If you’re a parent to young children, you know how easy it is for them to get into things they shouldn’t. You also know how easy it is for them to experience falls, cuts, scrapes, bruises, and a variety of other injuries.
As a parent, it’s natural to want to keep your kids safe from harm. Unfortunately, covering every square inch of your house in bubble wrap isn’t really a good option for accomplishing this.
Luckily, there are still lots of simple, reasonable steps that you can take to prevent home accidents and make sure everyone stays safe. Listed below are five things you can do today to start making your home a safer place.
1. Store Medicine and Cleaning Products Properly
Most medications and cleaning products are highly toxic and ought to be treated with caution when there are young children in the house.
Designate a specific, lockable cabinet for your medicine and cleaning supplies and be sure to put everything back in that cabinet when you’re done with it. It’s also important to return leftover medicine to the pharmacy — don’t hang on to it and risk your child accessing it.
In addition to cleaning products and medications, it’s also important to keep potentially toxic products, like cosmetics and perfumes away from your children.
2. Keep Sharp Objects Out of Reach
It’s very easy for kids to cut themselves when handling sharp objects. To avoid cuts and trips to the emergency room for stitches, carefully store all potentially dangerous objects so they’re out of reach.
The following are some storage tips you can implement to make sure your child doesn’t get their hands on something they shouldn’t:
- Place a lock on the drawer that holds sharp kitchen gadgets like knives, peelers, and graters.
- Store yard tools such as saws, rakes, lawn mowers, and weed whackers in a locked shed or on a high shelf in the garage.
- Lock your bathroom, or place a lock on the drawer where you store items like your razor and cuticle scissors.
- Store knives and forks with the pointed end down when placing them in the dishwasher so your child doesn’t accidentally poke themselves when taking something out.
3. Eliminate Choking Hazards
Choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States, and young children are particularly susceptible since they tend to love putting things in their mouths.
To keep your child from choking, be sure to inspect their toys regularly for loose or broken parts and get rid of small ones that they could accidentally choke on.
Some other steps you can take to reduce the risk of choking include:
- Keep children away from small, hard food like nuts or certain types of candy.
- Monitor their playtime as much as you can to make sure they’re not putting things in their mouths.
- Cut up their food into small pieces; this is especially important for hard foods and foods like grapes, hot dogs, and cherry tomatoes.
4. Have a Designated Step Stool in Main Rooms
Kids are notorious for stacking up chairs, boxes, couch cushions, and whatever else they can get their hands on, to try and reach high places.
In a perfect world, you would tell your child not to climb up to high places and that would be the end of it. However, you know the chances of them actually listening to you are slim-to-none.
Instead of forbidding them to climb, take steps to prevent accidental falls. One way to do this is to invest in a non-slip step stool and keep it handy in the rooms where your child does the most climbing — the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom, most likely.
5. Wrap Up Your Cords
Finally, make sure all your cords are wrapped up and put away properly. Loose cords can easily become a potential strangling hazard, especially for very young children
Keep electrical cords away from young children, and make sure their crib, bed, or play area isn’t located underneath any.
You might also want to consider trimming your window cords, wrapping them up, or removing them altogether so that your child can’t reach up and grab them.