We think a dream home is one that is essentially a safe place for everyone – old and young. From a grownup viewpoint, almost everything in a home looks perfect. But it’s important to have another, especially if you have children. Is the home safe from a small child’s viewpoint? Your home may have many more potential hazards than you realize. Here are some tips for home safety for children:
It’s crucial to take a few simple, but extremely important steps to childproof your home and make your dream home truly safe. The first step in this direction is going through each room by getting onto your child’s level. From this new view, check out if everything you thought is ok is really safe.
For preventing common injuries like falling, burns, drowning, and poisoning; pay careful attention to these areas:
- Sharp Corners – Though your favorite coffee table may occasionally cause a bruised knee when you bump into it, from a child’s perspective, it could do much more harm. The same table could become the cause of a serious head injury. Ensure that cabinets, tables, and all sharp corners are fitted with bumpers or guards that provide round edges which soften falls and bumps.
- Locks and Latches – Medicines, cleaning supplies, and other potentially toxic items should be stored out of reach of children. If drawers and cabinets are at lower heights and easily accessible by kids, they need to be fitted with child-safe latches and locks. It’s also a good idea to designate some low cabinets for storage of toys and other kid stuff. Knowing their own spaces are accessible often keeps curious kids away from the other cabinets.
- Electrical Fittings – Using small plastic covers over electrical outlets is a good way of preventing young kids from accessing them accidentally. However, sometimes kids do manage to pry these covers out. If you’re using an outlet rarely, it might be better to get hard covers that can be screwed on. Discuss outlet safety with your local hardware dealer to know the best options available.
- Safety Gates – Installing safety gates is a great way to keep children and pets out of specific areas. Gates screwed into walls are generally considered stronger than pressure gates.
- Windows – If you have children present in rooms with open windows, make sure there are guards or safety nets in place. Remember that you need to plan for emergency evacuation because not all safety treatments can be quickly removed. Make sure safety tassels and adjustable cords are present on appropriate window treatments to guard against strangulation.
- Appliances – There should be no cords dangling from appliances on countertops. Children might pull them, causing the appliances to fall on top of them. Keep knobs and buttons turned away from easy access and ensure larger appliances are fixed to the wall.
- Water – Less than two inches of water is enough to make small children drown. Water above 120 degrees can cause severe burns. Make sure you have toilet locks and equipment to regulate water temperatures in place.
- Lighting – Many children are frightened of the dark and it can cause disorientation and accidents. Keeping small nightlights on along walkways creates a reassuring path. They are not intrusive while kids sleep and highlight obtrusions when they’re awake.
It takes just a few extra dollars to make the house safe for your kids, and the safety of your child is worth the extra expenditure.
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