The term “in the safety of your own home” can be a bit of a misnomer for parents with toddlers, or at least for parents who have not taken the time, or adequately been able, to childproof their home. As statistics show household injuries are one of the most common reasons kids 3 and under visit the hospital each year, once a child is able to crawl or walk, it’s important that parents are as diligent as possible in reducing the potential for injury hazards for children.
With this in mind, the healthcare providers at Children’s Wellness Center have put together some helpful tips for how to childproof some of the most common rooms of your home.
- Invest in a gate to ensure that the kitchen is off-limits when you’re not around.
- Protect lower cabinets with locks or latches to keep children away from potentially harmful kitchen cleaning products like detergents and bleach.
- Keep sharp cutlery high and out of reach.
- Stove and stove nobs (which can be fun to twist) should be covered when not in use.
- Trash cans should have a child-resistant cover.
- Ensure your child’s crib is sturdy and set up properly.
- Since traditional drop-side cribs are now banned from being sold in the US due to safety concerns, make sure to purchase a fixed-side crib.
- Install a window guard and make sure windows cannot open more than a few inches.
- Cover electrical outlets with sliding covers and avoid removable plastic covers that can be choking hazards for kids.
- Protect kids from burns by setting your water heater to 120 degrees or installing an anti-scald device to the bath spout and sink faucet.
- Nonslip mats in and around the tub can help prevent slips and falls on slick bathroom surfaces.
- Store all medications in an out-of-reach, preferably in a lockable cabinet.
The Living Room
- Cushion the edges of coffee tables, TV stands, window ledges and anything else with sharp/jagged corners.
- Cover the fireplace with a gate.
- Mount your TV securely on the wall or anchor them to stands to prevent risk of them falling over.
- Anchor furniture to walls to prevent tipping over.
- Cover fireplace stones.
- Place gates at the top and bottom of stairs to prevent potential falls.
- Stair balusters should be no more than 4 inches apart.
Remember than anything smaller than the opening of a toilet paper roll can be a potential choking hazard for your child. In the case of a poisoning emergency, immediately contact poison control at (800) 222-1222. A safe, childproof home is a major step towards a happy and healthy home environment for your young ones and we hope this quick guide is useful as you prepare your own home. If you have concerns that you’d like to discuss with any of our providers, feel free to contact Children’s Wellness Center today. Our healthcare providers are available to answer your questions and help out any way we can.