Summer is generally a risky period for children, and every parent needs to be extra vigilant in his or her home during this time. In fact, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 40 percent of all accidental injuries among newborns to teenagers happen between May and August. Parents can make their homes child-safe by having electrical appliances safely installed and electrical cords properly managed. They can enhance window safety by using window stops and guards. They can install kitchen gates to improve kitchen safety. Parents can also prevent outdoor hazards by always supervising their children while they’re participating in outdoor activities.
Checklists for Making a Home Child-Safe This Summer
Besides installing tight-fitting electrical outlet covers, a parent must properly manage electrical cords. He or she should keep electronic devices and appliances unplugged when not in use. He or she should safely keep loose electrical cords, as they are a potential strangulation hazard for young children. The parent should also install short cords and keep his or her phone and laptop chargers out of reach of young children.
Children tend to put things into their mouths and can easily mistake drug capsules for candy. Parents should store medicines, insecticides, and dangerous cleaning supplies in locked cabinets and out of children’s reach. After using glue or paints for home improvement projects, parents should store these harmful chemicals outside their homes and out of children’s reach. They should also keep safe, child-friendly houseplants.
Children can easily fall from unsecured windows. For this reason, a parent should ensure he or she has installed window guards and stops. Window guards and stops prevent windows from opening more than four inches. According to Consumer Product Safety Commission, window falls account for around seven deaths per year among children age five or below. The agency also estimates that 3,000 American children in the same age bracket are treated annually in hospital emergency rooms (ER).
Children can use chairs or playpens to climb windows. As such, a parent should ensure furniture that children can climb on are far from the windows. If possible, he or she should acquire cordless window blinds for the home. Just like electrical cords, looped cords on blinds pose strangulation risks for young children.
Let’s not forget the staircase! As soon as those babies are mobile and start crawling around, staircases need to be made child-safe with a safety gate. Regular tension baby gates are not a good choice for stairs as your toddler may try to climb the gate anyway and end up falling over along with the gate. It is best to get a secure safe baby gate installed properly so there is no risk.
Parents should be extra careful in their kitchens, as they pose major safety hazards for their children. Broken glasses and appliance tip-overs in the kitchen can injure children. Burns are other kitchen-related safety threats. Hot spills and handling of hot dishes are the leading causes of kitchen-related burns to children. Parents can significantly minimize the risk of burns by carefully handling kitchen appliances and keeping them away from young children. Installing kitchen gates to limit children’s access to the kitchen areas is another important kitchen safety tip. Locked gates help in preventing accidents that could occur when children are playing and the parents are not at home.
Outdoor Hazards Supervision
Parents should keep an eye on their children when they are participating in outdoor activities. Backyard pools and large items that may be outside the house can collect rainwater and could pose drowning risks for children. Parental supervision is crucial in preventing drowning as well as minor injuries to children.
Cars are other hidden outdoor hazards. Parents should ensure that they lock their cars and trunks. Children are playful in nature and can accidentally lock themselves in car trunks that can overheat, endangering their lives. Car keys should be kept out of children’s reach.
Parents should also closely monitor their children who like riding All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV). They should ensure their children always follow the recommended ATV safety guidelines to reduce accident risks. These safety tips include riding ATVs at safe speeds, always wearing protective gear, and attending hands-on ATV safety classes.
Child safety should always be your top priority as a parent, but in the summer it’s even more critical to step that up a notch!