How safe are our homes really? Read on for tips on for important household safety tips to share with your kids and prevent common household accidents.
It’s Kate Wilson here, again, from This Wild Lifestyle! This month I’m here to share some household safety tips for the whole family. Learn how to prevent common accidents and educate your kids on safety in the home.
Photo credit: Alicja Colon, Unsplash
We’ve all heard the saying “in the safety of your own home” but how safe are our homes really? As a parent it is crucial to understand all of the possible hazards our children may face and as a child it is important to know what dangers to look out for, to avoid and to report back to Mom and Dad. It is natural for young children to explore and experiment in the place they spend the most time. So how can you prevent injuries in your home and build a safe haven for your little ones? Just like you involve your kids in cleaning and organizing, you can involve them in home safety. Read on for 5 household safety tips for the whole family.
1. Heavy furniture and appliances
Toddlers love to grab onto furniture and pull themselves up. Once old enough, they begin turning your décor into a homemade jungle gym. Climbing and pulling on furniture and appliances may cause them to tip over and injure your child. This includes televisions too.
Tip: Tether your furniture with screws into the wall studs.
Talk with your children about the hazards of climbing on furniture and ask that if they feel like climbing to let you know and you can take them to a place where they can safely do it, such as a playground or backyard tree under your supervision.
Even with everything going wireless these days, there is no shortage of cords found throughout the home. According to the International Association for Child Safety, “Any cord longer than 7” can become a strangulation hazard.” We immediately think electrical cords, but please keep in mind those other cords that can present serious dangers.
Tip: Make sure all cords in your child’s bedroom are out of reach and blocked by furniture. Pay close attention to window treatment cords, as we tend to forget about those. Bind them and tuck them up high where your children can not get to them.
Talk with your children about cords not being toys and about the dangers of how they can get seriously hurt by them.
Every home should be equipped with several safety monitors including:
- Smoke detector
- Carbon monoxide monitor
- Radon gas detector
Keep the batteries fresh in these monitors and ensure they are placed throughout the home, on all floors and outside of each bedroom. These devices will help detect deadly gases throughout your home, but it is also important to talk with your children about how to be on the watch for one of the most common and sneakiest gases of all — natural gas.
Tip: Check your pilot lights often. If you have a fireplace, have a chimney sweep come out to inspect it for build up creosote. Make sure your heating system is cleaned annually before the cold weather hits.
Teach your children how to detect a natural gas leak. Since natural gas is odorless, many suppliers add a chemical to it called mercaptan which gives it a “rotten egg” smell. Educate your kids that if they smell this anywhere in or around your home to come report it to you immediately.
4. Electrical Outlets
So many kids’ toys today facilitate the educational activity of placing a shape into a hole. After doing it so many times it’s natural for children to want to try placing just about anything into any hole or slot they find around the house to see if it fits. Unfortunately this plays out with electrical outlets too — which are usually found at crawling level and numerous throughout every room in the house. It is important to cover your electrical outlets to prevent the safety hazard of your child getting shocked or burned.
Tip: Unfortunately not all outlet covers are safe. Some small plastic plug-ins can be a choking hazard. It is best to seek out the safety devices that screw into the wall or must be squeezed and twisted to be removed. You can also cover the outlet with furniture to deter the child from experimenting with it.
Make learning fun! The Electrical Safety Foundational International offers free kits, videos and interactive tools to make learning about the electrical safety fun for you and your children.
Kids love to play outside and explore. When the confines of the home bore them, temptation awaits from just outside the window. It is important to keep your windows locked at all times, but especially crucial for windows above the first floor. Whether it’s a bird perched in the tree or a ball that made its way to the porch roof outside their window, don’t put it past your little one to move a chair or stool over to climb up to the window and make their way outside where they can fall and get seriously hurt.
Tip: Baby proof all of your windows, especially those on the second floor.
Tell your children to never crawl through a window. If they see something they want to explore further, to call for you and show you what they found.
By making these alterations to your home and having continuous discussions with your children on the importance of recognizing hazards and how to stay safe, you allow them the freedom to be explorers and discover new things which in return supports their growth. Building an environment where you and your children can enjoy quality family time together or apart supports healthy and active lifestyles for all. After a few adjustments and talks with your kids you will benefit from peace of mind and a happy home.
While you’re here, be sure to check out other favorites on Ideas for the Home by Kenarry® –