This New Year’s make a resolution you can keep--childproof your home! As you pack away all your holiday decorations, take some time to look around your home for common dangers. It’s easy to eliminate the most obvious hazards — and it doesn’t have to involve a lot of expensive equipment.
The first step in childproofing a home is to explore every room at a child’s eye level. Literally get down on your hands and knees and crawl around. You’ll be surprised at how much you can reach and how many small objects you can pick up. Anything that can fit through a standard 1½-inch toilet paper tube is a potential choking hazard. Of course, cleaning products, medications, alcohol, firearms and other potentially harmful products need to be stored out of reach and locked up.
Approximately 2,096 children in the United States, ages 14 and under, die from accidental injuries in the home each year and 3 million kids are treated in emergency rooms for accidental injuries occurring at home. Nearly 80% of these deaths are among children ages 4 and under. Most fatal injuries at home are caused by fire, suffocation, drowning, choking, falls, poisoning or firearms discharged unintentionally.
There’s no substitute for active supervision, but childproofing your home provides extra protection and peace of mind.
Safety comes first, even if it means making your home a little less convenient for adults. Safety gates and cabinet locks are a small price to pay to keep a child out of the emergency room.