Household Safety Checklist

In order to protect you and your family, conduct a thorough safety check of every room in your home on a regular basis. Accidents and injuries may be prevented, and your family will be healthier and safer, when you practice a little prevention.

The following checklist may be printed to help you inspect your home.

Adult's bedroom:

Do not leave medications, toiletries, or other household products in drawers or on nightstands.

To avoid accidental injuries or choking, keep penknives, nail files, scissors, and pocket change out of reach of children.

Install a smoke detector in the hallway outside of the bedrooms. Check and change the batteries regularly.

Make certain drapery cords and/or blind cords are well out of reach of children.

Child's bedroom:

Make certain the crib mattress fits snugly.

Crib slats should be placed no wider than 2 and 3/8 inches apart.

Make certain the crib has been put together properly and is not missing screws or bolts - to prevent it from collapsing.

Make sure the crib and other baby furniture are painted with non-lead based paint.

Make certain there is a carpet or rug beneath the crib or changing table to soften the impact if an infant falls.

Make certain drapery cords and/or blind cords are well out of reach of children and away from cribs.

Remove all crib gyms, hanging toys, and decorations from a crib by the time a baby can raise up on hands and knees.

Make sure there is a safety belt on the infant changing table, and that it is used properly every time.

Make sure baby powder and lotions are out of a baby or child's reach. However, make sure the baby powder and lotions are within your reach, so you do not have to leave your infant to reach these items.

If your child can climb out of the crib, consider a youth bed with guard rails, or place the crib mattress on the floor.

Never leave small parts or pieces of a toy(s) in a child's room.

Make certain a night-light is not near or touching drapes or the bedspread. Also, never place towels or other fabric over a lamp to reduce the light in the room, as a fire may start.

Never place a crib, playpen, or bed near a window.

Make certain window screens are securely in place, or that window guards are present - to prevent a child from falling from a window.

Use plug protectors for all unused wall outlets.

If there is a lid on the toy box, it should not be heavy, hinged, or lockable. Children may crawl inside and become trapped.

Bathroom:

Put a nonskid bathmat on the floor and a nonskid mat or decals in the bathtub.

Protect all electrical outlets with ground fault circuit interrupters.

Store medications, cosmetics, toiletries, and cleansers well out of reach of children. Put childproof caps on all medications if you have children younger than 8 years of age.

When children are present, put child-resistant safety latches on all cabinets storing harmful substances such as toiletries, cleaners, and medications.

Store electrical appliances, such as hair dryers and curling irons, out of reach of children.

Always unplug appliances before leaving them unattended, no matter how briefly.

To avoid accidental scalding, make certain the tap water temperature is set no higher than 120° F.

Never leave a child or disabled person unattended in a bathroom where there is a tub, sink, or bucket containing water - not even for a moment.

Keep toilet lids closed.

Kitchen:

Do not store vitamins (or medications) on the kitchen table, counter top, or window sill.

Make certain knives, scissors, and other sharp utensils are out of reach of children.

Store dishwasher detergent and other cleaning supplies in their original containers and out of reach of children.

When children are present, install child resistant safety latches on all cabinets and drawers within a child's reach.

Keep chairs and step stools away from counters and stoves.

Always turn pot handles inward when cooking on the stove. Use back burners whenever possible.

Keep the toaster out of the reach of toddlers.

Make certain appliance cords are not dangling, so they cannot be pulled from a counter.

Unplug appliances and extension cords when not in use.

When children are present, use plug protectors for all unused wall outlets.

If your child uses a highchair, make sure it is sturdy and has a seat belt with a strap between the legs.

Keep a working fire extinguisher in your kitchen.

Living room:

Keep houseplants out of the reach of children. Many plants are poisonous.

Make certain television sets and other heavy items are secure so they cannot be tipped over.

Remove unnecessary extension cords.

When children are present, use plug protectors for all unused wall outlets.

Move tables and other objects with sharp edges away from the center of a room, especially if there are toddlers or disabled persons in the home.

Place protective material on sharp furniture edges.

Keep drapery and blind cords out of reach of children and/or disabled persons.

Secure area rugs - to prevent falls and slips.

Outdoors:

Keep stairs and walkways clear of snow, wet leaves, or other debris.

Repair cracks or chips in cement sidewalks and stairs.

Make certain railings, gates, and fences are secure and in good repair.

Keep garbage cans covered.

There should be a fence with a locked gate between the house and the backyard swimming pool.

Garden tools and lawn equipment should be securely stored.

Play equipment, such as swing sets, and garden furniture should be properly anchored and assembled. Check regularly for rust, splintered wood, or cracks.

Garage and basement:

Make certain hazardous items, such as bug sprays, cleaners, auto care products, and weed killers, are secured and stored in their original containers in the garage, utility room, or basement.

Keep recycling containers storing glass and metal far from children's reach.

Keep tools, automotive, and lawn care equipment safely stored away from children.

Miscellaneous:

If you have a fireplace, wood burning stove, or other heat source, place barriers around it to avoid accidental burns.

Inspect and clean chimneys and stovepipes regularly.

Have older homes tested for lead paint. Do not use baby and child care furniture and products made before 1978 that may contain lead paint.

Place "Mr. Yuk" stickers, or other types of poison markers on all hazardous items. Call your local poison control center for more information.

The first action when a person has ingested a toxic substance is to consult with the local poison control center at the universal telephone number in the United States - (800) 222-1222.

Never give a child younger than 8 years old a latex balloon to play with (due to the choking hazard).

Make certain plastic bags, broken pieces of toys, buttons, screws, and other choking or suffocation hazards are stored out of reach of children.

Post emergency telephone numbers near each telephone in your home.

When children are present, safety devices, such as gates, locks, and doorknob covers, should be in use at all stairways and exits in your home.

Make sure all indoor and outdoor stairways and entries are well-lighted and clear.

Make certain bathrooms and bedrooms can be unlocked from the outside.

Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children and disabled persons.

A home should have two unobstructed exits, in case of fires or other emergencies.

Check all electrical cords to make sure they are not cracked or frayed.

Make certain outlets or extension cords are not overloaded.

It is best not to use space heaters. If they are used, make sure they are in safe condition. Never plug them into an extension cord. Do not place them near drapes or furnishings.

Paint or wallpaper should not be chipping or peeling.

Keep purses, backpacks, and other portable storage bags out of a child's reach. They may contain medications, penknives, hard candies, or other items that may harm children.

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