Hazards found around the home are often the cause of childhood injuries.
When a child is injured in an accident, the parents are devastated, especially when they
realize that his injuries could have been anticipated and prevented. Making the house a
safe environment fro children isnt difficult, it just requires that you identify the
danger zones and then eliminate them. Take a look at things in your home from a
childs viewpoint and try to anticipate the dangerous situations that may await your
In the kitchen
The kitchen is an area of the house where many accidents take
place. Thats because its where heat-producing appliances, sharp objects, and
household chemicals can be found. A child can be hurt in the kitchen if adults are too
busy preparing a meal or cleaning to really pay attention to what he is doing nearby. To
avoid an accident in the kitchen, take the following precautions:
Keep pot and pan handles turned toward the back of the stove, so that
children cannot reach them.
Install guard latches on lower cabinets and drawers to keep their
contents off limits. Dangerous contents include household cleaning supplies, medications,
vitamins, utensils, tools, etc.
Store household chemicals high out of childrens reach.
Get a shorter pone cord or add a hook high on the way a child
cant trip on it or get strangled if the cord gets caught around his neck.
Never leave a bucket of water unattended, not even for a second.
Young children can drown in as little as 5 cm (2 in) of water.
In the bathroom
The bathroom is a very dangerous area for young children for
three reasons: bathroom cleaners, hot water, and medications. Heres what to do to
avoid accidents in this room:
Keep the bathroom door closed, if possible, to keep young children
Add guard latches to the cabinets and drawers so that medications and
cosmetics are out of childrens reach.
Install ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCls) on electrical
outlets near all sinks. Put safety covers/caps on unused outlets.
Never leave standing water in a bathtub to prevent drowning or
Close the toilet lid after use-get a lid lock to secure it-to prevent
an accidental drowning.
Set the maximum temperature of the water heater to 49oC (120oF) to
prevent accidental burns.
Choose non-slip floors/mats for your bathroom to prevent slips and
Throughout the house
Other areas in the house can be dangerous, too. Here are a few
precautions to take for the rest of the house:
Take these precautions to
help make your home safe for your children. However, remember the safest approach is to
supervise young children at all times.
Install safety gates at the top and bottom of stairways. A safety
gate on the bottom will prevent a young child from climbing onto the top of the staircase
and one on the top will prevent him from falling.
Cover unused electrical outlets with plastic plugs to prevent shocks.
Place miniblind cords out of the reach of children to prevent
Install and use safety latches that permit windows to be opened only
a few centimeters. Keep windows on the second floor locked so that children cannot open
Move furniture, such as tables, chairs, and beds, away from windows
so that children cannot climb on them and fall out the window.
Keep balcony doors locked so that children cannot go out alone. If
the balconys railings are too low or easy to climb on. Install a higher railing. If
the gaps between the bars are too wide, use wood or wire netting to fill the gaps.
Avoid putting long tablecloths on tables; a child an pull the
tablecloth with everything on it-on top of himself.
Dont put the crib near a wall where the electrical service
panel or fuse box is located; it could be a hot spot if theres an electrical fire.
Dont keep poisonous plants in and around your home. Young
children put almost everything in their mouths and sometimes are not turned off by bad
taste-at least not soon enough to avoid ingesting poison or toxic.