Thursday, November 14, 2013

Child-proofing your home

Most parents worry about their kids’ safety in terms of violence and the dangers of the outside world, but some are not aware of the accidents and mishaps that might occur right in their own homes.

Some parents are not aware of the accidents and mishaps that might occur right in their own homes.

Aside from adult supervision, parents should also consider child-proofing their home to prevent these injuries and accidents. It is recommended to start this process as early as your child is three months old, before he or she learns how to crawl.

First of all, examine your space and evaluate whether some items are choking hazards, poisonous substances or harmful in some way to your child. Keep medicines, vitamins, and cleaning products out of reach. Avoid tablecloths as they may be pulled down along with everything on the table. And keep sharp objects (knives and scissors) and electric gadgets (curling irons and electric shavers) out of sight.

Use baby safety gates to keep your child out of harm’s way. These are best used at the top and bottom of stairways, and to block off some areas of your home that are not child-proof, such as the kitchen and the garage.

Avoid tablecloths as they may be pulled down along with everything on the table.

Keep shelving and drawer units secured to the wall. Also, be sure to store heavier items in the lower drawers or shelves, to prevent your storage units from toppling over. This also goes for other tall furniture and appliances. Avoid furniture with sharp edges, but if you have existing furniture already, use bumpers on sharp corners.

Another potentially dangerous item in your home is the electric outlet. To prevent electrocution, use outlet covers, or at least on the ones within reach of your child.

Windows and window treatments may also pose a threat to your child’s safety. Use safety netting on windows to prevent kids from falling out, but be sure that an adult or an older child can still remove the safety device easily, in case of emergency. Curtain tie-backs and window blind cords can be strangulation risks, but this can be prevented by keeping them out of reach or simply cutting cord loops in half.

While these tips are helpful for child-proofing your home, the best assurance for your child’s safety is still adult supervision. With loving guidance, your kid can learn the dos and don’ts for his or her own safety. It is also important to understand that child-proofing is a continuing process as your child grows older and learns how to outsmart some of your safety measures. - Aislinn Kee 


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