Safety is a huge concern when you have children, and the dangers to watch out for in your home can change depending on your family setup. The risks may be more when you have young children, or if you care for children with specific physical or mental challenges.
Understanding the hazards enables you to take the necessary precautions to protect your family. Here are five ways to minimize safety hazards when you have young children.
Be Careful About Electricity Hazards
Electricity is a welcome convenience, but there are dangers to watch out for. When you have young children, be cautious of:
- Power cords
- Extension cords
- Electrical outlets
If you’re concerned about electrical hazards in your home, talk to an expert such as callsalt.com/ for advice on what safety measures would be appropriate for you and your family. Some steps to consider are hiding power cords, investing in socket covers, and using appliances as recommended by manufacturers. Also, never place electrical plugs near water or wet surfaces.
Use Childproof Locks
Use childproof locks on cabinets, doors and in other hazardous places. More than 40% of home accidents happen in the kitchen. With this in mind, install childproof locks on your cabinets and don’t allow kids in the kitchen unsupervised.
If you have a dishwasher or stove, be sure to install safety latches on them as well. If you have an outdoor pool, set up a fence around it so that your children cannot wander too close to it.
Additionally, household cleaning agents can pose a danger to children if inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin. Keep these chemicals out of reach by storing them in a cabinet with a childproof lock or high on a shelf where preschoolers can’t reach them.
Besides keeping your cleaning supplies out of reach, it’s also a good idea to teach older kids how to identify hazardous cleaning products and chemicals around the house.
Choose the Right Flooring
One of the most common dangers for young children is falling down the stairs or slipping on the floor. The best way to avoid this is to choose a slip-resistant flooring material and maintain dry, clutter-free surfaces. Some flooring materials that are safe for kids include:
This type of flooring resists scratches and will last for years with proper care. It also has a soft surface that won’t cause as much noise as hardwood floors, which is helpful if you want your kids to nap during the day.
A carpet, like linoleum, will last for years if cared for properly and provides a softer surface than hardwood or tile floors. It’s also non-slip and warm. However, it’s important to thoroughly clean it regularly to remove dirt and allergy-causing substances such as pet dander.
Vinyl has a long life span and is easy to clean. It’s also quieter than some flooring materials, and there are many non-slip options to choose from.
Consider Your Home’s Layout Carefully
Your home’s layout can make it easier or more challenging to keep your children safe. Install gates at the top and bottom to prevent falls on a staircase. If you live near a street, you may want to invest in window and door guards to ensure your child doesn’t wander to the road alone.
Also, consider the furniture arrangement. Make sure the pathways are unobstructed to avoid accidents. Keep furniture minimal in rooms where children spend most of their time.
Keep Stairs Safe
Staircases are a significant cause of accidents in a home. Start by eliminating any clutter near your stairs, such as toys, shoes, books, magazines, and anything else that might cause tripping or slipping hazards.
Next, make sure the staircase is well lit. Consider lights with sensors that turn on when there’s no natural light in the area for added safety. Finally, have a safe railing setup for your staircase. Ensure it doesn’t have loose or missing hardware or joints and teach your children not to hang or slide on the banisters.
Keeping a Safe Home Is an Ongoing Exercise
There are many ways to ensure your home is safe for young children and everyone living there. Eliminating safety hazards should be an ongoing exercise where everyone understands it’s their responsibility to keep the home hazard-free.