KEEP YOUR CHILD SAFE
It is not enough to shower your child with love. You must also provide an environment that is safe and free from hazards. Childproof your home by sweeping the house, not with a broom or with your eyes, but from a child’s perspective. What are the danger spots? What might be tempting to a child? If you can picture how a mishap or accident could happen, it just might, so be prepared to make some changes. Keep in mind that childproofing your home should be an ongoing task – you don’t just do it once and then forget about it. You will need to re-evaluate the environment as your child passes through different developmental phases such as crawling or walking, for example.
Begin with this childproofing checklist and add to it as you ‘sweep’:
- Install child safety locks on cabinetry
- Install a toilet seat lock to prevent the lid from falling on fingers and to prevent objects from being thrown in.
- Put away razors, scissors, tweezers, clippers, etc.
- Reset the thermostat so your child will not be scalded with very hot water. For more information on the correct water temperature, read the recommendations from http://www.parachutecanada.org/injury-topics/item/lowering-hot-water-temperature.
- Put away and store all cleaning liquids in a locked cabinet
- Keep all medications out of reach
- Prepare a first-aid kit. Here’s a good guide: http://www.babycenter.com/0_first-aid-kit-shopping-list_762.bc
- Never, ever leave a child unattended in the bathtub!
- All pot and pan handles should be turned toward the back of the stove
- Do not open a hot oven door with a child nearby
- Pods for washer/dishwasher = Keep them out of reach!
- Put away all knives, scissors, razors, tweezers, batteries both large and cell
- All children should be kept away from the stove, electric kettle, crockpot, etc.
- Get into the habit of using the back burners on your stovetop when children are around
- Be careful not to put glass bakingware on a hot stove surface. These could explode and shatter, sending glass flying in all directions
- Keep trash and recycling out of reach of children
- Put away all your pet’s toys, small balls, etc. that can be choking hazards
- Remove pet food from floor – a bowl of kibble (or a litter box) may look interesting to a young child
- Pets are not toys. Even the most gentle animal will react when tugged and pulled sufficiently
DOORWAYS, STAIRS and WINDOWS
- Windows should be secure enough that a child cannot open them. Also, if your child were to lean on a screen, could he fall out?
- Some children are good climbers. Do not put furniture in front of window.
- Cut any looped cords on window coverings
- Lock all doors leading to stairs or the outside. Install a lock at the top where a child cannot reach.
- Use doorstops to prevent doors from slamming on little fingers
- Use doorknob covers so that your child cannot open a door without your help
AROUND THE HOUSE
- Smoke alarms should be placed on every storey of the house. They should always be in good working order with the batteries checked and never removed.
- Cover all electrical outlets with protectors and hide the cords that are plugged in
- If you are into arts and crafts, put all materials away in a safe place
- Keep batteries out of reach, especially small cell batteries which, if swallowed, are extremely hazardous.
- Put away all coins, keys, pet’s toys, etc. that you might keep lying around as these are choking hazards
- Sharp corners and edges like those of a table or fireplace should be padded
- Make sure all bookshelves are attached to the walls. If you keep a TV set on a table or unit, make sure it is anchored.
- The contents of a purse can be dangerous, so make sure you or visitors do not leave them lying around
- Have an exit plan ready in case of fire
- Your valuable items are not valuable from a child’s point of view and mishaps can happen, so put away your crystal vases, statues or anything you treasure until the child is older
- Regular houseplants can be toxic. Visit https://dengarden.com/gardening/Dangerous-Beauties-Twenty-Toxic-Houseplants-to-Avoid-Around-Children-and-Pets to find out more
- Adult supervision is always necessary, no matter how many safeguards are in place.
- Keep emergency numbers in a convenient, reachable, secure place. You need the numbers for the Poison Control Center, pediatrician, hospital and a neighbor whom you may call on for help.