It is the nature of young children to explore the world around them, but their curiosity can lead to serious injury. A professional childproofer can help identify safety hazards in your home. Each year there are about two million children under the age of five who are treated in emergency rooms for injuries that occurred in the home. Listed below are important steps you can take to prevent injuries in the home. Specific hazards vary from home to home and from child to child, so this list is by no means all-inclusive.
- Install hardware mounted gates at the top and bottom of your stairs. This means gates are mounted with screws into wall studs or railings.
- Install window guards on windows above the first floor. Even if windows are above a child’s normal reach, many children move items to climb on in order to reach the window.
- Install latches on any cabinet, drawer or closet that contains potential hazards. Hazards may include medicines, household cleaners, sharp knives, glass items, plastic bags, magnets, batteries, choking hazards and more. We recommend you move medicines and dangerous items to high locked cabinets.
- Cover electrical outlets to prevent shock, burns or a child from plugging in an appliance. Be aware of plug-in type outlet covers that can be easily removed and become choking hazards.
- Have furniture and televisions tethered to the wall to reduce the chance of tip-over. Even heavy pieces of furniture can become unstable if the doors or drawers are opened and pulled or climbed on. Tethering devices must be designed to support the weight of the unit and must be securely fastened with screws into wall studs.
- Use door and toilet lid latches to keep toddlers from accessing standing water in bathrooms and around the home. Also, swimming pools should always have four-sided child safety fences surrounding them.
- Install carbon monoxide and smoke alarms outside of every bedroom. The batteries must be changed regularly and detectors replaced at least every 10 years.
- Remove any cords from children’s bedrooms and playrooms, including any window treatment with cords. Any cord longer than 7” can become a strangulation hazard. Keep all electrical cords, including baby monitors away the crib. Little arms often can reach more than you think!