Instead of worrying about your child being abducted or getting hurt from their day to day activities, think about your own home possibly being unsafe. Unintentional deaths are the leading cause of deaths in children ages 14 and under, and a third of those deaths happen at home. Your children have the highest risk of being injured at home because it’s where they spend most of their time. Your first step is to protect your house.
Secure Windows and Doors
Always open double-hung windows from the top or fit them with locks. Low windows shouldn’t be open more than 4 inches, because screens are not strong enough to prevent falls. Keep furniture away from any window. Use doorstops or door holders on doors and door hinges.
It’s a great idea to protect all outlets that your child would come in contact with outlet covers. The removable little plug-in caps that most people use could be a threat to your child and end up in your baby’s mouth. Replace the outlet cover instead.
Furniture And Fixtures
Large or heavy furniture (bookcases, dressers and appliances) are real hazards so bolt whatever you can to the wall. Push back items that are on the edge of furniture so they aren’t in reach, and secure them if you can. Always put the heavier items on the bottom shelves and in bottom drawers so the furniture isn’t top heavy.
Gates can be tricky when it comes to getting the right one. If out-of-date or used improperly, safety gates can pose a hazard to small children. Look for gates your child can’t dislodge but you can open easily. Never use pressure gates at the top of stairs. Take the time to install a gate that screws to the wall, it’s much more secure. It’s best to buy brand new safety gates, which display a seal from the Juvenile Products Manufactures Association (JPMA).
Check Ties On Blinds And Curtains
Window blinds are dangerous because a baby’s neck could become trapped in the cords that raise blinds or run through the slats. Avoid placing your child’s crib near the window. Curtains with pull cords are dangerous. Cut off the pull cords or use cord shorteners or wind-ups to keep out of reach.