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Childproofing Tips

Childproofing Tips

By Julie Vallese, Consumer Safety Expert, Dorel Juvenile Group

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, more than four million children end up in the emergency room each year as a result of accidents. The good news is 90% of these accidents could have been avoided. Childproofing your home can be daunting, and it doesn’t have to be! Education is the best method of injury prevention! Here are some room to room tips to keep your baby safe.

Bathroom:


The bathroom can be fun during bath time, but there are many areas that are also hazardous.

· Drowning can occur in less than 2″ of water. NEVER leave a child unattended in a bathtub, not even for a moment; nor should a child be left in the bathtub in the care of an older sibling. Also, keep all toilets locked.

· To prevent burns set your hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Always check water temperature before placing your child in the tub. Swirl water around with your hand to eliminate any hot spots.

· Keep cabinets and drawers locked to prevent children from accessing toothpaste, perfumes, soaps, lotions, deodorant, mouthwash, etc – all of which can be dangerous if ingested. In the tub, keep soaps and shampoos out of your child’s reach.

Kitchen:

Your kitchen poses many dangers to your child, including poisonous materials, choking hazards and hot surfaces. It is best to avoid making the kitchen a play space and, in general, minimize the amount of time your child spends in the kitchen. Make the area as uninteresting as possible to curious children and follow these guidelines:

· Cabinets and drawers contain many hazards, such as cleaning supplies that are toxic, plastic bags which pose a suffocation and choking hazard, breakable and sharp objects, and food that can be a choking hazard. Be sure to lock all cabinets and drawers to keep your child away from the contents. Also move all cleaning supplies, including dishwasher detergent to a locked closet or a cabinet that is up high and out of your child’s reach.

· Knives can be dangerous, even when they are on a countertop and seemingly out of your child’s reach. Your child can reach for the knives while you are carrying him so it is best to keep them in a locked drawer.

· Ovens and stoves are hot and can burn your child. It is a good idea to use the back burners of your stove whenever possible and remember to turn pot and pan handles in, and away from the edge of the stove. Reinforce with your toddler that the oven is hot and he or she should not touch it. To prevent burns and accidental fires, keep your countertop appliances unplugged when not in use and keep your oven and stove knobs locked.

Living room:

· Getting down on your hands and knees to view your home from your child’s perspective is the best way to begin childproofing because seeing the world from their view opens your eyes to potential dangers that may otherwise be hidden.

· Flat screen TV’s can come toppling down on top of the child, make sure to anchor with a TV lock.

· Anchor all items that are tipping hazards, such as a large book case or entertainment center. children like to pull drawers out and use them as a ladder.

· Remove items that might topple (tall lamps, freestanding coat racks, statues, etc.) from home until child is older.

· Cover the corners and edges of end tables, coffee tables, countertops, and dressers with cushioning created for this purpose.

Stairs & Hallways:

Even though we’re just passing through these areas, they should be childproofed too! Falls from stairs are especially dangerous, so be sure to install gates before or as soon as your child starts crawling.

· Be sure to install a gate at the top of each stairway to prevent falls. Never use a pressure-fit gate
at the top of the stairs, but rather a gate that can be mounted with hardware.

· A child only needs to fall from a few stairs to be seriously injured, so be sure to use a gate at the
bottom of the stairs as well. It’s OK to teach your child how to climb the stairs but she should only do so when you’re right behind her, every step of the way. Use a hardware-mounted or pressure-fit gate at the bottom of the stairs.

· Little hands can get caught in the hallway door; a finger pinch preventer can help keep hands safe

Getting down on your hands and knees to view your home from your child’s perspective is the best way to begin childproofing because seeing the world from their view opens your eyes to potential dangers that may otherwise be hidden.

For more information visit http://www.safety1st.com/usa/eng/Childproof-Welcome

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