June is National Safety Month and the best thing you can be as a parent is prepared. Whether you have a newborn, a crawling baby or a pre-teen, these are the things you should know when it comes to safety in your home.
More than a third of child injuries and deaths happen at home, according to KidsHealth.org. Young kids have the highest risk of being injured at home because that’s where they spend most of their time. Experts agree any discussion of “childproofing” your home should be expanded beyond toddlers. Unintentional injuries are the No. 1 cause of death for older children, as well, according to Injury Facts.
Learn the High-risk Zones
Parents should be on the lookout for potential sources of injury. According to the CDC, most incidents occur where there is:
- Water: in the bathroom, kitchen, swimming pools or hot tubs
- Heat or flame: in the kitchen, in the fireplace or at a barbeque grill
- Toxic substances: under the kitchen sink, in the medicine cabinet, in the garage or garden shed, in a purse or other place where medications are stored
- Potential for a fall: on stairs, slippery floors, from high windows or from tipping furniture
12 Safety Devices To Protect Your Children
The good news is that the risk of injury can be reduced or prevented by using child-safety devices and reminding older children in the house to re-secure safety devices after disabling them.
Most of these safety devices are easy to find and are relatively inexpensive. You can find the full list in its entirety on the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. But here is a brief explanation of what you should have in your home.
- Safety Latches and Locks for cabinets and drawers in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas to help prevent poisonings and other injuries.
- Safety Gates to help prevent falls down stairs and to keep children from entering rooms and other areas with possible dangers.
- Door Knob Covers and Door Locks to help prevent children from entering rooms and other areas with possible dangers.
- Anti-Scald Devices for faucets and shower heads and set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to help prevent burns from hot water.
- Smoke Alarms on every level of your home, inside each bedroom, and outside sleeping areas to alert you to fires.
- Window Guards and Safety Netting to help prevent falls from windows, balconies, decks, and landings.
- Corner and Edge Bumpers to help prevent injuries from falls against sharp edges of furniture and fireplaces.
- Outlet Covers and Outlet Plates to help prevent electrocution.
- Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarm to help prevent CO poisoning.
- Cordless Window Coverings in homes with young children, in order to help prevent strangulation.
- Anchors to Avoid Furniture and Appliance Tip-Overs.
- Layers of Protection with Pools and Spas. A barrier completely surrounding the pool or spa including a 4-foot tall fence with self-closing, self-latching gates is essential.
As we said in the beginning, the best thing you can do as a parent is be prepared. KidsHealth.org offers these suggestions to prevent injury or death:
- Watch kids at all times
- Learn first-aid, including CPR and the age-appropriate Heimlich maneuver
- Keep important phone numbers in an easy-to-find location; include doctors and caregivers, local police and fire agencies, parents’ work and cell numbers, neighbors and relatives
- Practice your fire escape plan at least twice a year and practice different ways out of your home
- Talk about the best place or places to take cover in the event of a tornado, wind storm or natural disaster.
- Test your level of readiness: Can you answer “yes” to questions on these checklists?