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Approximately 2.5 million children are injured or killed by hazards in the home each year.  Many of these incidents can be prevented by using simple child safety devices readily available on the market today.

Take a crawl through your home and look at your house from your crawling child's perspective.  Even the most  efficient housekeeper will be amazed at the variety of things imbedded in rugs and hidden under furniture.  Seemingly innocuous items, like a lamp cords and pet food bowls, taken n new meaning when your child is on the crawl.

 

  • Cabinet and drawer latches in the kitchen that are within your child's     reach should be childproofed.  To avoid totally frustrating your children by locking them all, help them feel a part of the kitchen by keeping a bottom drawer filled with play cups, plates, spoons, and other safety non-breakable objects specially earmarked for a child's kitchen play.

  • Keep chairs and step stools away from counters and the stove; if stove knobs are easily accessible to children, use protective covers to prevent kids from turning them.

  • Most bathroom injuries come from slips and falls.  Apply non-skid     appliqués on the bottom of the tub or use a rubber bath mat.  Also, slide a cushioned spout guard over the faucet.  There are a number of soft faucet guards in animal and other shapes that fit securely over the tub spouts and protect children from possible gashes and bruises in a slippery tub.  Toilet seat locks can prevent being trapped between the seat and bowl or falling in and drowning.  Never leave a young child alone in the bathroom.

  • Use anti-scald devices for faucets and shower heads and set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to help prevent burns from hot water.

  • To safeguard against poisoning be sure in your bathroom medicine    cabinet has child resistant safety caps.  You can buy locking medicine    cabinet inserts or small locks and latches designed to keep medicine    cabinet doors closed.  A step stool in the bathroom also poses a danger if used by a child for exploration.  Remember to keep all dangerous chemicals out of children's reach.

  • One out of three child poisoning occurs at the home of a child's   grandparents, in part because older people often buy medicines without child-resistant caps.  While this is a convenience to grandparents, they should be aware that it could pose dangers for their grandchildren.

  • Use safety gates to help prevent falls down stairs and to keep children away from dangerous areas.  Safety gates can help keep children away from stairs or rooms that have hazards in them.  Look for safety gates that children cannot dislodge easily.  For the tip of stairs, gates that screw to the wall are more secure than "pressure gates."

  • Use outlet covers and outlet plates to help prevent electrocution.  Outlet covers and outlet plates can help protect children from electrical shock and possible electrocution.  When they are not in use, unplug electrical appliances.

  • Cut window blind cords and use safety tassels to help prevent children    from strangling in blind cord loops.  Window blind cord safety tassels on mini-blinds and tension devices on vertical blinds and drapery cords can help prevent deaths and injuries from strangulation in the loops of cords.  Place furniture well away from windows.

  • Position your child's crib away from all drapery, electrical cords, and    windows.  Make sure the crib meets national safety standards.  Make    sure the mattress and crib sheet fits snugly.  Remove mobiles and other hanging toys from the crib as soon as your child can reach up and touch them.  Place night lights at least three feet away from the crib, bedding, and draperies to prevent fires.

  • Use door stops and door holders to help prevent small fingers and hands from being pinched or crushed in door hinges.

  • Use a cordless phone to make it easier to continuously watch young    children, especially when they are in bathtubs, swimming pools, or other potentially dangerous areas.

  • Fireplaces can be dangerous, even if no fire is burning.  Install a glass    fireplace screen to keep children from inhaling and swallowing soot.   If the fireplaces has a raised hearth, cover the edge with a cushioned material to avoid bangs on heads or chins.

  • You may also apply cushioned corner covers to coffee tables,     countertops or any other sharp corner to decrease bruises and bumps.  To prevent furniture from tipping over on children, install furniture safety brackets that screw into the wall.

  • Always use a safety belt when your baby is sitting in a bouncy seat or    swing.

  • Place houseplants out of children's reach; know the names of all plants in case a child eats one of them.

  • Keep cigarettes, matches, and lighters out of children's reach.

  • Make a fire evacuation plan and practice fire escape routes at least twice a year.

  • Keep firearms and ammunitions safely locked away.

  • Test homes built before 1978 for lead paint.

  • Learn first aid and CPR.

  • Place infants under one year on their backs to sleep; never use an electric blanket in the bed or crib of a small child or infant.

  • Place night-lights at least three feet from crib, bedding, and draperies to prevent fires.

  • Check age labels for appropriate toys; be vigilant about choking hazards; beware of foods that children can choke on.

  • If you have a swimming pool, install a fence (with an automatic childproof gate) that separates the house from the pool.

  • When you barbecue outdoors, never leave children unattended around the grill.  Store propane grills where children cannot reach the knobs.

These are but a few tips on childproofing your home.  For more information
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