You’re thrilled that your child can finally crawl or walk. But with your child’s new mobility comes increased concern for his or her safety. If you haven’t childproofed your home, he or she could get injured.
Fortunately, protecting your child from common home dangers doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow these guidelines and you can breathe a little easier.
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1. Get a Gun Safe
If you own a gun, your first priority should be purchasing a high-quality gun safe. If your gun isn’t stowed out of reach, your child’s curiosity can quickly turn to tragedy.
Gun safes are highly durable, and they’re typically made from thick solid steel. Some come with a typical lock and key, and others come with electronic locks. You should consider investing in a safe with a separate lockable ammunition compartment. That way, even if you forget to lock the safe, your child can’t access the ammunition.
Before you place the gun in the safe, remember to remove the ammunition and set the safety catch to prevent it from firing.
2. Install Latches on Cabinets
As your child moves around your home, he or she might grab medicines, household cleaners or other dangerous items. Putting these items on high shelves away from your child’s reach may not be enoughespecially once your child learns how to climb.
Instead, install safety latches on all the drawers where you store hazardous items. You’ll be able to unlatch and open the drawers, but your child won’t.
3. Place Outlet Protectors
Children often stick their fingers or other objects in electrical outlets, and this action can cause electrocution. You can reduce the risk of electrocution by covering every outlet within your children’s reach with an outlet protector. However, some children might be able to remove these outlet protectors-so look for outlet covers with safety latches.
4. Use Safety Gates
You probably want to keep your child out of certain areas of your house. For example, your bedroom might contain many valuables your son or daughter could break. In that case, place a gate in front of the door that your child can’t cross, even when the door is open.
Another important place to install a safety gate is in front of the staircase. If your child hasn’t yet learned how to walk down the stairs, a wrong step could send him or her tumbling down. You should use gates that mount to the door frame to ensure your child won’t knock it over.
5. Assess Your Furniture
When you have an energetic baby, the furniture around your house suddenly becomes a danger.
Look around your home for any heavy furniture that could fall, such as dresses, bookcases and televisions. Move them securely against the wall, and bolt them to the wall if possible.
Tables can be particularly dangerous. In the first years of life, your child is at the perfect height to hit his or her head against the corners of tables. There’s a solution: corner and edge bumpers. Place them on the corners of each table, and your child’s head will bump against a soft surface.
If any of your window blinds have dangling cords, replace them right away, as children can accidentally strangle themselves with these cords.
6. Be Aware of Water
Remember that children can drown even in a small amount of water. If they fall face first in the water, they may be unable to get up. Don’t leave water unattended in your home, whether it’s in the bathtub or a bucket.
If you have a pool, make sure it’s protected with a cover-and surrounded by a fence.
Follow these tips and your child can explore your home safely.