Childproofing your home is such an important step in becoming a new parent. Many people don’t realize what needs to get done before their infant starts getting around. Most new parents are more worried about their child being abducted than worrying about the hazards that come from within their home. What they don’t realize is that there is a greater chance of getting injured at home than being harmed by a stranger.
Statistics show that millions of children each year are rushed to the emergency room with involved in an accident that could have been prevented if their home environment was childproofed correctly. Five thousand children die each year because of an accident that takes place within the home environment. The most complete childproofing jobs are done by hiring a professional. If you choose to childproof your own home on your own avoid mistakes by going room to room. The best way to save a child is to become one. Look at the hazards from their eye level.
• Do you have windows with blinds? Are the blind cords left loose? Make sure with all blinds that you use hardware to tie the cords where children can not pull on them causing the blind to fall on top of them. Worse yet if cords are left loose they are more apt to cause strangulation. Make sure that beds and chairs are kept far away from blinds. If a child goes to peer out and gets their head caught in the blinds this could cause strangulation.
• Outlet covers should be installed on all outlets. Don’t assume because an outlet is covered by a piece of furniture that it isn’t important. If you move the furniture and forget about the outlet you could end up having a child electrocute themselves.
• Any cord that is left loose is a potential safety hazard. Make sure you zip tie any loose cords and secure them. This will prevent kids from chewing on them or playing with them.
• Make sure smoke detectors are in working order and installed throughout the home. As soon as your child is able to understand start teaching them about fire safety and how to react in an emergency. They could potentially save your life one day. It is never too early to start and each year is a good chance to reinforce the concept when you change the smoke detectors batteries.
• Something most people forget about is door knobs. They sell covers now that don’t allow anyone to open the door without being able to maneuver the cover. This is especially helpful in preventing falls down stairs and escape artists. Children love the outside and will attempt to find their way out with or without you. Door knob covers make this feat harder.
• Curtains should also be looked at. Make sure you do not have any long tassels that could get caught around a child’s neck.
• When using safety gates make sure that they are properly installed. If you are using a gate at the top of a stairway make sure it is the type that screws into a stud to prevent it from coming loose. Children will lean on these gates so make sure yours isn’t going anywhere so that your child doesn’t fall down the stairs.
• Water is another source people often forget. Not only do you have to worry about drowning but also water temperature. Make sure your water heater is kept within the recommended temperature range to prevent burns.
This is a very generic list. It should make you stop and realize that many common household items can be potentially deadly to your child. Something as simple as windows with blinds can lead to the death of a child. Childproofing is not a one day job. Be sure to always be on the lookout for hidden danger within your home.