Whether you’re just now guessing which color to paint the nursery or whether your wee one is ready to walk, taking preventive measures to childproof your home against unintentional injuries is essential. According to the National SAFE KIDS Campaign®, each year more children die from preventable injuries than from all childhood diseases combined. With foresight and action, you can help prevent burns, cuts, falls, poisonings, drownings, choking, and other serious injuries.
Keep in Mind...
Even if you’ve installed products to secure your home, you still need to remember these everyday precautions:
Don’t allow your child to play in kitchen cabinets. By establishing a cabinet as a play space, the child may feel all cabinets are play spaces.
When they’re old enough, teach toddlers how to go up and down stairs—on their stomachs. Make sure you supervise their attempts; when the practice session is over, put the security gates back in place.
Keep small objects and toys with small parts away from children under three. Check labels on toy packages for age-appropriateness before letting children play with the toys.
Remove plastic bags from dry cleaning immediately; keep them completely out of children’s reach.
Keep your purse – and those of all guests – out of children’s reach.
Stay alert —
remember: nothing takes the place of close adult supervision.
Make sure grandparents and caregivers also childproof their homes. No one regrets the time they spent taking precautions, only the time they wish they’d spent.
Be Prepared with Permission Forms
Is your child prepared for a trip to the emergency room? Unless the situation is life- or limb-threatening, emergency rooms cannot treat a child without permission from the parents. Therefore, you should sign an emergency-treatment authorization letter that will give hospitals permission to treat the child. Other items the letter should include are: emergency contacts, the name and phone number of your pediatrician, and your child’s allergies and medications. Be sure to have the letter notarized.
The letter should be carried in your diaper bag or in older children’s backpacks; make copies for grandparents and any care providers.
As you survey your home, check the items you’ll need to complete your childproofing efforts.