November is Child Safety and Protection Month, and we’re counting down 5 ways that you can prevent health and safety hazards in your home. A child’s home environment should be safe–a place for them to learn, explore, and flourish as they grow. However, many homes contain hidden hazards that pose a risk to small children. Read on for 5 tips for exposing hidden health hazards and making your home a place of safety and comfort.
Protect young toddlers from falling by installing baby gates at the top and bottom of stairways in your home. You can also use child safety gates to block access to certain rooms, such as the kitchen, where you store cleaning supplies, sharp cooking utensils, or other baby-unfriendly items.
Window Blinds & Cords
Window blinds are a leading cause of household-related infant injuries and deaths. Long cords can easily become tangled, leading to strangulation. Consider installing cordless window treatments or a cord-keeper device that contains cords and keeps them out-of-reach.
Toxins & Health Hazards
Lead-based paints, mold, and other toxins or allergens pose a big threat to children’s health. Especially if you have an older home, it is a good idea to have an expert check for health threats like lead, radon, or black mold. These hazards are often impossible to detect without specialized equipment, but can cause big problems for your family if left untreated. Lead poisoning can cause developmental defects in young children, and other molds and toxins can cause chronic illness, allergies, and respiratory issues.
Unstable Stairs & Railings
Rickety staircases and loose railings or banisters are another issue to look out for, even if you don’t have small children. The staircase in your home is a fall hazard, so it’s very important to make sure that the railings and floorboards are firm and secure. Keeping your stairway clear and clutter-free is another easy way to keep kids and other family members safe as they travel the steps.
Exposed Electronic Cords & Outlets
If you own several electronics (and most families do), you know the struggle of keeping all the cords untangled and finding a spare outlet to plug in all of your various power chargers. Protecting all open outlets with an outlet cover is Baby-proofing 101, but you should also be aware of any cords, buttons, or electronics within a baby’s reach. Keeping cords closed in a cabinet or protected by a cord organizer can help prevent electric shock and other accidents.
For more information on preventing hazards around your home, visit the National Safety Council, or check out a list of child safety resources below. To learn more about the home improvements House Doctors offers for busy families, visit our services page.
Child Safety and Protection Month is observed each November, and seeks to raise awareness of safety issues faced by U.S. children at home, school, and other environments.
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