Clever Tips to Childproof Your Home
Who knew that having a two year old was more like having a three-foot tall tornado spinning around your home leaving creative chaos in its wake? The mess is not the only problem, as for some reason, children love to play with things that offer life-threatening danger: stoves, knives, plugs, medicines, etc. It is crucial to childproof your home, as children are more likely to die by accidents such as fires, choking, drowning or poisoning than they are by a stranger (through abduction and violence). Protect your home and protect your family by using these tips.
Get on the floor
There are lots of hazards that you might not notice from an adult’s perspective. Get down on your hands and knees and explore your house the way a toddler would. Look underneath furniture for choking hazards. Look up to see if there is anything that looks interesting to grab onto, like things on bookcases that might bring the whole thing tumbling down or table cloths that might pull everything on top of it onto the floor. Make sure that you cannot reach dangerous things like medications and knives when you are on your hands and knees.
Bolt Things to the Wall
About 16,000 children are rushed to the emergency room every year from injuries sustained from falling furniture. As children learn to walk, they are constantly clinging onto things to help them stand up and move around. Other children are adventurous little tykes and climb anything they can see. Dressers are great ladders, as are filing cabinets and bookshelves. Bolt everything to the wall. Put lamps behind other furniture so that they cannot attempt to scale them. Close dresser drawers and filing cabinets to prevent them from becoming jungle gyms.
Store Purses Up High
You can do your best to childproof your home, but the moment your Great Aunt Bertha comes over, her purse becomes a dangerous treasure chest. Purses, backpacks, suitcases, and other bags have all sorts of dangerous toys: medications, coins, pens, nail clippers, etc. Adults can quickly become distracted by one another’s company and fail to watch out for curious hands and minds. When you have visitors, store their bags up high or in a closet where your children cannot begin adventuring through them.
Un-Boobytrap Your Bathroom
Bathrooms are full of exciting, but dangerous booby traps. Toilets are the perfect height for toddlers to slip their heads into, and fall over and drown in. Make sure you always keep your toilet lid closed and use a toilet latch. If you use common hair styling tools such as blow dryers and curling irons, make sure their cords are tucked away out of reach when they are cooling, and unplug them. It is easy for children to pull styling tools off of counters and burn themselves. Or they could pull them into bathtubs or sinks and become electrocuted. Also make sure that your medications are put away and locked up. Children can climb up on to counters and reach vitamins and medications, and if they take them, they can become seriously ill or even die.
Lock Away Guns
If you have a gun in your home, it can protect your family, but it also can cause injury or serious accident. About 1,600 children die a year from gun accidents, and 10,000 more are critically injured. Most of these accidents occur when parents are not around. Invest in a good gun safe to lock your guns in when you are away from home. Make sure that you teach your children proper gun safety, and only allow them to handle your gun only when you are around. It is even more important to keep your gun locked up if you keep it loaded. For more information, check out this blog.
Protect Fragile Heads
Children have an affinity for crashing into things. While it may be fine to run into a couch, the sharp corner or a nightstand or end table can cut open your child’s head and cause serious injury. Cover sharp edges with pads. If you have a glass table, make sure that the top is shatter proof so that if your child falls on it, the table will not break. The same is true of picture frames. Make sure that they are also out of your child’s reach.
Beware of Cords
Cords are dangerous for many reasons. They can trip children, get chewed on and electrocute children, or get wrapped around their necks and choke them. Make sure that power cords are kept out of reach of children, and are tucked away to prevent tripping. If you have cords attached to your blinds, cut them shorter, and make sure that they are not in a loop. You can also install a tie-down device to help keep your children safe.
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