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Ten ways to make your house safer for children

Lankenau Medical Center June 3, 2014 General Wellness

Young kids love to explore, even in their own homes, which is why it’s important to remember that every area of your home—even the areas you think are out of reach—is free of safety hazards that could injure your little one.

“Most people already know the importance of childproofing their home with cabinet locks, outlet covers, and baby gates to restrict different areas, but there are some risks that aren’t as easily identified,” explains Rosemary Casey, MD, pediatrician at Lankenau Medical Center.

Below, Dr. Casey offers a list of ten things you should know if you’ve got an infant or toddler on-the-go.

  1. Always bolt furniture like dressers and chests of drawers to the wall, especially in areas where you might not hear them fall. Kids are curious and like to climb, and one of these pieces of furniture falling could injure them or potentially be fatal.
  2. Be sure to include a fire alarm and carbon monoxide detector in children’s bedrooms.
  3. Remember to unplug! When you’re finished with an appliance in the kitchen or bathroom, unplug it and set it out of reach of children, even if it’s something you plan on using again later in the day.
  4. Ribbons, cords, and strings are tempting to play with. Keep strings from curtains or blinds tied up high, remove any ribbons from mobiles above your baby’s crib, and remove drawstrings from any clothing or toys.
  5. Even adults can fall in the shower, so it’s especially risky for kids. Look for a nonskid mat to place inside your shower or tub to prevent slips and falls.
  6. When you’re standing in front of the oven, you might not think you need to be worried about an accident. But one quick move from your toddler and the contents of your pot might not be so safe. Keep all handles from pots and pans turned inward to prevent children from reaching to touch them.
  7. You put a gate up at the top and bottom of the staircase, but what about other risky areas? Use gates for pools, garages and basements, too.
  8. Install window guards and window stops on windows in your home to prevent children from falling out of them.
  9. That bathwater may not seem hot to you, but it could be too hot for your infant or toddler. Many bath toys are available that will tell you when the water is just right for your child.
  10. Although it might sound obvious, keep firearms and other weapons out of reach of children and locked away in a safe in a secret location within your home. Remember to always lock these after use, regardless of whether or not your children are at home.