Tips on Keeping Your Children Safe at Home

The majority of injuries to children occur in or around the house. When compared with paying medical costs for an injured child, childproofing your home is very inexpensive. For each $1 spent on child safety seats, Americans save $32 on medical bills and other costs. A mere $1 spent on bike helmets saves $32 in costs, and each $1 spent for smoke alarms saves $21 in expenses. It is estimated that over a lifetime, childhood injuries cost between $175 billion and $10.1 billion in direct medical bills, $16.9 billion in future earnings and $148 billion in quality of life issues. Since 90% of childhood injuries can be prevented through education and safety precautions, it is important that parents do all they can to ensure their child wonít become injured. John S. Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and Loweís Home Improvement Warehouse offer parents these tips for making their home safe.

Living Room Safety Tips
  • Bolt heavy furniture to the wall to prevent it from toppling over onto a child.
  •  Install safety screens over fireplaces and safety locks on windows.
  • Use corner guards to cover sharp edges and use non-slip guards under rugs.
  • Keep all window cords out of the reach of children to avoid potential strangulation.
Kitchen Safety Tips
  • Keep trash cans covered with lids.
  • Use the back burners on the stove and keep all pot and pan handles turned away from the front of the stove.
  • Use safety latches to close cabinets and drawers.
Child Bedroom Safety Tips
  • Donít place toys or pillows in cribs.
  • Use guide rails for the sides of toddler beds.
  • Make sure that your childís toy box has a safety hinge so it canít fall on top of your child, and that the lid doesnít lock.
  • Crib corner posts should not stick up more than 1/16 inch to avoid stabbing injuries.
Bathroom Safety Tips
  • Store medicine, cleaners, razors and cosmetics in a locked cabinet.
  • To avoid burns, water temperature should be under 120 degrees.
  • Install a toilet seat lock.
Garage and Basement Safety Tips
  • Block off all sump pumps and furnaces.
  • Keep paint lids on tightly and keep lawnmowers and other machines out of reach.
  • Install an electric garage opener with automatic reverse so it canít trap your child underneath.
  • Store antifreeze, weed and bug killers and other chemicals on shelves which are out of reach.
Laundry Room Safety Tips
  • Use a 2 gallon bucket instead of a 5 gallon bucket since children can drown in small amounts of water.
  • Keep the iron turned off when not in use and supervise your child when it is turned on.
Backyard Safety Tips
  • Empty water from wading pools after use.
  • Make sure your railing's spindles are 3Ĺ inches or smaller so that children canít get their heads stuck between them.
  • Use soft ground surfaces (sand, wood chips) underneath swing sets.
  • Cover window wells and drains.
  • Put a fence around pools and hot tubs and use a self-latching gate.


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