Childproofing Your Home
nature, small children love to explore their
environment. But the same curiosity that helps them learn about the world can sometimes get them into trouble.
||As a parent, you
need to do
everything you can to ensure their
safety while they grow.
The following checklist, which goes room by room, can help
you determine if your house is safe. Taking steps to
child-proof your home can provide you with peace of mind while you
enjoy your children. But remember,
childproofing is an
careful room-by-room home safety survey every six months !
|ongoing job. Be alert for anything you might have overlooked.
sure the cords from blinds or curtains are out of reach of the crib.
On the changing table, use a safety
strap to keep your baby from falling.
Keep all supplies out of reach,
especially baby powder, so that the baby wont accidentally inhale it.
Make sure the crib, mattress and bumper pads meet safety standards and the mattress
fits snugly so
theres no gap.
Do not use dry cleaning bags or trash bags as mattress
Be especially careful when considering
a second-hand crib; it may have been manufactured before safety standards were in place.
Children under 33 ins. (84 cms.) tall
should use a crib.
If you have installed a crib gym, it
should be removed when the baby is five months old or is able to push up on hands and knees.
Examine teething rings and toys for small ends that extend into the back of the
baby's mouth and
can cause choking.
Falls are a common cause of serious injury. Keep furniture away from windows, and
remember: screens keep bugs out, but they don't keep children in.
Make sure night lights are away from drapes or
they could cause a fire.
your baby has older brothers or sisters, you may have to make their rooms off-limits, especially if
they're full of toys with small parts.
Any small object can be a choking
hazard to a child who's putting things in his/her mouth. Your best bet may be to
Keep the doors to a sibling's room securely closed.
Children under 6 years old should not use the top bunk of a bunk bed.
Children should understand that bunk beds are not
On Your Knees
See Your House The Way Your
sure loose change and other small items in drawers or on night stands are out of reach.
Move medicines or perfumes to a safe place to prevent
Keep any guns unloaded and locked out
of reach. Don't
let your children
see firearms, and never store a gun and its ammunition in the same
place. A gun in the home is more likely to shoot a family member than an
Store potentially dangerous items, even
those you use on a daily basis, out of your child's reach. This includes razors, cosmetics, after-shave, mouthwash and
Keep all medicines in child-resistant
containers. Medicines dont belong in the bathroom.(see Bathroom
Install safety latches on cabinet doors
Keep hair dryers and other electrical
appliances unplugged and stored out of reach.
Make sure the water temperature of your
water heater does not exceed 120 F. Consider installing anti-scald devices in your shower and bathtub
that stop the water flow when the temperature exceeds 120 F.
Always check the water temperature with
your elbow before placing your child in the tub. (see Burn Prevention)
Put nonskid bath mats in the tub and floor.
Install toilet and lid locks.
Never leave a child unattended in the
tub. Drowning is the third leading cause of death of children
ages 0 to 4.
Before putting a child into the bath,
take the phone off the hook, and put a "DO NOT
DISTURB" sign on the front door.
LIVING ROOM AND SALON
When you're preparing a meal,
always turn the pot handles towards the back of the stove.
Watch what you heat. Never leave
Store sharp knives and other
utensils out of reach.
Put latches on cabinets that
contain cleaning liquids, bleach and dishwasher detergent.
Install a safety latch on the
oven door if your child is able to open it.
Keep electrical cords out of
Don't store vitamins on the
kitchen table. Iron pills are the leading cause of poisoning deaths in children
Keep hot foods and drinks away
from the edge of tables and counters. Avoid placing them on a tablecloth, which a child
can easily pull off.
If you're holding something hot,
don't hold your child, too.
Throughout your house, make sure that electrical
outlets are covered with safety covers.
Appliances that produce heat, such as gas or
kerosene space heaters, should be off-limits to young children. Use barriers to keep
Put corner guards on any furniture that has
Put house plants out of reach.
Make sure heavy items such as televisions are
secure so they can't tip over. Do the same with top-heavy furniture.
Check under the couch and behind the cushions
for any small toys belonging to older children.
Keep drapery cords out of reach.
Store paints, cleaners and chemicals in cabinets
that can't be opened or reached by children.
Keep hazardous household products in their
original containers with their child-resistant caps secured. Make sure labels are
Keep children away from tools.
Post the Poison Control Center number by the
Keep a bottle of syrup of ipecac (used to induce
vomiting in some cases of accidental poisoning) on the top shelf of the medicine chest (
used only on poison-control instructions ).
Always strap children into highchairs and
Don't let children play alone on balconies
Unguarded windows that open more than 10 cms. (4
ins.) pose a danger to toddlers. Secure them with locks.
Keep matches and lighters out of teach of
children. Teach children that these items are tools for adults,
Don't assume kids will learn fire safety at
school. Its really a parent's responsibility to make sure kids are safe from fire.
Set a good example with how you cook and heat your home and how you dispose of smoking
materials and matches if you are a smoker.
Have smoke detectors present on every level of
your home and outside each sleeping area. Check batteries monthly; change them
bi-annually, each time you change your clocks.
Nothing can replace parental supervision
of infants and toddlers. But for those times when you need to answer the phone or take a
quick shower, have a playpen handy. And teach your children about safety. Children who
learn about safety grow up knowing that they can make good safety decisions for
Draw up a home escape plan and practice it twice
a year. Knowing what to do when smoke detectors go off is as important as having them!
Children are eager to learn, but in the absence of information, they can make a tragically
Before Grandchildren Visit
When your young
grandchildren visit, you'll want to be prepared with hugs, cookies, books and games. To
make sure their visit is a safe one, check this list before they arrive.
According to the U. S. National Safety Council, fires and burns, suffocation, drowning and falls are the leading
causes of child fatalities in the home.
Are all your medicines safely out of reach,
including those in your purse?
Are matches and lighters put away?
Have you picked up loose change and other small
items that children could choke on?
Have you put away the bowl of small hard
If you're cooking, are the pot handles turned
Don't offer peanuts, whole grapes, cut up hot
dogs, or raw carrots. These foods can cause a small child
Are cleaning supplies put away?
Is your old crib unsafe? The slats should be no
more than 5 cms (2 ins.) apart.
Is your water heater temperature turned down to
In the bathroom, have you put away electrical
appliances, like electric shavers or hair dryers?
Grandchild-proofing your surroundings helps
ensure the safety of your grandchildren when they visit. It can also ease your concerns,
so that you can enjoy your time together.
Boruch Rofeh Cholim 1999
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