Home may feel like the safest place to be, but there are actually hazards all around you that could be putting your children at risk. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, injuries are the leading cause of death in children ages 19 and younger. And while accidents are going to happen, many injuries in the home can be prevented. With some practical steps and planning, you can make your home a safer place.
Here are some tips for keeping kids safer at home:
- Prevent Burns. Cooking is the main reason for burns in the home. So, after using the stove, make sure the burners are off and cool to the touch. Always supervise your children if they use kitchen appliances. Check your appliance cords and don’t use them if they’re frayed. Be sure to keep your iron out of reach during and after use, and don’t forget to unplug it. If you don’t have them already, install and maintain smoke alarms on every floor and nearly all rooms family members sleep in. Get a fire extinguisher for your kitchen and the rest of your home. Also, check your water heater’s thermostat, and set it to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
- Prevent Drowning. Drowning happens quickly and quietly. So, if you have younger children, always supervise them around bathtubs. It’s also a good idea to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). CPR certification lasts two years.
- Prevent Falls. To prevent falls from windows above ground, use guards on your windows. And if you have young children, make sure you have gates and guardrails on stairs. Supervision is key, so be sure to keep an eye on children both inside and outside — especially when they’re playing on backyard play structures.
- Prevent Poisoning. Keep medicines, cleaning liquids and detergent pods in their original packaging, and store them in a locked or childproof cabinet. If your child takes something by mistake, call the nationwide poison control center toll free at 1-800-222-1222.
Most childhood injuries can be prevented. Show your kids you love them by making your home as safe as possible.