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Keeping Children Safe at Home

April 29th, 2010 - Category: General Parenting

Kids can get into the most precarious places and do the most outrageous things. Cabinets you never thought could be climbed even by Sir Edmund Hillary himself (first person to climb Mt. Everst ;), somehow get surmounted by your 2 year old. It boggles your mind as a parent, but it is very real and if you have a toddler you know what I’m talking about.

Because of this perplexing ability of younger children, it is super important to make sure that your house is well equipped with safety features and  what I like to call “pain preventatives.” These are things like baby outlet covers, high door handles, and child-safety cabinets. These are basically the essentials for any home with younger kids. Listed below, however, are some ways of keeping your children safe at home that you may not have thought of before but are definitely important.

1. Planned Emergency Escape Routes

Some may think this is silly but having a predetermined escape route that the whole family clearly and completely understands can reduce chaos and confusion during emergency situations. You should always have 2 escape routes in case one is blocked. Also remember to have properly working smoke detectors. These should be checked once per month and the batteries should be swapped out every year.

2. Locks on the Medicine Cabinet

I can’t stress enough the importance of this. A friend of mine was in a situation where she almost lost her daughter because her Father-in-law had left a bottle of digoxin (decreases heart rate) on what he THOUGHT was a high shelf. Her daughter was able to climb on top of the shelf that was close to 10 feet tall and had stuffed the whole bottle in her mouth before anyone had noticed. It is only a matter of prayer and faith that she is still alive today. Don’t ever think your kids can’t get somewhere. Make sure all medications are securely locked in a cabinet.

3. Prevent Burns from Hot Water

If your water heater is set too high, a baby could accidentally turn on the hot water valve on the faucet and end up scalding his sensitive skin. Check your water heater and make sure it is set to no more than 120°F.

4. Take Proper Precautions Around Water

If you have a pool, most cities require that you have a fence and gate that meets certain guidelines in order to prevent younger children from entering the pool area unattended.  If you have a pool and children, you should always have this regardless of city requirements. In 2009 there were over 600 pool drownings. Let’s bring that number down this year and make sure we are not a victim of that statistic.

5. Check the Width of Your Crib Bars and Bannister Posts

I just bought a home. Of course, we had a home inspector go through the house before purchasing. He brought to my attention that the posts supporting the railing along the stairs were too far apart. I was confused and then he told me that the reason is because if you have a small child, he may be able to fit his head between the posts. If they happen to fall or stumble and get their head caught between the bars… well you get the idea. I was taken back but nodded in agreement. Home safety guidelines say that bars should be less than 4 inches apart. If yours are further apart than this you can purchase banister guards to solve the problem (much cheaper than putting in new railing).

So there you go. A few tips on keeping children safe at home. Hopefully these were helpful. Of course there are many more things you can do to keep your home safe for children. Please feel free to share your comments and suggestion below. Happy parenting! Also, if you owe your kids a reward for completing their chore chart… pay up!!

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2 Comments

  1. Cindy Watts says:

    Such a great article for the first time parent. You do not receive a handbook when a child is born, but you definitely have the internet for great articles like this one today.
    Thank you for the information.

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