Home Safe Home: Keeping Your Home Safe for Children
As a parent, your responsibilities are never ending. You make sure your children are clean, fed, clothed, healthy, and content. You spend time researching childcare, schooling, and extracurricular programs to ensure your children have the best possible care and education. And of course, when it comes to your child's safety, you will do anything to keep them safe and out of harm's way, right? Ask yourself this - are you taking the proper measures to ensure your home is as safe for them as it can be? Being prepared goes a long way, and doing so will bring you the peace of mind you deserve.
Cover the Basics
Cabinet latches, doorknob covers, and electrical outlet plugs are your friends. They're effective, affordable, easy to install, and will help save your little one from their own potentially dangerous curiosity. Knowing that little Joey can't forage the kitchen cabinets, let himself outside, or see if his safety scissors fit inside of an electrical outlet all during the 20 seconds you're using the bathroom, is a pretty beautiful thing. Another vital safety measure in your home? You guessed it, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers. Ensuring that they are all in working order and properly maintained is something you need to add to your checklist.
Lock it Up
Birth certificates, social security cards, passports, health related paperwork, spare keys, and keepsakes - these are all very important items. Where are yours? Also, do you own a firearm? If you do, where is it stored? You likely already know the importance of proper firearm storage - something that's incredibly important for homes with children. Investing in a home safe will keep your possessions secure and protected from fires or a burglary. Maybe you're considering upgrading from your current safe, or perhaps you don't have one at all and have decided it's time. To determine what the best home safe is for you, do your research. Familiarize yourself with materials used, warranty programs, customer reviews, and available configurations. Don't forget to take into consideration the space you have available, what you want to store, and your available budget.
It's no surprise to parents that children are adventurous, and their appetite for adventure doesn't just live on the playground. The next time you open a window wide to let in some fresh air, don't forget that children and open windows don't always play nicely together. Did you know that falls are one of the most common, yet preventable, household accidents for children? There are things you can do to cross this worry off your list. Additionally, climbing on furniture like dressers or bookshelves is a common occurrence, and a dangerous one. Prevent tipping by securing the furniture to the wall. It only takes a few minutes, and goes a long way in accident prevention.
Talk it Over
Once a month, sit down with your family and have a meeting. Discuss any changes to your routines or home life, and address any issues or questions anyone may have. If you have older children, make sure they have a list of rules to follow when home alone. For children even as young as four, teach them how to dial 911 in case of an emergency. If you don't have a landline in your home, consider adding one if only for this reason. Be sure to cover topics like first aid, and don't forget to check in with yourself. Is it time for a CPR refresher? Would you (or his sister) know what to do if Joey was choking on a string cheese? Take inventory of your medicine cabinet and first aid kits, and be sure to replace any items that are either expired or running low. Map out your family's escape plan and discuss fire safety. Make this monthly meeting a priority. You'll find that communication is key, and you'll all rest much easier!