The smallest members of a household often are the ones most at risk from a home’s everyday furnishings and features. Items such as an electrical outlet can seriously injure a curious baby or toddler. Fortunately, most preventive child-safety solutions are as close as a shopping list and a quick trip to the store. Use the suggestions below to make your home a safer place for little ones.
These life-saving devices guard everyone in your home, and the only maintenance is changing the smoke detectors’ batteries twice a year. Check with your local fire department if you have questions about these critical safety devices.
Safety gates prevent small children (and pets) from entering a room or accessing dangerous areas such as stairs. They function as an “OK Corral.” Mom and dad should follow assembly directions, then test the gates for strength and proper functioning before putting them into use.
Safety latches and locks
Safety latches secure everything from kitchen cabinets to bathroom drawers. They also are made for objects such as refrigerator doors. Safety latches and locks keep curious little fingers and bodies safe from potential poisons, sharp objects and medicines.
Doorknob covers and latches
Doorknob covers and latches are safety devices can thwart a small child, yet still be easy for mom and dad to bypass and re-secure. These safety features can be paired with door alarms for double protection.
Outlet covers and plates
Parents can place these simple plugins over unused outlets to prevent kids from poking sharp objects into live electrical currents. Enough said.
These can be applied to shower, tub and sink faucets to reduce the likelihood of burns. Another option: make sure your hot-water heater isn’t set over 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pool covers and fences
Pool barriers are a must for Florida homes where small children live or visit. Once installed, residential pool fencing systems easily can be put up and taken down by adults. Pool covers are another safety option. Alarms on exterior doors that lead to a pool provide an additional safeguard.
Window guards and safety netting
Both window guards and safety netting options are applicable near balconies and decks, or anywhere elevation can be a threat. These aren’t 100 percent childproof — a curious child can be very ingenious and determined — but all safeguards matter.
Corner and edge bumpers
Parents can place these rounded pop-ons on furniture and other sharp-edged furnishings to reduce the potential for bumps and bruises. Bonus: they protect adults too!
The best advice for child safety at home? Don’t leave children unsupervised. And don’t rely solely on child-safety devices, no matter how proven and helpful. A child’s best security blanket isn’t the one snuggled with at night. It’s constant vigilance by mom and dad.