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Quick Tips for Kid-Proofing Your Home
You worry about your children's safety at school, on the playground and in the car, but did you ever stop to think about their safety inside your home? According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, unintentional injury is the leading cause of death among children ages 14 and under, with 45 percent of those deaths occurring in and around the home. Additionally, more than 4.5 million children ages 14 and under are treated in U.S. emergency rooms each year for injuries that occur in the home.
Help prevent accidents in and around your house by taking a few simple precautions:
The Great Outdoors
To prevent injuries outside the home, keep potentially dangerous items, such as tools, lawn and garden equipment, outdoor chemicals and grilling accessories, out of the way of children. If you have a pool or hot tub, purchase a hard cover and install a locked gate around the perimeter. Also consider installing an alarm that will warn you the water surface has been crossed.
Always check the water temperature. Affordable products, like the Munchkin Super Safety Bath Ducky, indicate when your child's bath water gets too hot -- greatly decreasing the risk for burns.
To keep kids squeaky clean and safe, choose a handheld showerhead that will allow you ultimate control, like a seven-function Inspire™ showerhead from Moen. Inspire allows each member of the family to choose the spray that best suits his or her needs -- from a gentle spray for the kids to a massaging spray for Mom.
Slips and falls are another common bath hazard. The slippery tub surface, combined with a toddler's unsteady footing, can be a dangerous combination. Secure your child's footing with nonskid bath treads. To improve your children's grip in the bath, add new SecureMount™ Grab Bars from Moen® Home Care®. Available in multiple styles and finishes, these easy-to-install grab bars help to prevent slips and falls, while adding to your bathroom's décor.
In the kitchen, safety often gets put on the back burner, but kid-proofing your kitchen can be simple. Start with the cabinets -- install child safety locks on the inside of each cabinet and drawer. Next, remove all harmful chemicals from lower cabinets and move to locked areas out of children's reach. Remove all potentially dangerous items, like knife blocks and toasters, from countertops. Cover oven knobs with plastic safety domes that prevent them from being turned. Finally, remind children to never use potentially dangerous appliances, such as the microwave and toaster oven, without supervision.
Once you have secured the most dangerous areas in and around your home, consider these general interior improvements:
- Install fire and carbon monoxide detectors, and replace batteries every six months.
- Insert plastic outlet covers into all outlets.
- Install locks on windows and exterior doors. If possible, open windows from the top, not the bottom, to help prevent falling through loose screens.
- Shorten cords on window blinds to prevent strangulation hazards.
- Post all emergency numbers next to the phone.
Set an example for your children -- practice safety in the home at all times. The safer your home, the better off your children -- and you -- will be!