12 Safety Devices to Protect your Children at Home
- Use safety latches and locks for cabinets and drawers in kitchens, bathrooms, garages, and other areas to help prevent poisonings and other injuries. Safety latches and locks on cabinets and drawers can help prevent children from gaining access to medicines, household cleaners, matches, or cigarette lighters as well as sharp objects.
- Use safety gates to help prevent falls down stairs and to keep children from entering rooms and other areas with possible dangers. Use safety gates that meet current safety standards. Replace older safety gates that have “V” shapes that are large enough to entrap a child’s head and neck.
- Use anti-scald devices for faucet and shower heads and set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to help prevent burns from hot water.
- Use smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside each bedroom, and outside sleeping areas to alert you to fires. Check smoke alarms once a month to make sure they are working. Change batteries at least once a year or consider using 10 year batteries for alarms.
- Use a carbon monoxide alarm to help prevent CO poisoning. All homes should have CO alarms installed near sleeping areas in their homes. Change batteries at least once a year.
- Use outlet covers and plates to help prevent electrocution. Be sure outlet protectors cannot be easily removed by children and are large enough so that children cannot choke on them.
- Use anchors to avoid furniture and appliance “tip-overs”. Furniture, TVs and ranges can tip over and crush young children. Deaths and injuries occur when children climb onto, fall against, or pull themselves up on television stands, shelves, bookcases, dressers, desks, chests, and ranges. For added security anchor these products to the floor or attach them to a wall. Free standing ranges and stoves should be installed with anti-tip brackets.
- Use cordless window coverings in homes with young children, in order to help prevent strangulation. Children can wrap window covering cords around their necks and can pull cords that are not clearly visible but are accessible and become entangled in the loops. If you have window blinds from 2000 or earlier and you cannot afford new, cordless window coverings, call the Window Covering Safety Council at 800-506-4636 or visit WindowCoverings.org for a free repair kit. Window blinds that have an inner cord (for raising the slats of the blinds) can be pulled by a child and form a potentially deadly loop. Consumers should immediately repair these types of blinds. Consumers should know that WCSC’s retrofit kits do not address the dangling pull cord hazard associated with many common window blinds.
- Use layers of protections with pools, hot tubs, and spas. A barrier completely surrounding the pool, hot tub, or spa including a 4-foot tall fence with self-closing, self- latching gates is essential. If the house serves as the side of the barrier, doors heading to the pool should have and alarm or the pool should have a safety cover. Pools alarms can serve as an additional layer of protection. Sliding glass doors, with locks that must be re-secured after each use, are not an effective barrier to pools.
- Use window guards and safety netting to help prevent falls from windows, balconies, decks, and landings. Check these safety devices frequently to make sure they are secure and properly installed and maintained. Limit window openings to four inches or less, including the space between the window guard bars. If you have window guards, be sure at least one window in each room can be easily used for escape in a fire. Window screens are not effective for preventing children from falling out of windows.
- Use corner and edge bumpers to help prevent injuries from falls against sharp edges of furniture and fireplaces. Be sure to look for bumpers that stay securely on furniture or hearth edges.
- Use door knob covers and door locks to help prevent children from entering rooms and other areas with possible dangers. Be sure the door knob cover is sturdy and allows the door to be opened quickly by an adult in case of emergency.
Child proofing your home: National Safety Council link