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National Safety Month: Keeping Your Home Safe for Children

toddler and dog at a gate inside a house

Reeval­u­ating your home’s safety standards is a great way to recognize National Safety Month. If you are the parent of a youngster, you should be aware of all of the dangers that your own home can pose. Kids find their way into every­thing. You must take great care to keep your children’s safety in mind as you organize and clean your home. Below are a few tips that will help you keep your kids out of harm’s way.

Keep young children away from water sources

Home injuries are one of the top sources of accidental death for children. Over 20 million medical treat­ments and 20,000 deaths per year are caused by accidents in the home. One of the best ways to protect your kids is to keep them away from water when unsuper­vised. If you have a pool, make sure an adult is watching your children. Do not leave small children around tubs, dish bins or even toilets. Babies can drown in merely one inch of water. Store all buckets, tubs and containers upside down and out of your child’s reach. Parents should give strong consid­er­ation to learning CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver. It can poten­tially help anyone who is in an emergency situation but it will provide you with the peace of mind that every parent deserves.

Safely store toxic materials

cleaning items

Keep your household cleaning products in areas that your children do not access. They should be stored high up on cabinet shelves where your kids cannot reach. All sorts of household cleaning products have harmful chemicals. Every­thing from laundry detergent to deodorant can poison children when ingested. Parents should also consider installing cabinet guards on cabinets where cleaners, household supplies and fertil­izers are stored. Always store these dangerous materials in their original containers so that your children do not mistake them for something else. The same precau­tions should be taken with your cosmetics, toiletries, medica­tions and common medicines. They should be stored in a locked cabinet that only adults can access. Check expiration dates on all these items and toss them out when they reach their date.

Remove suffo­cation threats

Take care to keep your children protected when they sleep with our home alarm systems. Their sleeping spaces should be completely bare from all other poten­tially harmful materials. This is especially important for babies. Over one half of suffo­cation cases occur in the sleeping environ­ments of babies. Even a comforter, pillow or stuffed animal has the potential to cover an infant’s nose and mouth. Your tot’s blanket should reach to the center of the baby’s chest and no further. Do not add blankets as the weather gets cooler. Instead, use warmer pajamas for your baby.

Prevent electrical hazards

electric socket - bottom one damaged

Be sure to cover your home’s electrical outlets so that curious kids do not pry into them. Make sure that all of your electronics are properly grounded and that unused electrical sockets are covered with plastic covers. Tell your kids about the dangers of electricity so that they respect their living environment. Beware of your home’s lighting system as well. One of the top causes of household fires is faulty electrical wiring. If your home experi­ences power surges, flick­ering lights, odd odors or other problems, contact an electrician to verify that your building has acceptable wiring.

Educate your kids

While you cannot prevent all accidents, you can prepare for potential emergencies. Talk with your kids about what to do if an emergency occurs. Tell your kids where you are keeping the home’s first aid kit. Make sure that it is stocked with emergency instruc­tions. Show your kids where you are storing important phone numbers. Ideally, you will keep them by your phone so that your kids can dial if necessary. Your list of important phone numbers should include your pedia­tri­cian’s number, poison control, your own work phone number and contact infor­mation for a nearby relative or neighbor.