As the school year begins, and we start to check things off our kids school lists, I made a quick list of my own to check off. With the help of Joye Law Firm, I revisited ways to help avoid the 5 most common home injuries for small kids.
“I looked away for one second….” I don’t know about you, but if I had a dollar for every time I told a story that started that way and it involved one of my kids doing something potentially disastrous….well, I’d be pretty rich haha!
In all seriousness, this checklist was a great reminder and helped me re-survey our own home environment and take inventory of the things that could be updated, need to be checked, may have been overlooked, or measures that need to be implemented, when it comes to keeping our kids safe, especially in our home where, like most of you, we have been spending an exponential amount of time. As the kids grow, so do their skill sets, which means the safety measures that need to be put in place in our homes need be re-evaluated on a consistent basis:
1. Watch out for water.
Drowning is the top cause of injury deaths among children aged 1-4 in the United States. Most of these drowning deaths occur in pools, but some occur in bathtubs other bodies of water. If you have young children at home, make sure they are attended at all times when around water. If you have a pool, cover it, and make sure bathtubs, kiddie pools, etc. are drained after use.
2. Prevent poisoning.
Poisoning is a common cause of hospital visits in young children. To prevent poisoning, all household cleaning product should be kept sealed and out of the sight and reach of your children. Keep all of your cleaning products in their original containers. You don’t want a harmful cleaner being mistaken for something else. Make sure all medications are also sealed and kept out of the reach and sight of your children. Keep the Poison Help Number somewhere handy, such as on your fridge: 1-800-222-1222.
3. Keep your kitchen safe.
Many childhood injuries occur in the kitchen. Make sure you monitor your small children when they are playing in the kitchen or watching you cook. Make sure knives and any other sharp utensils are kept out of reach. If you’re cooking, make sure any pot handles are turned away from the edge of the stove, as you don’t want your child grabbing the handle of a hot pot. Make sure that hot pans are also kept out of reach. If your child is spending time with you while you cook, make sure you are watching them carefully at all times. It only takes a few seconds for a serious injury to happen.
4. Check your fire alarms.
Fires can happen quickly and cause serious injuries and home damage. Make sure your home has properly installed and functional smoke alarms in all areas. Test these alarms regularly. Make sure your carbon monoxide detector is also working. While it is odorless and colorless, carbon monoxide can quickly cause injuries and even death. Never leave candles unattended, and keep anything that could catch fire away from your stove.
5. Fall-proof your home.
Falls are another leading cause of injuries for young children. If you have a lot of stairs in your home, your child is more likely to be injured in a fall. To prevent falls, make sure you have gates around stairs and any other area that your child could take a tumble.
These are just a few ways to prevent some of the most common childhood injuries that occur at home!
Some of the safety measures that we have personally implemented in our own home :
Security door chains at the top of all doors in the house
Baby gates on the top and bottom of the stairs in our house
Always going over water safety rules each time we go to the beach/pool/lake
Having a fire exit plan and talking about it/ practicing it with the kids
Making sure medicines are out of reach of children
Animal safety- how to treat our pets and animals that we don’t know and what to do in the case they feel afraid of an animal
Securing all furniture that could be a fall hazard to the wall
Going over child CPR and keeping a Child CPR guide in a drawer in the house
I hope this short list was a helpful reminder to us, as parents, of things that we can do, update, check and implement for the safety of the little ones we love most!