Hazards around the home are more prevalent than many people think, especially with young children and babies in the picture. Children tend to be extremely curious and when they learn to crawl and walk they’ll be on the move at all times. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, unintentional injury is the leading cause of death for children. Before you bring home your youngster, follow these guidelines for child-proofing your home from dangerous fire and electrical hazards.
- First, create a fire escape plan and a designated meeting place outside. Then practice that plan. You can even keep a ladder on the upper floor of your home in you case you need to exit from that level.
- You should have smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every bedroom. Make sure you test them on a regular basis and change the batteries twice per year.
- Have a fire extinguisher in an easy-to-reach spot in the kitchen and learn how to use it.
- Child-safety wallplates and tamper-proof outlets will keep tiny fingers out of empty outlets. There are also plastic outlet caps you can place in empty receptacles.
- Switch locks can be installed to prevent children from accidentally turning appliances and lights on and off.
- All cords should be kept out of reach to the best of your ability. Children tend to chew on just about anything they can get their hands on.
- Electronic toys should be checked frequently for damage.
- Nightlights will help your child feel safe at night but should be kept far from fabrics like bedspreads or curtains.
- Fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, radiators, and baseboard heaters can be blocked off to prevent burns.
- Matches, lighters, and lit candles should be kept out of children’s reach.
- Install ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in any room with a water source within six feet of an outlet as they protect against shock or electrocution.
Even after following these guidelines, try getting down on your hands and knees and looking around to get an idea of what the world looks like to your child. They may see things from their perspective that you can’t see from yours. Make sure your little one is able to explore the house safely.