Keeping children safe and protected in the outside world is important. But some of the biggest dangers may be lurking in your own home. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a long-time home owner, it’s wise to examine each room in your house for hazards that can harm your own children or those who are visiting. Follow our 13 tips to create a safer environment for children.
- Install a “fortress.”
Use gates strategically to limit the rooms a young child can access. Gates can also section off areas of a single room to minimize accidents.
- Act like a baby.
Get down to your child’s level to evaluate what’s within reach. Lock away poisons, choking hazards and other dangerous items.
- Cover outlets.
Install covers over electrical outlets to keep out objects or children’s fingers.
- Post a list of emergency numbers on the fridge.
Easy access to important contacts, neighbors, doctors and child care providers will save time in an emergency.
- Wrap up blinds and curtain ties.
Window blinds pose a safety and choking risk due to the hanging chords and ties. Either shorten long strings, replace cord loops with safety tassels or use cordless window coverings.
- Secure windows and doors.
Install window stops and window guards, and keep furniture away from windows to prevent the danger of a child falling out.
- Discard old medications and potential poisons.
Conduct an inventory of medicine cabinets and cleaning agents, and remove any unnecessary products from your cupboards.
- Look out for lead.
If your home was built before 1978, get paint samples analyzed for lead risks. Remove or seal dangerous paints, toys and more.
- Limit sitting water.
Bathtubs, sinks and buckets are all potential drowning hazards for young children. Never leave children unattended in water.
- Cool it down.
Make sure your water heater is set no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent burns.
- Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Fire and carbon monoxide detectors should be checked every six months. Replace batteries immediately.
- Cover up rough edges.
Furniture has many sharp edges, so prevent collisions by using padding or bumpers.
- Keep a tidy house.
Although we can all relate to being too busy to clean, removing unnecessary objects from rooms and putting away toys as frequently as possible will help limit hazards.
Taking precautions to protect your children may cost a little, but it’s worth it. Parents face many other expenses as children grow up. If you have built equity in your home and you need extra cash for college tuition, weddings or other needs, you may want to consider refinancing. Visit www.freedommortgage.com to learn more about your refinancing options.
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