When we think about child safety, we know that home should be the safest place for any child, but the reality is that it can actually be one of the most dangerous. Kids are naturally curious and when they’re in the comfort of their own home environment, they can feel OK about venturing into places they don’t belong or perform actions they shouldn’t.
Here are some of the things you can talk about with your team at work regarding child safety at home so they can ensure they’ve covered all their bases with their kids – whether that child is a baby, toddler, pre-teen or teenager. Because child hazards have no age restriction.
Let’s go through all the major rooms of the home, one by one, so you can see the danger zones for your kids and take action straight away:
- Sharp objects and children never mix. Keep knives and other cooking objects well out your child’s reach and if you are challenged for space, put child safety locks on the cabinets holding these items. Repeat for any products that should not be ingested that you store in the kitchen.
- The stove or oven is one of the most dangerous places of the home for a child to wander into. Keep a watchful eye to ensure that no child goes near these hot surfaces to experience burns. A common mistake by some parents is to leave a pan on the stove with handles that small children want to reach for, leading to injury when the parent temporarily walks away.
- The kitchen area often has a “catch-all” dish that holds all manner of small objects like spare change, batteries and candies. Harmless enough? Think again. Small objects like these can be lodged in a baby or toddler’s throat, causing a choking hazard. Keep such objects that can be potentially swallowed in an elevated area such as a kitchen island or hanging up high on a wall instead. Don’t throw it on a table and forget it.
The Living Room, Family Room, Office and Bedroom
- These are the kinds of areas where you’ll plug in your computer, your lamps, your stereo and more – and practically all of the electrical socket inputs will be easy for your little ones to touch. You can’t move where the outlets are but you can go a long way toward preserving child safety by putting electrical socket covers over these areas so no child has to touch them and experience a life-threatening electrical shock.
- When you’re putting your baby in the crib, never line the sides with pillows or blankets. It may seem like they cushion well for the baby but tragedy can strike when the baby turns during sleep into that pillow or blanket and suffocates. The same outcome can occur if you put your baby face down – always, always put them on their back.
- It’s time to check out all your windows on both the lower floors and the higher floors. Why the lower ones? Don’t forget the danger posed by window cords, which can strangle children. If they can grab it, they can be in harm’s way quickly. The same goes for high floor windows such as the ones in your child’s bedroom. Is it too easy for them to unlock a latch and take a terrible fall? Make sure you secure these because the adventurous child can turn the situation into a dangerous one in no time.
- Many children can take a tumble down the stairs to the next floor or the basement. For babies, a baby gate here is a must. For toddlers or older children, keep the area free of toys that could cause them (or you!) to slip and fall down the stairs. The more they have good habits for cleaning up, the greater the likelihood that they won’t take a bad fall. If you have landing areas in your stairwell, that’s not a place to keep a conversation piece encased in glass that your child could fall right into and cut themselves badly.
- At least once a year, have a family “fire drill” session in which your children know exactly what they should do and where they should go in the event of a fire. This will give you an excellent opportunity to check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors too.
- We have an entire article on this topic but it bears repeating here again – it’s crucial to put all harmful substances, such as cleaners and medications, away from your child’s reach. Assume that if they shouldn’t have it, they’ll want it. Or they don’t even know any better and are curious about interesting colors and shapes. See our other article on emergency contact lists, which includes the number for a poison control center in case anything harmful is ingested by your child.
We’ve just shared a number of key areas of your home that can make it a whole lot more protective in the name of child safety. Of course, no child can prevent injuries altogether, so when first aid is needed, get yourself a portable rescue kit from SOS Technologies that eases the pain and saves the day. It’s a must-have in the home, in the car, near the little league practice field and just about everywhere that kids get together.
Learn more about first aid products like these and the first-rate CPR/AED training that only our team of safety consultants can deliver to your workplace right on-site. Call SOS today at 888.705.6100.