
- Avoid heating baby bottles in microwave ovens. Pockets of milk may be hot enough to scald baby’s mouth.
- Keep pot handles turned toward the back of the stove, use back burners and keep oven doors closed.
Around the House
- Keep all paints, varnishes, cleaning products and dangerous tools out of reach.
- Lock and restrict storage areas.
- Unplug all power tools.
- Install automatic safety reverse on garage doors.
- Check for fire hazards, such as frayed wires or flammable materials near heat sources.
- Install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in every sleeping area and on every level.
- Use safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs and dangerous areas.
- Use safety covers on all unused electrical outlet plates.
- Keep firearms locked, unloaded and stored out of reach. Secure ammunition in a separate, locked location.
- Install window guards.
- Install safety netting around all balconies and decks.
- Secure bookcases, shelving and heavy furniture to walls with brackets and anchors.
- Secure large items such as TVs, microwaves and fish tanks.
- Use corner and edge bumpers.
- Use safety latches and locks on all cabinets and drawers.
- Use door stops or door holders on door hinges.
- Use door knob covers and door locks.
- Use a cordless phone to allow continuous supervision of children.
Children are at risk of injury due to their curiosity, tendency to put things in their mouths and their size. Lack of supervision increases the risk for some of these hazards. Some of the most common hidden hazards may involve:
- Aerosol cans
- All-terrain vehicles (ATVs)
- Amusement parks
- Bunk beds
- Latex balloons
- Lawn mowers
- Lead paint
- Pool and spa drains
- Recalled products
- Shopping carts
- Wired or decorative glass
Sources: cpsc.gov and safekids.org