General Household Safety
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General Household Safety
Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death in young children. Three key ways to prevent accidents are:
- Understanding the child's stage of development, coordination, skills & behavior patterns.
- Improving the quality of care-taking & supervision.
- Safe-proofing the environment.
Avoid aluminum screens on windows & keep windows closed or slightly ajar on upper floors.
Cover all outlets that are accessible to children.
Keep cribs & children's beds away from windows. Furniture near windows can cause a falling hazard.
Only use rugs with non-slip backings to prevent falls. Keep the floor clear of excessive clutter to prevent tripping accidents.
The best defense against children breaking decorative objects & possibly being injured from broken glass is to remove these objects temporarily until the child is old enough to understand rules & limits, probably about age 4.
Put stickers on large glass doors such as patio doors to keep a child from accidentally running through the door.
Subscribe to a listserv, like firstname.lastname@example.org, that automatically alerts you to current recalls of toys, appliances, clothing, jewelry, etc.
Keep emergency numbers posted near your phone: poison control center, health care provider, neighbor, etc.
Children have been known to become pinched or trapped in recliners & rockers.
Keep stairways clear of objects to avoid tripping when carrying a small child. You may need to cover spaces between stair railings with mesh netting to prevent falls or head entrapment. Gate the tops & bottoms of stairways as needed to prevent children from falling down stairs.
TV's, bookshelves & dressers should be secured to the wall with bolts or brackets.
Use a soft adhesive corner guard to protect children from sharp corners on cupboards, countertops, coffee tables, etc.
Make sure all cupboards & drawers containing materials harmful to children have a safety latch.
Make sure cords to appliances, especially appliances containing hot liquids like coffee or oil, are not dangling where children can reach.
Turn pot handles to the side or back so children cannot reach them.
Do not let children climb on an open oven door, an open dresser drawer or on a TV stand - these items may fall over on a child. Establish a "safety zone" around the stove where children are not allowed.
Remember that pinch injuries can occur when a child's fingers get in the way of a closing door. If you have particularly adventurous children who can open doors to the outside, you may need to add child resistant covers to the knobs or install a high latch.
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