These child safety tips can all make your home safer in 10 minutes or less.
Okay, parents, I hope you’re wearing running shoes because you’re about to get a child safety themed workout.
I’ve compiled a minute by minute workout schedule that will turn you into a lean, mean, child injury prevention machine. You should be able to do execute each of these child safety tips in 10 minutes or less…
On your mark. Get set. Go!
1. Child Chemical SafetyLet’s start out in the kitchen. Look around to make sure all household chemicals are not accessible to children.
You might not realize it, but to children, these chemicals look similar to their favorite fruit drinks, so your child might not understand that blue window cleaner isn’t blue-raspberry Kool-aid. To prevent a case of mistaken identity, put hazardous materials on higher shelves, not close to your food, of course.
If you can’t store your cleaning products anywhere else but near floor level, lock your cupboard doors tight with a child proof lock.
2. Child Climbing SafetyWhile you’re still in the kitchen, start looking for opportunities your child might have to climb to unsafe heights. Reposition any climbable pieces of furniture to deter children from using them as ladders to your kitchen counter.
Your kids probably love sweets so keep those goodies in a locked pantry or in a locked shelf lower than counter height. That way your kids don’t have to climb anything to find out they don’t have access to their tasty temptations.
3. Child Hot Water SafetyStill with me? If so, you’re doing great! But now it’s time for a bit of a run.
Head to your basement or wherever your hot water heater is located. Read the temperature setting. If your hot water heater is set to anything above 120-125 degrees fahrenheit or above medium, it’s too hot.
According to the National Ag Safety Database, it only takes takes two seconds for a child to receive third degree burns from water at 150 degrees, five seconds if the water is at 140 degrees and 30 seconds at 130 degrees.
Turning the water heater down to a proper setting should be easy to do, but if you can’t figure it out, call a trusted friend or plumber.
4. Child Sharp Object SafetyWhile you’re in the basement, grab an empty bottle of laundry detergent, tear the labels off and write “SHARPS” or “DANGER” on both sides.
You now have your own container for proper disposal of sharp objects.
Whatever it may be, sewing needles, thumb tacks, nails, if you don’t have a place for it, put it in the sharps container. This is a method medical professionals use to dispose of hazardous sharp objects, so it’s child safety expert and doctor approved.
Store the sharps container in a secure, child safe location and get ready to move!
5. Child Electrical SafetyIt’s time for an electrical outlet check.
Head back up the stairs and through your house to each individual outlet to make sure they all have child proof covers.
Children are more likely to tamper with your electrical outlets than you might think. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association estimates that an average of seven children per day are treated in emergency rooms for injuries due to electrical outlet contact.
Child safety covers prevent unnecessary child injury by keeping kids from sticking their fingers and metallic objects in electrical outlets. Until your children are old enough to know better, keep all the outlets in your home covered.
6. Child Suffocation SafetyDid you see any plastic bags lying out in the open during your last lap around the house? If you did and you didn’t pick them up, well, looks like it’s another lap for you.
Kids who like to play make believe can see colorful, plastic grocery bags as masks that can turn them into astronauts and monsters, but these bags can easily suffocate your child.
Gather all your plastic bags together and store them in a safe, secure place like the now locked cabinet you keep your household chemicals in.
7. Child Shelf SafetyIf you are one of those reading types who hasn’t replaced their paperbacks and hardcovers with e-books, there are probably bookshelves around your house.
Although your children may be learning to read, they see bookshelves more as ladders than “knowledge storage devices.” The CPSC estimates that in 2006, more than 16,000 children five years old and younger were treated in emergency rooms due to furniture and appliance tipovers.
Secure bookshelves, and all other shelving units in your home, to walls so there is no chance of them falling over when your child decides he’s the next Indiana Jones.
8. Child Padding SafetyAlright, now do another lap around your house, this time looking for sharp corners and edges on furniture and walls.
More than likely, there are more edges and corners that could use padding than you can do in under ten minutes, but make a note of their locations.
There are a number of different manufacturers who specialize in making child safe edging for furniture and walls. If you don’t want to pay $15 a foot, though, use foam pipe edging and clear tape. It works just as well at a fraction of the cost.
9. Child Window SafetyWindows always spell trouble for children.
Windows with blinds usually mean low hanging cords that kids like to play with. These cords are choking hazards so secure them at a higher altitude by coiling them up with a rubber band or piece of string.
Push all chairs and other pieces of climbable furniture away from windows so that children have less access to them.
And if you like keeping your windows open and haven’t invested in some child safe window guards, you need to install them soon.
10. Child Refrigerator SafetyIt’s the home stretch! Get to your refrigerator.
If you have small magnets on the fridge, either take them off or move them higher and out of reach. Your child can easily pluck the magnets off the fridge and put them in their mouths.
Also, open your refrigerator door and determine if the seal is strong enough to keep a child from opening it. If it’s not, add a latch system to the door for extra security.
11. RelaxI ended the workout in front of your refrigerator on purpose. Open it up and grab something cold to drink or stick your head in the freezer to cool off.
You’re looking buff and now your home is now child safety expert approved.
Have anything you’d like to add? Leave a comment and let me know.
Ken Levinson is a Chicago-based child injury attorney and child safety advocate. If your child has been injured or worse, please call Ken Levinson at Joseph, Lichtenstein and Levinson at 312-346-9270 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Although based in Chicago, Ken works on child injury cases across the country.