When was the last time you crawled around your home on your hands and knees? As
strange as it sounds, give it a go. Kids explore their everyday environments, so it's
important to see things as they do to make sure your home is safe.
We often think of babies and toddlers when we
hear the words "babyproofing" or "childproofing." And it's true that young
kids have the highest risk of being injured at home because that's where they spend
most of their time. But accidental injury is the
leading cause of death in kids up to 14 years old — and more than a third
of these injuries happen at home.
Here are some simple ways to help prevent injuries
in your home.
water: in the bathroom, kitchen, swimming pools, or hot tubs
heat or flames: in the kitchen or at a barbecue grill
toxic substances: under the kitchen sink, in the medicine cabinet,
in the garage or garden shed, or even in a purse or other place where medicines are
the potential for a fall: on stairs, slippery floors, from high
windows, or from tipping furniture
choking hazards: including an unsafe sleep
environment, foods that pose a choking risk (like grapes or hot dogs), button
batteries, and items inside and outside the home that could entrap or strangle
You can make these places safer, but the most important safeguard is to watch young
kids at all times. Even if your home is childproofed, it only takes an instant for
babies and toddlers to fall, run over to a hot stove, or put the wrong thing in their
mouths. Your watchfulness is your child's best defense.
However, accidents will still happen, so it's important to be prepared. If you're
expecting a baby or have kids, it's wise to: