The home should be a safe environment for families; however, even the most tidy of homes can be dangerous to infants and young children. In most houses, nearly every room holds a surprising number of threats to children. Many of these threats may not be obvious or things that a majority of adults think of as dangerous, but when there are children around, these very things can become deadly. In addition to the usual and obvious safety hazards such as poisonous cleaning products, medicines, and lighters, there are other things that might escape a parent or parent-to-be's notice. These things include, but are not limited to, drapery cords that may potentially choke small children, toxic plants, and furniture located near windows that can allow toddlers to climb up and potentially fall out of any window that is left open. To prevent the injury to and potential death of children living in the home, parents should take steps to childproof each room. Ideally, this should be done before bringing a newborn baby home; however, it is never too late to create a safer environment for children.

Living/Family Room

  • To prevent children from being seriously injured when reaching for the television, anchor flat-screen televisions to the wall to prevent them from toppling and put older, wider, and heavier CRT televisions on low, sturdy surfaces with the unit's back against a wall.

  • Place tape over power cords or run them beneath furniture so that children are less likely to notice them and potentially get shocked from chewing on or playing with them.

  • Pad the edges of sharp-edged living room furniture or replace it with furniture that has softer, rounder edges.

Kitchen/Dining Room

  • Secure the refrigerator and all cabinets and cupboards with the appropriate child safety locks.

  • Unplug kitchen appliances when not in use, and at all times, keep them pushed back on the counters to prevent children from pulling them down.

  • Cook using the back burners on the stove, and keep handles facing inward, toward the back of the stove.

Bathroom

  • Reduce the risk of hot water burning children as they bathe by setting the hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Purchase and routinely use a toilet lock to prevent children from opening the toilet and potentially drowning in the bowl.

  • Keep the bathroom garbage bin free of things that can hurt a child, such as razors, empty cleaner bottles, etc.

Bedrooms

  • Prevent heavy furniture, particularly furniture with drawers that children may attempt to climb, from toppling over by anchoring items to the wall.

  • Put window stops and window guards on the windows to prevent children from opening them and potentially falling out.

  • Help prevent a child from choking by ensuring that cords to window blinds or drapes are up and out of children's reach.

Stairs

  • Install wall-mounted safety gates at both the top and the bottom of the home's stairs.

  • Install a barrier such as a rail net if there are four inches or more between the stair balusters or replace them entirely to prevent children from fitting through them and either falling or getting stuck.

  • Tack down any carpeting or rugs on the stairs.

Basement

  • Install a lock on the basement door and ensure that it is locked at all times to keep children out of this area of the home.

  • Place poisonous products and any flammable liquids that are stored in the basement on high shelves, or store them in a locked cupboard.

  • Unplug power tools when not in use and store them in locked cabinets or on high, sturdy shelves.

Yard

  • Keep all lawn or gardening equipment and tools, such as shears and the lawnmower, in a locked storage shed or the garage at all times when not in use.

  • Use non-chemical products for weed and pest control or remove all children's toys and prevent children from playing in the yard for 48 hours after applying pesticides to the yard.

  • Use caution when planting new plants in the yard, and research and remove any toxic plants currently in the yard.









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