Keep Your Home Safe

Edited by Debbie, Nate Pepperell, Lynn, Jonathan and 3 others

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You probably breathe a sigh of relief when you return from a hectic day's work, glad to be safe and secure in your home. However, are you really safe? There may be serious dangers at home that you are unaware of, especially for children age 4 and younger. With small children, especially, precautions should be taken to reduce the number of accidents in the home. It is impossible to keep watch over children all the time. Even stay-at-home moms cannot always prevent busy little fingers from getting into trouble, and children are so creative about what they can do with the most ordinary things – all in the spirit of curiosity and fun. Statistics say that most cases involving children age 4 and younger in the ER are caused by accidents in the home.

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A Checklist on How to be Safe at Home

Regardless of whether you work or stay home, there are a lot of things you can do to childproof your home and prevent injuries. Using the following checklist, you can do an inspection of your home and note any changes or adjustments that need to be made.

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  1. 1
    Cleaners
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    Make sure that no poisonous substances are within your children's reach. Children, especially infants, will put anything in their mouths.
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  2. 2
    Drapes and Curtains
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    Keep long cords out of reach. They can strangle a small child.
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  3. 3
    Drawers and Cupboards
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    Install safety latches to keep children from getting into dangerous cleaning products, breakable items and other dangerous things.
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  4. 4
    Stairway
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    Make sure your stairs are well-lit and free of clutter. You should also put up gates to keep your toddlers from going up the stairs on their own and falling. If you have balusters, make sure your toddler cannot get his head stuck between them.
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  5. 5
    Stove
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    Keep the handles of pots and pans facing toward the back of the stove while cooking.
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  6. 6
    Broiler and Grills
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    Clean it on a regular basis, as grease collected on it can cause a fire.
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  7. 7
    Fire extinguisher
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    Keep at least one in the home, teach all family members how to use it, and keep track of its expiry date.
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  8. 8
    Cribs
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    Slats should be close enough together that an infant will not stick his or her head through it and get stuck.
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  9. 9
    Windows
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    Safety bars will protect small children from falls.
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  10. 10
    Medicines and Vitamins
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    Keep these out of sight and out of the reach of children in a locked cabinet. Remember that we often keep medication not only in the medicine cabinet, but we also carry them around in purses, leave them on top of dressers, and on bedside tables. Keep things such as mouthwash and diaper rash ointment away from children as well.
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  11. 11
    Microwaves
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    Food gets hot fast in the microwave. When you heat up a baby bottle, it might be not be that warm on the outside, but in the inside, it could be scalding.
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  12. 12
    Furnace
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    Have it checked on a regular basis for carbon monoxide leaks.
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  13. 13
    Barbecue grills
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    Make sure children are at a safe distance because they can get extremely hot and may tip over.
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  14. 14
    Garage door
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    Tell your children to never run under it while it is operating.
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  15. 15
    Smoke detectors
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    Keep them clean and check them regularly. Change the batteries yearly.
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    Carbon monoxide detectors
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    Install a carbon monoxide detector in your house. Care for these as you would your smoke detectors.
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  17. 17
    Iron and other appliances
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    Keep your iron and its dangling cord out of the reach of children.
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  18. 18
    Electric sockets
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    Put safety covers on all your electric sockets so that naughty little fingers do not stick pins in them.
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  19. 19
    Washing machine and dryer
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    If you have a separate laundry room, keep it locked. Front-loading dryer and washing machines are very attractive places for children to hide while playing hide-and-seek.
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  20. 20
    Bathrooms
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    Keep bathrooms locked or at least securely closed when you have toddlers. Toddlers may wander into the bathroom and play with the water, or even try to play with the toilet water, endangering him or herself into falling inside it.
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  21. 21
    Toilet paper
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    Keep toilet paper rolls out of the reach of toddlers. There is something extremely fascinating about toilet paper rolls rolling and getting stuffed into the most unlikely places.
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  22. 22
    Bathtub
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    Never leave a child in the tub alone. It only takes a short length of time for them to drown. When you leave, keep plugs hidden so they cannot fill up the tub.
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  23. 23
    Plants, vases, and dish gardens
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    Make sure indoor plants, vases and dish gardens are beyond the reach of toddlers.
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  24. 24
    Toys
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    Only buy age-appropriate toys for your children. Make sure the small parts of toys for older children are safely stored when there are younger children around.
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  25. 25
    Small bits of food
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    Be careful that small bits of food are not left lying around. Be careful with grapes, pieces of hot dog, hard candy, grapes, and nuts. Not only can children choke on them, but they can also stick them into their noses and ears.
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  26. 26
    Tablecloths
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    Keep your tablecloths folded in the cupboard until none of your children are of the age when they pull on the overhang.
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  27. 27
    Window guards
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    Install window guards to make sure children don't fall out accidentally, but make sure there is a release device to open the window guard in case of fire. At the same time, clear the windows of chairs, cribs, and other furniture that toddlers can climb on.
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  28. 28
    Secure your TV (and other similar appliances) with a wall bracket to prevent them from tipping over
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  29. 29
    Highchairs
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    Always strap your child in when he or she is in the highchair and keep those little feet away from the table so that they can't use them to kick and topple over.
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  30. 30
    Guns and other firearms and explosives
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    Keep these out of reach of children. Keep these things locked up and never tell your children where they are. If possible, do not let your children see you when you are cleaning your guns or inspecting them.
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    Doors
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    Keep your doors locked at all times, so small children do not wander out. Keep spare keys of all doors in an accessible place in case a child accidentally locks himself in one of the rooms.
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  32. 32
    Lighters and matches
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    Keep lighters and matches out of sight and safely hidden in a place children won't find them.
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  33. 33
    Nightlight
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    Keep a light on at night for safety precautions.
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Tricks, Tips & Warnings

  • Make a very readable list of emergency number and post this on your refrigerator, and within sight of the telephones in your house. Input these numbers into your cell phone too.
  • Learn first aid and CPR. Although hopefully you won't ever need to use them, these are very useful and sometimes life-saving skills.
  • Make it a rule to store all toys in a "sleep" bin so that no parts are left lying around to cause accidents.
  • There are websites that provide information on toys and products recalled by manufacturers. Sign up for product-recall memberships and updates.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please post in the comments section below.

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Article Info

Categories : Home Safety

Recent edits by: Eng, Nerissa Avisado, Jonathan

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