Your home should be a safe place for your child to live and play but keeping it safe isn’t always easy. Supervision is the best way to prevent injuries, in the home and out, but even the most watchful parents can’t keep kids completely out of harm’s way every second of the day.
We have simple ways to help you prevent injuries in your own home.
Smoke detectors save lives! Smoke detectors should be installed and working properly on every level of the home, especially near sleeping areas.
- Test the battery twice a year and replace the battery once every year.
- Develop a fire escape plan for your home and practice it. Be aware of two ways out of each room and have a meeting spot outside the house.
- It’s important to practice your plan too!
- Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
- Space heaters should be at least three feet away from other objects and never left on when you go to sleep.
- Be careful of hot liquids that could spill and cause burns to the skin.
- Don’t carry or hold a child while cooking on the stove. Instead, move a high chair in the kitchen within reach or sight before you start. Then talk to your children so they know what’s going on. It’s a great way to spend time together.
- With everything going on, we know the water heater is the last thing on your mind. But a small adjustment can give you one less thing to worry about. To prevent accidental scalding, set your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or the manufacturer’s recommended setting.
- Kids love to reach, so to prevent hot food or liquid spills, simply use the back burner of your stove and turn pot handles away from the edge. Keep hot foods away from the edge of your counters.
- Make a habit of placing matches, gasoline and lighters in a safe place, out of children’s reach. Avoid novelty lighters or lighters that look like toys.
Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless and colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas propane, oil and methane) are burned. Vehicles or generators in an attached garage can also produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
- Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting.
- Carbon monoxide alarms will alert you to the presence of carbon monoxide in your home. Install an alarm near all the sleeping areas or gas sources in your home. Test the alarms regularly.
- Never leave a car running in the garage, even if the garage door is open.
Poison Control Information
Have the Poison Control number on hand for emergencies or questions:
Cleaning products, medicines, makeup, alcohol and even plants can be poisonous to children. Even though adults may easily tell the difference between products that are safe to eat and those that aren’t, children usually can’t. To a child, many types of medicines look like candy and colorful cleaners may look like fruit drinks.
- Always store cleaning products and automotive fluids in locked cabinets.
- Keep cleaning products in their original containers. Never put a potentially poisonous product in something other than its original container (like a plastic soda bottle), where it could be mistaken for something harmless.
- Medicines and vitamins should be stored out of children’s sight and reach. Keep medicine cabinets locked.
- Be aware of medicines you keep in your purse or bag, especially those of grandparents or visitors to the home. Store these bags out of reach of children.
- Never refer to medicine or vitamins as “candy.”
- Always read the label on a product before using it.
- When giving a child medication, always double check the dosage first.
- Talk with your children about the dangers of guns.
- Don’t keep guns in your home.
- If you do have guns at home, keep them unloaded and make sure they are properly locked away. Lock the ammunition in a separate place, and keep all keys hidden.
- Find out if there are guns in other homes where your children spend time. If there are, talk to the adults in that home about taking steps to make sure the gun is not accessible to children.