Your home should definitely be the safest place for your child, but many common hazards — even when they’re in plain sight — aren’t always obvious to parents and caregivers. Sadly, preventable household accidents are one of the top reasons for childhood visits to the emergency room.
The good news is that there are plenty of child safety mechanisms on the market that can greatly reduce the risk of injuries in the home. Not only are these products widely available and relatively inexpensive, they are also easy to use. Help keep your kids out of harm’s way with this handy room-by-room childproofing checklist:
In the kitchen
- Keep household chemicals out of reach in locked cabinets.
- Store sharp or breakable items (knives, glassware) in upper-level cabinets.
- Secure your oven door with a safety latch.
- Consider installing stovetop knob covers.
- When cooking, always turn pot handles away from the edge of the stove.
In the bathroom
- Keep all medications safely stored in a latched medicine cabinet or drawer.
- Place nonslip mats in and around the tub to avoid accidents.
- Safeguard against burns by setting your water heater no higher than 120℉.
- Secure toilet lids with a safety lock.
- Consider adding a padded faucet cover to protect young children from bumps and bruises in the bath.
In the bedroom
- Be sure to have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed near bedrooms. Multistory homes should have alarms on all levels. Check the batteries regularly and replace them annually.
Around the home
- Prevent bookcases, dressers and other top-heavy pieces of furniture from being pulled over by securing them with brackets or wall straps.
- Place safety covers on all electrical outlets below counter height. Consider using automatic sliding covers instead of standard plastic plug-ins to avoid a potential choking hazard.
- Use cord keepers on blinds and window treatments to remove the strangulation risk presented by looped cord pulls.
- If you have stairs, install safety gates at the top and bottom of the landing to prevent falls.
- Restrict unsupervised access to dangerous areas with door latches or locks.