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Monday
Apr182011

Is your Home safe for your Child?

Is your Home safe for your Child?

Baby's Room

  • Make certain that the distance between crib slats is no more than 2 & 3/8 inches.
  • Never leave a baby unattended on a changing table. Keep diapering supplies within reach.
  • Position the crib away from other furniture, windows, and wallhangings.
  • Wrap lamp and appliance cords so that your child cannot chew or strangle on the excess length. If possible, drape cords behind a large piece of furniture.

Bathroom

  • Make certain electrical appliances (hair dryers, curling irons, etc.) are stored unplugged in a latched drawer or cabinet.
  • Never, under any circumstances, leave your child alone in a bathroom. Children can drown in as little as two inches of water in just a few seconds! Don't assume that if there is no water in the tub there is no danger.
  • Put soft covers on bathtub faucets to protect little heads and use a bath seat or non-skid bath mat to prevent the baby from slipping during bath time.
  • Put toilet lid locks on toilet seat covers to prevent accidental drowning.
  • Set temperature on your hot water heater to120 degrees or lower.

Closets

  • Install bi-fold door locks on accordion-type closets to prevent your child from pinching his fingers.
  • Remove dry cleaning bags from all closets.

Doors

  • Install flip locks on doors to the outside to prevent your child from walking out the door when unattended.
  • Install one-piece doorstops. Regular doorstops have rubber tips. Children can easily remove the tips and choke on them.
  • Install overhead door locks on rooms or closets that you don't want your child to enter--such as your home office, bathrooms, or laundry room.

Electrical Outlets & Wiring

  • Install self-closing (sliding) electrical outlet covers to ensure that outlets remain covered even if your child unplugs an appliance or if someone forgets to replace a plug cover after use.
  • Remove computer cables, telephone wires, and electrical cords from your baby's reach to prevent strangulation or electrical shocks.

Fireplaces & Wood Stoves

  • Place pillows or a quilt over the hearth to shield your child from serious injury in case of a fall. Or better yet, install a HearthGate™ to keep him away from the fireplace altogether.
  • Use a screen or HearthGate™ to keep your child away from the fireplace or wood stove opening.

Furniture

  • Fasten any shelving, bookcases, or dressers to the walls with furniture brackets.
  • Place furniture away from windows to prevent children from accidentally falling out.
  • Remove any glass from tabletops and replace with acrylic sheeting.
  • Remove unstable, top heavy furnishings that could fall over on your child.
  • Tighten or remove loose knobs on cabinets and drawers.
  • Watch out for sharp edges on tables and chests. Remove the furniture from the room completely or soften corners and edges with corner guards, edge cushions, or Toddler Shields (gathered padding designed to fit snugly around the entire table).

General

  • Have a family fire escape program. Decide on two emergency exits from each room and teach your children how to use them. If your children are very young, decide in advance who will be responsible for getting them out of the house.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, in the kitchen, and inside each bedroom. Test them once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year (use a date you will remember, e.g. your child's birthday).
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it.
  • Keep a list of emergency telephone numbers (police, fire, hospital, pediatrician, etc.) at every telephone. Don't rely on speed dial buttons. They can be easily erased or reprogrammed.
  • Learn basic first aid and infant/child CPR.
  • Many accidents occur in other people's homes. Be extra vigilant when visiting friends and relatives. Offer this checklist as reading material to those who frequently care for your child.
  • Plants can be toxic. Remove any poisonous plants from your home.

Guns and Firearms

  • NEVER keep firearms in a home with children. If you must, store it unloaded and secure with a locking mechanism, or better yet, dismantled. In either case, keep the gun in a locked safe.

Home Office

  • Install an overhead door lock to keep your child out of your home office.
  • Install cord covers on cables and electrical cords.
  • Keep desk and filing drawer cabinets locked. If there are no locks, install latches, if possible, to keep your child from getting into the contents or from getting trapped inside of large drawers.
  • Keep small items, like pencils, erasers and staples, in a locked drawer.
  • Place power strip covers on power strips.

Kitchen

  • Always cook on back burners when possible and keep pot handles facing toward the back of the stove. Keep hot foods away from table and counter edges. Never carry or hold your baby and hot liquids or foods at the same time.
  • Dispose of plastic grocery bags immediately.
  • Install safety latches on all cabinets and drawers. Remove cleaning agents and other toxic substances (including alcoholic beverages) from lower cabinets and move them to an upper latched cabinet. This rule applies to all rooms where toxic substances are stored.
  • Keep the trash compactor, dishwasher, and oven locked at all times. If these appliances do not have locks, use appliance locks to keep curious toddlers out.
  • Remove countertop knife holders.
  • Remove knobs from the front of the stove.
  • Secure cords for counter top appliances. Little hands enjoy reaching up and tugging on loose cords. This danger can result in severe injuries when heavy appliances come crashing down.

Laundry Room & Garage

  • Anchor your hot water heater to the wall to prevent it from falling onto your child.
  • Install a mounted hanger for your ironing board and iron to prevent them from accidentally falling on your child.
  • Never store flammable liquids and materials near gas-fired appliances, such as water heaters or dryers, where fumes could accumulate and ignite.
  • Secure dangerous and poisonous materials in latched upper cabinets.

Master & Other Bedrooms

  • Empty nightstands of medication, cosmetics, jewelry, buttons, pencils, pens, and any potentially dangerous items.
  • Install overhead door locks on the doors to the master bedroom and older siblings rooms.
  • Keep a flashlight and extra batteries handy in a latched drawer in case of a power outage.

Stairways & Balconies

  • Make sure gaps between rails and banisters are less than 4 inches. Install acrylic sheeting along railings that exceed this standard to prevent your child from getting caught in between the rails.
  • Mount gates at the top and bottom of stairs to prevent falls. Do not use pressure or accordion-style gates for stairways. Children can push over pressure gates. Accordion-style gates can be scaled like a ladder.

Windows & Window Treatments

  • Keep drapery and mini-blind cords out of reach using cord cleats to prevent the possibility of strangulation. 

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