Preventing Injuries to Children in the Home
Childproof your home. Look at every room as your child would. Ask yourself what looks interesting and what can be reached.
- Get down on your hands and knees, and check for small things children can choke on.
- Use the back burners on stoves, and turn pot handles to the back. Keep children away from the stove or microwave when cooking, and don't serve hot food or drinks to them.
- Keep knives, glasses, and scissors where young kids can't reach them.
- Cover electrical outlets that are not in use.
- Keep guns locked, unloaded, and where kids can't reach them.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every sleeping area. Test them once a month.
- Plan several ways to escape from each room if a fire starts. Practice the fire escape plan with your family. Identify a safe place to meet outside.
- Lock up matches, lighters, and gasoline.
- Keep space heaters where kids can't reach them and away from curtains, beds, and papers.
- Never put electrical cords under rugs.
Always supervise children while they are in the bathroom, and follow other important bathroom safety guidelines.
- Keep the hot water heater at low-medium or less than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix hot and cold water in the bathtub, and test it on your forearm before putting children into the tub. Never leave the room while they are bathing.
- Keep toilet lids closed and locked, and doors to bathrooms and utility rooms closed, when not in use. Put razors, curling irons, and hair dryers out of reach.
Avoid exposing children to potential poisons.
- Lock up potential poisons out of children's reach, including cleaning supplies, pet food, medicine, vitamins, beer, wine, and liquor.
- Read labels and follow directions when giving medicine to children.
- Know which houseplants are poisonous and keep them where children can't reach them.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors in every sleeping area and test them every month.
- Make sure heating systems are vented outside and checked every year.
Prevent serious falls.
- Keep furniture away from windows. Install guards or stops on windows that are not emergency exits.
- Install safety gates at the top and the bottom of stairs.
- Never use baby walkers.