Safety For Children: Childproofing Your Home

by Jordan Miller on November 22, 2010

One of the most important steps to take as a parent is to childproof your home. Accidental injuries, other than motor vehicle injuries, account for over 18% of all deaths in children. These injuries include burns, strangling, poisoning, cuts and falls.

In the United States, over 70,000 children less than 5 years old are treated in emergency rooms each year. Many of these accidents can be prevented with a little thought and preparation.

Strategies for childproofing your home include: childproof latches on cabinets and drawers, guards on doorknobs, temperature regulators on hot water heaters, safety gates installed at the top and bottom of stairs, guards put in unused outlets, guards on window locks, soft cushions on sharp edges of furniture, and securing tall furniture to wall. And, don’t forget smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Many devices to accomplish these preventive measures are available for purchase. Many of these childproofing devices are inexpensive and can easily be found online and in retail stores. In order for these devices to work, they must be installed correctly. You should always read all the instructions for installation and use. Keep in mind that childproof devices do not replace proper supervision as they are not always reliable.

In addition to purchasing and installing childproofing devices there are steps that can be taken to avoid accidental injuries in children. Purchasing blinds with split cords or cutting the cords will deter accidental strangulation. Keeping poisons and household cleaners preferably on high shelves, but certainly behind locked cabinet doors will keep them out of easy reach of children. Keeping handles on pots and skillets pointed toward the back of the stove will keep children from pulling them down on top of themselves. Keeping your house picked up and small toys put away minimizes falls and choking on small items. Finally, post numbers for police station, fire station, pediatrician and poison control close to each phone and load on your cell phone.

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