Child Safety: Protecting Your Kids At Home
Being a parent means being on top of everything your child could get into. There are so many possible dangers that a kid can get into, so it’s natural to stress about it all. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to ensure the safety of your child. You can help prevent your child from being one of the 3 million kids who go to the ER from an in-home accident every year.
Did you know that The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that fall-related injuries are the number one cause of non-fatal injuries in kids? That’s right, there are over 2.3 million fall-related injuries in children every year. The best way to reduce a fall-related injury from happening to your child is to childproof your home, especially if you have an infant or toddler.
- Invest in a baby gate. A baby gate is a must-have feature you should have at the top and bottom of your stairs. But not just any type of child gate will do, you need to get a hard-mounted child gate (not a pressure-mounted one, which are prone to push open). A hard-mounted child gate is steadfast and is unlikely to be accidentaly pushed open. When you go to install the gate, double-check that it opens out—it’ll reduce the amount of incidents that may happen.
- Install edge and corner guards. Edge and corner guards protect babies and toddlers from sharp corners—whether it is on a coffee table, media cabinet, end table, etc. Little children are unsteady and are prone to falling over. The most beneficial thing you can do is to soften any possible corners that they can fall into.
- Never place your child on a countertop without supervision. Although it’s convenient to place your child up on a changing table or other surface, a second is all it takes for your child to fall. So if you need to put them on the countertop, make sure you stay right next to them and keep eyes on them the entire time.
Drowning is a serious danger for any child. In fact, drowing is the second leading cause of death in children. To put it into perspective, the number one cause of death in children is birth defects. According to the CDC, every day, there are approximately 10 deaths by drowning (which aren’t even boating related). If your child is four or under, that age group has the largest probability of a drowning. Though a drowning doesn’t always result in death, it can leave permanent brain damage—which is why it’s crucial to keep an eye on your child if you have a swimming pool or if they take baths daily.
A child can drown in a body of water that is as low as 5 centimeters. So a drowning can occur even in a bathtub. Just make sure you are present with your child at all times (if they are under five). If you do own a pool, make sure that the area is fenced and has a working lock that will help keep not only your kids from entering, but also keep other neighborhood children from entering the pool unexpectedly. Being proactive will go a long ways.
Every year, 300+ kids are taken to the ER for poising; of these, two will die. A good number to have on hand is the American Association of Poison Control Center, which is 1-800-222-1222. Please call it if you believe your child may have ingested something poisonous.
There are so many things a young child can get into: everything is interesting. These is why it’s important to take inventory of what’s in your home and properly label what the contents are and whether or not they are toxic. Items such as house cleaners, antifreeze, medicines, perfumes, and other products are harmful if they aren’t used properly. Try to store as many of these in out of reach places or in cabinets that have been baby proofed and/or have locks on them.
Teach your child early on not to mess with hot surfaces or open flames. Whether it’s a lighter, matches, the stove or oven, there are plenty of ways for a child to get burned by these. While in the kitchen cooking, ensure that your child stays several feet away from the oven or stovetop while it’s in use. Children love to explore, so it’s vital that they stay clear from these areas. Matches and lighters are easy to be fixated on, so do all you can to keep these stored out of reach. Prevent their interest by getting rid of the temptation.