Every year in Canada, thousands of children are injured or killed in preventable accidents. With a few inexpensive, simple modification to our homes, many of these tragedies could be prevented. The following suggestions will make your home safer for everyone in your family, but especially the children.
- Use safety latches and locks for cabinets and drawers in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas to help prevent poisonings and other injuries. Look for safety latches and locks that adults can easily install and use, but that are sturdy enough to withstand pulls and tugs from children.
- Use safety gates to help prevent falls down stairs and to keep children away from dangerous areas. Look for safety gates that children cannot dislodge easily, but that adults can open and close without difficulty. For the top of stairs, gates that screw into the wall are more secure than “pressure gates.”
- Use door locks to help prevent children from entering rooms and other areas with possible dangers, including swimming pools. Door knob covers, while inexpensive may not be effective for children who are tall enough to reach the doorknob.
- Use anti-scald devices for faucets and shower heads, and set your water heater temperature to 120° F to help prevent burns from hot water. A plumber may need to install these.
- Use smoke detectors on every level of your home and near bedrooms to alert you to fires. Smoke detectors are essential safety devices for protection against fire deaths and injuries. Check smoke detectors once a month to make sure they’re working.
- Use window guards and safety netting to help prevent falls from windows, balconies, decks and landings. Window guards and safety netting for balconies and decks can help prevent serious falls. Window screens are not effective for preventing children from falling out.
- Use corner and edge bumpers to help prevent injuries from falls against sharp edges of furniture and fireplaces.
- Use receptacle or outlet covers and plates to help prevent children from electrical shock and possible electrocution.
- Use a carbon monoxide (CO) detector outside bedrooms to help prevent CO poisoning if your home has gas or oil heat or an attached garage.
- Cut window blind cords to help prevent children from strangling in blind-cord loops. Window blind cord safety tassels on miniblinds and tension devices on vertical blinds and drapery cords can help prevent deaths and injuries from strangulation in the loops of cords. Inner cord stops can help prevent strangulation in the inner cords of window blinds. When buying new miniblinds, vertical blinds and draperies, look for safety features to prevent child strangulation.
- Use door stops and door holders to help prevent injuries to fingers and hands. Door stops and door holders on doors and door hinges can help prevent small fingers and hands from being pinched or crushed in doors and door hinges.
- Use a cell or cordless phone to make it easier to continuously watch young children, especially when they’re in bathtubs, swimming pools, or other potentially dangerous areas. Cordless phones help you watch your child continuously without leaving the vicinity to answer a phone call. Cordless phones are especially helpful when children are in or near water, whether it’s the bathtub, the swimming pool, or the beach.
The above is an excerpt from “Child_Proofing Your Home: 12 Safety Devices to Protect Your Children” ©2006-2014 Inter NACHI. To view the complete article, plus links to information on Crib Safety and Playground, Tramboline and Exercise Equipment Hazards,visit www.nachi.org/childsafety.htm.