Summer is here, which means more kids are either at home, with a babysitter or at daycare. Perhaps that is why June is home safety month. We want to give you and your family some safety tips to help avoid injury or poisoning, so this summer can be a fun and healthy one.
A normal room to us can be a danger zone for children. It’s been a while since we were crawling around on the floor as a child, so it can be easy to forget that the smallest of things can be deadly to children. As a matter of fact, according to kidshealth.org, household injuries are one of the top reasons why children under 3 visit the ER, and nearly 70% of unintentional home deaths are children under 4 years old.
Here are some important tips to follow to help reduce injury risk:
- Make sure all small items are off the ground – This would include pen caps, coins, small toys, or anything that a crawling child could put into his/her mouth. It takes a second for an item to get caught in a child’s throat and cause choking. Never leave small children unattended.
- Keep all firearms or other weapons out of reach – It’s not enough to have the safety on a gun if it’s in a side drawer next to a bed. Children are known to explore and get into things. Children can also unintentionally turn the safety off out of pure curiosity. Be sure to keep all firearms, knives, or dangerous weapons either locked in a safe or completely out of reach.
- Keep all household cleaning items or poisonous items out of reach – Storing these items away in a locked cabinet or one that is completely out of reach is a good rule to follow.
- Use safety gates – Anytime there are stairs around or rooms that need to be off-limits, use safety gates. This helps prevent children falling down stairs and breaking bones or getting into areas that they don’t need to be in.
- Supervise bath time – Never leave children unattended in a bathtub, even if they’re in a seat. It only takes seconds for a child to slip and fall in a tub or to get water in their lungs.
- Use outlet covers – Little holes in the wall are interesting to curious, young infants and toddlers. And if something like a bobby pin were lying on the floor, this is something children may want to pick up and try to stick in an electrical outlet. Keeping them covered will help prevent these types of injuries from occurring.
At the end of the day, supervision is one of the best ways to avoid household injuries along with these simple precautions. If you have small children or know you are going to have young children around, please take a walk around your home and see if there are ways you can make it a safer environment. For more household tips, visit kidshealth.org.