Children’s curiosity adds many levels of joy to our lives as we watch them explore the world. That same curiosity leads children to open bathroom cabinets, put small objects in their mouths and peer precariously from windowsills. Childproofing your home is a must!
IN THE KITCHEN
- Keep toddlers out of the kitchen with a safety gate when you are cooking or otherwise distracted. Turn pot handles away from the front of the stove so your child cannot grab them. Use only the back burners when possible.
- Unplug appliances when they’re not in use. Make sure that appliance cords do not dangle over the edges of counters where curious children may tug at them.
- Store all cleansers, toothpicks, plastic bags and other hazardous items high above a child’s reach in a locked cabinet.
- Store knives, scissors and other sharp utensils in locked drawers or cabinets
- Store glassware out of children’s reach.
- Hang a working fire extinguisher within your reach but high enough to be out of young children’s reach.
- Remove stove dials of cover them with childproof caps.
- Keep children away from uninsulated oven doors.
- Install safety locks on drawers, especially if they contain dangerous objects.
- Place a lock on your microwave to prevent young children from using it. Never allow children under the age of eight to use the microwave.
- Keep hot foods and liquids away from the edges of tables. Do not use tablecloths or place mats around babies or toddlers to reduce the risk of a child pulling hot foods and beverages down on himself.
IN THE BATHROOM
- Never leave a young child unattended in the bath, not even for a few seconds.
- Place nonskid decals or a mat inside the tub to prevent slipping.
- Keep the bathroom tile floor dry and use a rubber backed cloth mat so that feet are thoroughly dry before walking on bare floors.
- Install an anti-scald valve on the hot water heater to keep the temp below 120 degrees.
- Put a lid lock on the toilet to prevent toddler drowning.
- Store razors, medicines soaps and cleaning products high in a locked cabinet. Medicines in general should not be stored in the bathroom because the heat and humidity may affect their potency. Store them in a locked cabinet in the linen closet or other room.
THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE
- Have at least one working smoke detector on each level of your home and at least on carbon monoxide detector.
- Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach.
- Place houseplants on high shelves.
- Cover all electrical outlets with outlet covers, including outlets in use. A snap on cover allows parents easy access to plugs while keeping little hands away.
- To keep small fingers safe keep front loading VCR’s out of children’s reach or secure the machines with a VCR lock.
- Install window guards on all windows. Do not rely on screens to keep children in. Never nail windows shut or partially open because the windows may be needed for exit in the event of a fire.
- Wrap window shade cords high above a child’s reach (including reaching from the sofa, crib or other potential climbing position)
- Place nonskid mats beneath area rugs
- To keep children from accidentally locking themselves in rooms, remove the door lock or place a towel over the tops of doors to prevent doors from closing completely.
- Replace glass, if possible, with sturdier plexiglass in high traffic areas such as patio doors and doors with glass panes. Or cover the glass with clear contact paper, which reduces, but does not eliminate the risk.
- Install child safety gates at the top and bottom of the staircase.
- Place a cover over radiators to avoid burns
- Use extension cords wisely. Unplug them and put away when not in use. Stop using a frayed cord or one that is hot or warm to the touch.
- Perform routine maintenance on schedule, including chimney sweeping, checking heating devices to assure safe operations, and discarding unused chemicals throughout the house.
- Remove or replace small drawer knobs or electronic equipment knows (such as stereo dials) that curious young children may remove and ingest.
IN THE GARAGE, LAUNDRY ROOM GARDEN AND BACKYARD
- Replace your current automatic garage door with one that contains a sensing device that will not close of blocked by a child
- Do not allow your child to play in the front seat of a car, where he may accidentally disengage the brake
- Keep outdoor garbage cans secure with locking lids
- Keep trunk doors locked when not loading or unloading the car
- Keep garden supplies and barbecue supplies in a locked bin out of reach
- Keep children away from barbecues. Put a fence around the area and keep children a safe distance away while you cook and for the hours it may take for coals to get cool
- Never leave children unattended near a pool, even a wading pool. Make sure your pool is securely fenced in so that children cannot have access without your knowledge and supervision. o not rely solely on pool alarms or pool covers to keep your children safe.
- Remove the doors from old, unused appliances such as refrigerators and freezers. Lock any out of the way freezers, coolers and trunks securely because these things are intriguing hiding places for young children who may suffocate inside them.
- Secure the doors of clothes dryers, so that children cannot open them.
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