So, you have bought your home and moved everything in. Now what? "It's time to make sure your home is safe for your child. Unintentional injury is the number one cause of fatalities in children in the US.
You'll find all kinds of gadgets for sale that can really help your home childproofing efforts. Or, if you can afford it, you can hire a professional childproofer to choose and install safety devices for you. But, keep in mind, gadgets are NO substitute for your eyes and ears! Prevention is crucial - Here are some recommended steps to childproof your home.
1. Install safety latches on all cabinets and drawers, plus locking latches on all appliances that open and close. Stow away cleaning products, medications, vitamins, knives, etc.
2. Use stove back burners, and turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Use stove knob covers and stove guards, including oven locks. Some newer dishwashers have built-in child locks, too.
3. Keep appliances and kitchenware out of reach and away from the edge of counters.
4. Put visual reminders around - look for "Mr. Yuk" stickers, or make your own!!
5. Use up-to-the-minute, new safety caps for all outlets, all around the house, and unplug all appliances when not in use.
6. Make sure plastic garbage and sandwich bags are kept out of reach.
1. Use safety latches where needed.
2. Use toilet locks to keep lids closed, and children out!
3. Install anti-scalding devices on faucets and showerheads (set water temperature to 120 degrees).
4. Unplug hairdryers and electric razors after use
5. Use child-proof caps for all medications, and keep them out of reach of children
6. Make sure any bathroom (or area) rugs have non-slip pads. Also make sure bathtubs are slip-proof.
Garage and yard
1. Test garage doors to make sure they reverse automatically when they come in contact with anything.
2. Repair any loose bricks or walkways.
3. Keep gardening tools and hoses stored properly.
4. Make sure pools have proper fencing, preferably around their perimeter
5. Install safety netting around balconys and decks.
Around the house
1. Install safety gates at the top and bottom of all staircases
2. Use doorknob covers, and corner and edge bumpers on furniture
3. Make sure furniture, including cribs, is placed away from windows.
4. One cause of in-home accidents is when children pull tv's or furniture down - make sure cords are hidden .... prevent furniture from tipping by securing with brackets. Keep dresser drawers closed - they make perfect ladders!
5. Keep recliner chairs in the closed position
6. Post emergency information (phone numbers for police, fire, md's and poison control, etc.) next to all phones. The phone number for the National Poison Control Center is (800) 222-1222.
7. Make sure window blinds don't have looped cords as these can be strangulation hazards. Secure windows and doors (low windows shouldn't open more than 4 inches).
8. Remove or place special hinges on free-falling lids from toy chests or hampers.
9. Some plants can be poisonous - make sure yours aren't!
10. Keep children away from exercise equipment, and unplug when not in use.
11. Keep an eye out for small objects that your child could choke on (paper clips, beads, buttons, coins, etc.).
12. Be sure to install smoke detectors on each floor in your home and carbon monoxide detectors, too (they should be within 10 feet of all bedrooms).
Remember that childproofing your home can never be 100% effective against injury. That's why it is so important to supervise children at all times. I hope these suggestions and checklist will help make your home a safer haven for all your children and visitors!" ~ Debbie Rose, Linvingston, NJ
Milicki and Associates
110 Evans Mill Drive, Suite 103, Dallas, Georgia 30157
Office: 770-874-2022 | Fax: 770-874-2027