Accidents happen around the house, but you can do your part as a parent to reduce the chances of your kids getting hurt.
Above and beyond keeping your eye on small children at all times, this involves child proofing your home to ensure it’s as safe as possible. After all, household injuries present the highest risk for emergency room visits for kids under three years old and three quarters of kids under four years old die from unintentional injuries at home. Here are some tips to childproofing your house.
Install Safety Locks
First and foremost, it’s critical to prevent curious kids from getting into things they shouldn’t. It’s not enough to tell them to stay away from certain areas of the home. Curiosity will likely win out over time. Installing door locks on cabinets — especially those with dangerous cleaning chemicals or medications — is an important first step. Do this when your babies start to become mobile and continue at least until they are out of their toddler years. You should even put locks on cabinets that are positioned high up and contain prescription medication bottles with child-resistant packaging, advises the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This is because these packages are not truly childproof and many kids can manipulate their way into them given opportunity.
Childproof Your Windows
Take a good look at the windows, door and other points of entry around the home. Lock all sliding windows and doors, arrange chairs and other furniture so that kids can’t climb up on them to reach windows, install window guards to prevent accidental falls, and make sure there are plenty of bushes along the perimeter of the home so that a child will be cushioned if he or she does fall out.
Install Safety Covers
If you’re unsure where to start for childproofing, crawl on your hands and knees and look at your house from your child’s perspective. What looks tempting? What could a child get into that could hurt him? Make sure all outlets have safety covers on them, place rubber corners on all coffee tables and other sharp furniture, latch all toilets, install safety gates at stairways, and make sure all doors are covered with safety knobs.
Childproofing your home can save your children from falling victim to unnecessary accidents, and will give you peace of mind as well.