Approximately 2.5 million children are injured or die in the home every year from safety issues that can be averted by using simple child safety devices. As precious as these little lives are to us, it is worth the time, effort and cost to keep them safe. Here are some safety items available from www.Amazon.com:
• One of the biggest problems for parents is keeping small children out of cabinets, drawers, closets, doors to rooms and even from opening a door to basement stairs. There are several latches and locks available on the market today. Most are extremely easy to install and inexpensive.
• Kitchens are the next major issue, especially the appliances. Cabinets and drawers were taken care of above. Now, you need to make safe the refrigerator, range, oven and small appliances that sit on your countertops. Be sure to consider a safeguard for the range so children cannot pull off pots, and knob covers to keep children from turning on the range or oven, then a latch that keeps the oven door closed, and finally a latch for small appliances, including dishwashers.
• The bathroom poses its own unique challenges; however, there are baby safety products for this room of your home as well. Until your child is old enough to sit on his or her own, they can have their own bath tub. Amongst the safety products to consider are a latch that keeps the toilet lid locked when not in use, a thermometer for baby’s bath that doubles as a bath toy, a bathtub faucet cover, bumpers for the bathtub, appliqués for the bathtub bottom, and a safety guard for the edge of the bathtub.
• Stairways with no doors are a major hazard for children. A pressure gate is highly recommended. Also consider a mesh guard made for railings – indoor and out, so your small child does not get his or her head caught.
• Corners, edges and other furniture/wall corners pose hazards. Consider safety stripping, corner cushions, and cushioned covers that can be safety added to your furniture, molding, and wall corners. There is no guarantee that these protectors will eliminate all injuries, but they will lessens them. Be sure to think of the fireplace and a covering for your hearth. If you have one, consider straps that hold the popular big screen television sets in place – one of these falling on a two-year old could kill the child … and unfortunately has: nearly 7,000 children were injured between 1990 to 2007 from falling televisions, 300 resulted in death, team from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio.
• Electronics hazards have been around for a long time; however, with the advent of computers and other electronic gadgets, you have a whole host of new issues. To avoid against accidental electrocution, get surge protector covers and receptacle outlet covers – both of these are much better than the little plugs that many people use. And consider a light switch cover. There are many other options available, as well. There are many safety devices that protect your children by securing electronic devices to tables and floors with security straps, keeping them from being pulled down upon your child. Other options include an insert for you DVD player, keeping jelly sandwiches out; a plastic contoured front protects the fronts and buttons of many electronics, including VCRs, DVDs and television sets; covers for your computer towers (ensure the back is always against a wall and under a desk, away from a child’s reach); and cord shorteners that leave as little cord exposed as possible.
• Windows can present a special problem with children. Because most windows are screened, we mistakenly assume our children are safe; after all, our pets stay safely inside with them. Unfortunately, there isn’t a single screen that can keep your child from kicking it out or falling through it and out the window. These mishaps are on the increase in our nation – 5,000 plus each year, according to USA Today, with many injuries and some deaths as a result. Window child safety locks are available. Normal window locks can many times be opened by curious children – even this and the many other safety devices for windows are not totally child proof. So, you will want to add extra protection, especially on their bedroom windows. There are mesh/net window coverings; but even better are metal windows guards on the outside of the screens to ensure they cannot fall out but allowing the windows to remain safely open.
• There are many things you can do outdoors, such as keeping the yard clear of debris, shrubbery neatly trimmed with no limbs sticking out, repairing risen cracks in concrete, and so on. You may not have thought of a child safety fence enclosure for your backyard pool. Second is a safety rail for decks, many of which are retractable. Next is a portable net that runs across your driveway, stopping cars from entering when children are playing there, as well keeping the toddlers on their little vehicles safely in the driveway. Last is a portable play area that can be used indoors and out, safely allowing your child to play without constantly running after them to keep them in a safe area.
• I found three miscellaneous items that give extra safety for your child. First is an alarm system that lets you know, when your child has opened an area he or she shouldn’t, even those you thought were secured with a safety device. Second is a baby monitor with both sound and video – believe me, even small children can be so quiet, when they are doing something they shouldn’t. Last is an electronic GPS system, used when at parks or anywhere in public – even though you are in sight of the child, if you look away for only a minute, he or she could be taken – this system allows you to find him or her right away. Using a child harness, especially for active children, also are a good idea to ensure your child is safe when in public.
Home safety is not just for keeping the structure safe from fire and strong enough to hold up through bad weather. Home safety also is for keeping our children safe, as well as those who visit or live next door.
Call South Florida Home Inspection Associates for all your home inspection needs.