We call this site “Secure Your Home,” and for us, home security is a big deal. But keeping the bad guys out is only part of keeping your home safe. It has to be safe for the people who live there too…especially the little ones.
Sadly, we have all kinds of dangers to watch out for in our own homes, from falls to burns to guns to poisoning. Obviously we aren’t going to be able to cover every single child safety tip in one short blog post. But what we hope we can do is motivate you to take a good hard look at your home and start to make it safer for everyone who lives there, young or old, with these three mindsets:
1. Lock things up
Let’s face it. Kids are inquisitive and will get into just about anything they can, even if they have to work at it. So be liberal with your locking up!
- Lock cabinets that contain anything dangerous, such as cleaning supplies or medicines. Make sure the medicines are “locked” with childproof caps.
- When in doubt, lock it up. If there’s even the slightest chance something could be harmful if swallowed, practice prevention instead of regret, and lock it up to be on the safe side.
- Lock up anything that contains sharp objects such as knives or scissors.
- Ditto for objects that can suffocate, like plastic bags, or that can be dangerous in any other way, like matches.
- Lock up guns. Lock up guns. Lock up guns. (And before locking up the guns, make sure they are not loaded.)
2. Block their way
In addition to being inquisitive, little ones are quick! Block their access to dangers such as windows, stairs and the street outside.
- Install window guards in the windows (and make sure the windows are locked when closed or partially open).
- Block the stairs with baby gates, and consider installing baby gates to keep little ones safe from other rooms fraught with dangers, like the kitchen when you’re cooking. (No one ever said you were limited to one baby gate!)
- Block their access to electrical outlets with covers.
- Put door knob covers on any entry doors that would let the kids out of the house, and on doors to rooms where they shouldn’t go unattended.
- Fence off dangerous temptations such as pools and trampolines.
3. Be a pessimist
Unfortunately, most of the dangers in our homes aren’t apparent to us until someone gets hurt. Only then do we realize the carpeting on the stairs is loose, or the toaster’s electrical cord is hanging over the kitchen counter, or what have you. For child safety that’s customized to your own home and family, do a home safety audit and review all of the possible dangers to your children (and you!). And then err on the side of caution. Do something about the sharp corners of that table so that just in case someone trips and falls on it, damage is minimized. Anticipate kids getting taller and reaching the breakables sooner rather than later. Put away that tablecloth for now, even if no toddlers have yet to tug on it and pull it down to their level.
Sure, your house might start to feel a little minimalist, but it’s only for a few short years. And the peace of mind this kind of safety nets you is priceless…just like the little ones you’re looking out for.