How to Make Your Home Safer for Kids

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Child safety

Protect your kids from harm.

Home safety is an issue that parents worry about constantly. It’s not only about keeping kids safe from harm but also making sure that they’re protected from potential dangers around the house.

There are many ways that you can keep your home safer for children. In this article, some of the most common ways that you can protect your family from harm.

Child safety at home

Home safety is about supervision in safe environments. Children also need to learn what is and isn’t safe.

You can do a lot to avoid common home injuries like falls, burns and scalds, poisoning, drowning, strangulation, and suffocation.

General tips

Tips include:

Look for safety hazards in your home from your child’s viewpoint. Get down on your hands and knees and look around. Think about what looks enticing to a child.

Use plug protectors on all unused electrical outlets. Keep electrical appliances unplugged when not in use.

Make sure no electrical cords run underneath rugs.

Keep rooms free of small toys, plastic bags, balloons, and other items that could pose a choking hazard.

Keep all matches and lighters out of children’s reach.

Use window stops so windows don’t open more than 4 inches. Also, open windows from the top.

Empty buckets when not in use and turn them over. Even one inch of water can pose a drowning risk for small children.

Don’t keep a firearm anywhere in the house. If you must mark one, lock up all gun-related materials whenever they are not in use. Store the gun and bullets separately.

Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including in the basement and outside all sleeping areas.

Test smoke alarms monthly and change the batteries once a year or when the alarm chirps.

Don’t disable smoke alarms, even for a short time.

Install carbon monoxide detectors near sleeping areas:

Be aware that carbon monoxide is a gas that you can’t see, smell, or taste, and it can be deadly. It can be emitted when heating and cooking equipment is not working correctly.
Test carbon monoxide detectors monthly.

Consider buying a combination smoke alarm/carbon monoxide detector.

For young children:

Don’t use a baby walker with wheels. This kind of walker can be dangerous, especially near stairs. Guard stairs at the top with hardware-mounted gates. If possible, install the gates at both the top and bottom of the stairs. Also, keep stairs carpeted, and don’t clutter them with tripping hazards.

If you use a playpen, make sure its sides don’t pose a safety risk. The playpen should have small-mesh sides (less than ¾ inch mesh) or closely spaced vertical slats (less than 2⅜ inches apart). Never leave babies alone in cribs. Babies under 12 months old shouldn’t sleep in beds. They may roll off if someone gets into bed with them.

Always supervise infants while using strollers, car seats, high chairs, booster seats, swings, bouncers, etc. When traveling by air, check whether there are any restrictions regarding bringing food aboard.

When driving, always buckle seat belts for everyone in the vehicle.

In addition to these general rules, consider installing an intercom system between bedrooms and bathrooms. You might want to talk to your doctor before doing this because some medications affect hearing.

Safety Tips for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Children who have autism spectrum disorder often find certain aspects of their environment confusing and overwhelming. For example, many children with ASD will avoid eye contact and prefer to communicate through touch rather than verbal communication. To help prevent accidents, here are some additional safety precautions to take and suggestions for how parents can teach their kids to stay safe.

Avoiding Accidents

It’s important to remember that children with ASD aren’t able to think as typical people do. As such, they need extra care and attention when it comes to avoiding potential dangers.

Here are some ways to ensure that your family stays safe:

Teach your child where things are located in his room. Teach him which objects he needs to watch out for and why. Explain that he has to tell you if something falls or moves unexpectedly.

Provide your child with plenty of opportunities to practice walking safely. Give him lots of chances to learn new skills and get used to different environments. Help your child understand how to respond appropriately to emergencies.

Help him know what to do if he sees a fire, hears loud noises, feels dizzy, loses consciousness, or becomes trapped. Ensure that your child knows how to call 911 in case of emergency. Have him practice calling 911 several times each day until he masters the skill.

Keeping kids of all ages safe

Your child’s safety needs will change as they grow up. As a rule, infants need protection from safety hazards. Toddlers and preschoolers need supervision. And school-aged kids need help learning how to stay safe.

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