Any parent would do virtually anything possible to keep their child safe. But the reality is that you can’t watch your kiddo every second of the day. Now that both parents and kids are spending even more time at home and are trying to adjust to a number of changes, it’s natural that members of your household might become distracted, bored, or careless. And tragically, one small mistake could result in major harm.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to be proactive about home safety. In today’s post, we’ll discuss some measures you can take to prevent some of the most common and most devastating childhood accidents and injuries, as well as prepare for major events you can’t completely prevent.
Of course, the threat of COVID-19 has made many of us go a little overboard with cleaning and sanitizing. But in a lot of ways, that’s a good thing. Be sure to regularly clean shared surfaces (like countertops, doorknobs, electronic devices, TV remotes, tables, light fixtures, and toys) throughout the day, particularly if you’ve been outside the house or anyone in your family has come into contact with others. It’s also a good idea to have hand sanitizer regularly available in every room and to keep soap supplies well-stocked. If you’ve added to your child’s outdoor activity selections, make sure that they’re completely safe while using them. Although a trampoline might sound like a great way to pass the time and to get out some excess energy, this could also present a safety hazard. If you know you’ll be in a video conference during a certain time, make sure to remove any possible dangers from the area your child will be in and to hide away any cords that could cause a child to trip or be choked.
Although gun regulation continues to be a hot-button issue, there are currently more than 1.69 million kids throughout the U.S. who are living in homes with firearms that are loaded and unlocked. This is unacceptable, especially now that curious kids are spending more time exploring their homes. If your family insists on keeping guns in the home, you must invest in the proper storage. All guns should be locked and unloaded, separate from ammunition, and they must be locked in a way that children cannot access. Guns should never be left unsecured and guns should be temporarily removed if anyone in the home is experiencing any sort of mental health crisis.
You might have thought the pandemic was bad enough, but hurricane season is actually upon us. During the 20th century, roughly 158 hurricanes hit the United States. But now that hurricanes and other devastating storms and floods have become more frequent, thanks to global warming, it’s a good idea for every family to have a plan ready for any natural disaster. Establish evacuation routes in your home and place all important documents in a waterproof bag. You should also have clean water and non-perishable food on-hand in case of an emergency. Keep your car’s gas tank filled and create an emergency kit with batteries, a portable phone charger, a flashlight, medical supplies, and extra cash. Always check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they’re in good working order and keep your yard free of debris and loose furniture. If possible, anchor your heavy furniture to the walls, as well.
You might assume that if your child is a good swimmer, they aren’t at risk for drowning. But the truth is that any child can drown, regardless of ability. And since 95% of all Americans live within an hour’s drive of a navigable body of water, it’s important to exercise extreme caution this summer. Even in a baby or inflatable pool, young children can drown in as little as 25 seconds. Research released by Safe Kids Worldwide found that, in nine out of 10 drownings, parents said they’d been watching their kids at the time of the incident. The CDC also notes that drowning is the leading cause of injury death in kids aged one to four and the third leading cause of unintentional injury death in kids between the ages of five and 19. Around water, even puddles, parents must be attentive at all times and keep their kids within arm’s length. You should never rely on water wings, lifeguards, or even pool fences to keep your kids safe. Never leave your child alone around water, including buckets and bathtubs. Toilets should remain closed (with a child-proof lock, if you have young kids) and coolers should be emptied out after use.
A parent’s job is truly never done. Although we’re being told that we should stay home to stay safe, the truth is that there are plenty of hazards to be found in and around your own property. It’s advisable that you thoroughly assess hazards in your house; the more proactive you can be now, the safer your kids will be throughout and after the pandemic.