Safety and Weather, Home Tips for a Childproof Home 08/13/20 As a parent or guardian, you’ll do whatever it takes to protect your children. You buy the safest car seat, you interview daycares and babysitters, and you can recite most American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines by heart. Still, don’t forget that child safety begins at home. Each year, about 2,000 children under the age of 14 die because of a home injury. Most of these injuries can be prevented, and safer homes equal safer kids. Is your home as safe as you think? To find out, you need to act like a baby. (It’s the one time you won’t get judged for it.) Get on your hands and knees and crawl around your home. You may find hazards you didn’t know existed. Make a childproofing checklist of anything you see that could be dangerous. The room-by-room childproof home tips listed below will help you get started. Living Room Anchor tall or heavy furniture to the wall, such as grandfather clocks or bookshelves. Also make sure your TV is mounted and the remote’s battery cover is secure. (According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than half of tip-over-related child deaths between 2000-2018 involved a television, furniture or appliance.) Cover your fireplace with a heat-resistant gate. You should also cover any sharp corners on the hearth, and on furniture such as your coffee table, with a bumper or rubber tips. Use only flameless candles and store any matches or lighters in a safe place. Secure electrical cords together with a zip tie and keep them out of reach. Kitchen Install a safety gate at the entrance to the kitchen. It’s probably the room with the biggest risks, and the gate will give you peace of mind. Lock all lower cabinets, especially those containing poisonous cleaning products. Put any breakables in top cabinets only. Use a stove guard or remove the stove knobs when you’re not cooking. Use the back burners when cooking, and never leave a pan handle facing forward. Make sure small appliances and their cords are not within your child’s reach. Plastic bags of any size, whether they’re for sandwiches or shopping, are a suffocation hazard and should be put away. Bathrooms Keep razors and razor refills wayyy out of reach of little hands. Dispose of used razors in a secure trash can. Lock your medicine cabinet to prevent children from getting their hands on dangerous medications. Keep electrical items with long cords out of reach, like hair dryers and curling irons. This helps prevent shocks, burns or strangulation. Put a safety latch on the toilet, and never leave water in the bathtub. Small children can drown in the shallowest amount of water. Use a slip-resistant mat in your tub, as well as a faucet cover in case of a fall. According to the Mayo Clinic, you should set your water heater below 120 degrees Fahrenheit to help prevent scalding. If you don’t have the ability to change the water temperature, you can install an anti-scald device on your faucet. Bedrooms Never place a crib or low-to-the-ground furniture near windows. Install a guard on any window that can open more than three inches. Use cordless blinds to prevent strangulation. The Window Covering Safety Council actually provides free retrofit kits to make corded blinds safer for infants and children. Put a towel over the top of any door that can slam shut on little fingers. This may prevent a visit to the emergency room. A couple more childproofing tips: Throughout the house and any outdoor play areas, remove anything that could be a choking hazard. (If it’s smaller than the diameter of a toilet paper roll, remove it.) Protect your outlets with safety covers, too. Childproofing your home for toddlers and infants can be tedious, but it’s essential to their health and safety – just like having the right homeowner’s insurance is essential to protecting what’s likely your most valuable asset: your home. Contact your local Alfa® agent today for a free quote.