How To Child-Proof Your Home
Once we become parents, our job is to protect our children everywhere. This includes in our homes. Most parents know about smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, but other safety devices are necessary as well. By using child-safety devices around our homes, we can reduce the risk of or even prevent injuries from occurring.
The majority of these devices are readily available and inexpensive. When you are considering which child-safety devices to purchase, keep in mind that they need to be able to hinder child access, but offer ease of use. All devices must be installed correctly to work properly.
Some Home Safety Devices that Can Be Used to Help Protect Your Children
- Safety Locks & Latches
Be sure that you use these devices on the cabinets and drawers containing any poisonous substances, fire creating products and sharp objects. These include your medications, household cleaners, lighters, matches and knives. Even products that have packaging designed to be child-resistant should be kept out of reach.
- Door Locks & Knob Covers
These help keep your children from entering rooms that could be dangerous to them. Make sure that the doorknob covers you choose are sturdy, yet allow an adult to open the door with ease.
- Safety Gates
These gates are perfect for keeping your little one from falling down stairs and can keep him from entering rooms. Be sure the gates you choose will not dislodge easily, but can be opened and closed without difficulty. If you need to use a gate at the top of the stairs, only use gates that can be attached to the wall. Do not use any of the older safety gates with ‘V’ shapes large enough to entrap your child’s neck and head.
- Outlet Plates & Covers
These help prevent electrocution. If you are in the process of replacing your home’s receptacles, use the tamper-resistant type.
- Change Your Flooring
Now that you have a little one, changing from carpeting to a more child friendly flooring is advisable. Carpeting can house allergens and cause your little one to suffer with itchy eyes, a runny nose and sneezing. Changing to hardwood flooring will give your home a warm, natural look. Laminate flooring is also a great choice and less expensive than hardwood.
- Safety Netting & Window Guards
These help prevent children from falling from balconies, windows, landings and decks. It is important to make sure that at least one window in every room can be opened easily by an adult in case of an emergency. A typical window screen will not keep a child from falling out a window.
- Anti-Scald Devices
These should be used to regulate the water’s temperature, which will reduce the likelihood of burns. Keeping your water heater set at 120°F is also recommended.
- Edge & Corner Bumpers
These bumpers help in preventing injuries from sharp edges on fireplaces and furniture. Just be sure you find securely fitting bumpers.
Some furniture and appliances can tip over and crush little ones. Injuries and even death have occurred from children falling against or pulling themselves up on everything from shelves to stoves. Attaching these products to the wall or anchoring them to the floor will give added security. There are anti-tip brackets available and should be used when installing freestanding stoves and ranges.
- Spa & Pool Protection
The layering approach is the best way to provide pool and spa safety. Surround the spa or pool with a fence that has self-closing and self-latching gates. If your house will be used as one side of the barrier, any doors that head to the pool or spa should have an alarm on them. Pool alarms also serve as another layer of protection.