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Sharp Health News

10 steps to help childproof your home

Sept. 12, 2019

10 steps to help childproof your home
No one will discover the hazards in your home like a baby newly on the move. They get into everything — from Fido’s food dish to the long-lost coins in your couch cushions.

Accidental injury is the leading cause of death in kids, and more than one-third of these injuries happen at home. Protect your family, and give yourself peace of mind, by adding these 10 items to your childproofing checklist:

  1. Cover the electric sockets
    To reduce the risk of electrocution, fit all electrical sockets at baby’s reach with safety caps. Make sure the caps are snug. Many retailers sell self-closing outlet covers, which are just as safe, without the need for individual caps.

  2. Tack up blind cords and lock windows
    Two children are injured every day in window blind-related accidents. Always choose cordless window coverings, or coverings with inaccessible cords. Ensure that windows are locked and install safety screens for hot days when you prefer an open window.

  3. Anchor furniture and electronics
    To prevent tip overs, any large piece of furniture — such as a wardrobe, dresser or bookcase — should be securely secured to the wall. Many furniture companies offer anchoring hardware along with their furniture, but most hardware stores sell packages to make anchoring easy.

  4. Pad harsh furniture edges
    Any furniture with sharp edges, from benches to coffee tables, should be lined with bumper guards. This will prevent cuts, bruises and eye injuries. Major retailers sell a variety of options, from plastic corner protectors to foam liners.

  5. Focus on small objects
    Scour every corner of your home for small objects, such as coins or small toys. Crawlers have a tendency to find tiny treasures where you’d least expect it. Pay particular attention to button batteries, which, if swallowed, can burn a hole in the lining of the stomach within hours.

  6. Reposition hazardous items
    When your child is on the move, storing chemicals or cleaning supplies under the sink is no longer an option. Instead, store them up high and out of reach, even in remote places like the garage. Do the same for makeup, plastic bags, detergent pods and anything hazardous.

  7. Don’t forget the doors
    Door stops are like child magnets. They love the movement and that beautiful “boing” sound. But take care with the caps — they are a little known yet common choking hazard. Replace them with a solid one-piece. And to save little fingers, invest in pinch guards.

  8. Use safety latches
    All cabinet doors and drawers, at baby’s reach, should have safety latches. Pay particular attention to major appliances, such as dryers, dishwashers and refrigerators, which can be tempting hide-and-seek spots for kids.

  9. Install baby gates
    Baby gates at the top and bottom of stairs are a given, but installing them elsewhere throughout the house is also a smart idea. Close off small areas of the house to ensure your child is always close to you, and keep kids out of utility areas, like bathrooms, garages or laundry rooms.

  10. Know your knobs
    Children figure out standard door locks sooner than you realize. Put knob protectors on any doors that lead outside of the house. And prevent burns by installing stove protectors over heat knobs — to keep the flames off and the pot handles inaccessible.

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