While every parent hopes to keep their child safe, the biggest threat they meet with on a daily basis is lurking in their own homes. That totally includes the medicine cabinet, just about everything in the kitchen, the elegant staircase, and your closet full of pumps.
Scary to imagine, but it’s a reality parents must consider every day as their children grow up. In a report from the pediatric organization, Nationwide Children's, more than 3.4 million children experience an unintentional household injury each year, with an estimated 2,300 under the age of 15 becoming fatally injured.
Whether your child is crawling or training to become a marathon runner before the age of three, it’s important to carefully childproof your home and create a safe, sensible haven for peace of mind.
Pad corners and edges
When it comes to tackling your home, padding corners and edges needs to be top priority. Cushion table corners and edges throughout the house with bumpers, which soften the impact if knocked into them; and remove glass-topped tables if possible. While children may not get hurt after bumping into the corners of a glass table if properly padded, they can still fall on it and get seriously hurt. Additionally, bumpers work on any sharp edge, so that means it’s good for that fireplace and low windowsills.
Consider the stairs and doorways
We can watch our wobbly walking children all day. But, their wee feet can lead them into high-hazard zones, like the stairways. As the first line of defense in keeping tots away from dangerous spots, invest in a safe, sturdy baby gate and seal off the top and bottom of the staircase. Useful for shutting traffic to the kitchen and bathroom too, baby gates double as a playpen to ensure your child is safe and restricted to just one area. Additionally, install a lock high above the baby’s reach and consider banister guards to prevent children from squeezing their tiny heads through.
Touted one of the more dangerous rooms in the house, the kitchen is a zone that can seriously harm a child. While baby gates are helpful in keeping kids out, consider what might be harmful to kids and develop safe kitchen habits. Never leave anything like towels hanging off edges, railings or cabinets and never have cookware handles facing the front of a stove — these can be pulled and have everything tumble down on them, including hot food or beverages. Keep it all out of reach and far from their wee hands. When done with dishes, never leave them lying around; instead, towel dry and store safely. Most importantly, store knives in a secured drawer and never leave them out.
Hot spots and sockets
You may think leaving your iron on for one second is okay as you take that phone call or check social media, but anything can happen in an instant — and when your little one crawls, you mindfulness is essential. Unplug everything they might try to explore and cover all electrical outlets in the house. If they are walking, ensure tabletop gadgets and appliances are unplugged, far from reach and sockets are secured with outlet covers and plugs. Additionally, remove stove knobs or put covers over burners when not in a use to avoid accidents.
Look out for windows
Screens might seem like viable options for the ground floor, but they only offer the illusion of safety and are not strong enough to prevent children from falling through. Instead, invest in window guards, which are easy to open by adults in emergencies and made to prevent falls from a window, deck or balcony. Additionally, ensure furniture is away from the window in fear of crawling kids and keep cords of blinds out of reach by shortening for safety or investing in cordless window coverings, especially in bedrooms.
Tub time is a great time to unwind with the kids, but if you leave for a few seconds to grab their favorite tub time toy, it can mean your child explores their surroundings and unknowingly turn the faucet on. To avoid an accident of them filling the tub with hot or cold water, protect your child with spout and faucet covers that will ensure nothing but good, clean fun. Whatever happens though, always supervise bath time. Moreover, keep them away from the toilet. Not only does it look like a tiny pool, but it’s the perfect dumping ground for objects, so consider a plastic safety latch or toilet lock to ensure they are not “playing” with it.