We all like to think our homes are a safe and secure place to relax and enjoy time with our family. Even though we try to make our homes as safe as possible for our children, accidents and injuries can still occur in the home. Preventable injuries unfortunately happen more often than they should, and some occur because of hazards we may not even think of.
Summer is a great time for us to learn about different ways to make our homes safer for those we care about most. It is also a time for us to think about potential hazards in our homes and ways to prevent accidents and unintentional injuries from occurring. Keeping your family safe is a priority! Below are a few ideas to prevent accidents from occurring in your home. The tips on this list are easy, inexpensive and can make your home safer in as little as a day.
- Convert all corded window coverings to cordless alternatives: The Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) recommends that parents and caregivers check for corded window coverings in all homes their child spends time in. Corded window coverings pose a risk to small children, who can become accidentally entangled in the cord. It is best to use a cordless window covering, or a window covering without an accessible cord. If you find your window coverings are corded and purchase replacements, look for the Best for Kids™ label on the box of the window coverings. This label is present on the box of window coverings that have been tested by an independent third party and deemed safer for children than their corded counterparts.
- Purchase child safety locks for cabinets: Some of your cabinets are where you store your ingredients to make your next home-cooked meal. Others are where you store potentially dangerous household cleaning objects. Do not let your child have access to either. Purchase child safety locks to prevent messes and hazardous situations from occurring. Remember to store items like prescriptions in places children cannot reach, like high cabinets.
- Cover all open electrical sockets: If your child can crawl, they may become curious about objects around the house. Do not let them become curious around electrical sockets. Remember to purchase covers for any unused electrical sockets so children cannot place their hands in them. Additionally, tie down any cords that connect to an electrical socket from a household item, like a television. Children may become curious about these cords and become accidentally entangled.
- Cover sharp objects and edges on furniture: You can prevent an unnecessary injury to a child by covering corners on furniture, like coffee tables. Soft objects, such as tennis balls or foam pads, can be placed over these pieces of furniture to make them safer for children. If you have the budget, you can also replace this furniture with new items that do not have sharp or pointed corners.
- Trash can safety: Young children can accidentally make their way into your trash can and ingest something they are not supposed to, or cut themselves on a sharp object, such as glass. You can prevent this by keeping your trash in a location a child cannot get into, such as a locked cabinet, or by placing a locking lid that a child cannot open on the trash can.
- Consider using a toy box without a lid: A toy box is an easy way to make sure all your child’s favorite items are in one easy-to-find place. However, toy boxes with a lid can slam shut, potentially injuring your child’s hands, or even trapping a child inside. Remember to buy a toy box without a lid to prevent this. If your toy box does have a lid, make sure the lid is spring loaded, easy to open, and has holes in it.
For more childproofing tips check out WCSC’s safety blog.