June is National Safety Month and a great time to take a look around your home to ensure that you are doing all you can to provide a happy and safe place for your family and loved ones. Kick off this important month by taking a room-by-room walk around your home to look for things that you may not otherwise think of throughout the rest of the year.
By taking a safety tour, you will help make sure that safety concerns are being addressed. After all, as a parent it is up to you to help keep your home happy and safe. Here are the things you should look for in each room:
The entire house:
- Start with the fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors. Check them often to guarantee that they will work to protect your family when needed. Keep replacement batteries on hand and replace them regularly. A good time to replace batteries is when you change your clocks for day light savings.
- If you have small children in the home it is important to use child safety outlet covers, safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs, a door top lock for non child safe rooms, as well other safety latches and locks to keep your curious little ones away from anything potentially dangerous. Think of cupboards, medications, cleaning supplies, toilets, and other places that toddlers may get into that they shouldn’t.
- Keep a list of emergency numbers near your landline phone, stored in your cell phone, and on the refrigerator. Include such numbers as Emergency 9-1-1, Poison Control 1-800-222-1222, doctor’s numbers, parent’s numbers, and other close relatives, neighbor’s, or friends.
- Make sure that there is a fist aid kit in your home and that everyone knows where it is. It should include all the basics that may be needed to immediately address minor injuries such as burns, cuts, scrapes and splinters.
- Check any cords you may have from blinds, phones, and electrical devices. Children can become tangled in them, so they should be tied up out of their reach.
- Check the home for furniture or devices that may not be stable, such as book shelves, television stands, and televisions. Children may climb on items or pull on them, easily toppling over on them. You can purchase safety straps to secure these items to the wall and avoid any accidents.
In the kitchen:
- Always read the directions before using any cleaning products. Also, it is important to keep all cleaning products out of the reach of children.
- When you’re done washing dishes, loading dishwasher, etc., close products and store in a locked cabinet.
- Keep knives and other sharp items out of a child’s reach. Lock drawers that contain knives or other sharp kitchen tools. Store butcher blocks of knives far from a child’s reach. Remember that children are curious and creative. They often use chairs or other objects to climb and reach items they shouldn’t.
- Keep the dishwasher closed and locked, even when it is not in use. If you are unsure if the dishes have been done or not, pick up a magnet to denote clean or dirty.
- If you have young children and pets it is important to wisely choose where the pet food and litter box is stored. Toddlers often like to taste pet food, which can be both a choking hazard as well as a health hazard. Door top locks with a small pet only door can help keep kids out of the room.
In the bathroom:
- Keep small electrical products such as hair dryers, curling irons, and electric razors away from a child’s reach.
- Store cleaning products, shampoos, make up and even toothpaste up high or in a locked cabinet or drawer.
- It may sound obvious, but medications are especially important to store in a locked cabinet and put away after each use. Most accidental medication overdoses in children occur during time of illness when parents leave medications out for convenience or frequent use.
- Check your water thermostat so that it is set to no higher than 120F to prevent burns. A child can be scalded in 2 to 3 seconds in water that is higher.
- For infants and toddlers, keep toilet bowls closed and locked. Curious young ones can be tempted.
In the laundry room:
- Dry your hands before handling detergent.
- Wash your hands if you get any laundry products on them.
- Always close the container completely, immediately after use and keep products out of reach so children can’t get to it or be tempted to see what is inside.
- Recycle empty containers and avoid reusing them.
- Make sure the washer and dryer is child-locked.
- Consider using a gate or door top lock to keep children out of the laundry room if possible.
In the garage:
- Always exercise caution when allowing a child to go into the garage. There are often items out there that they can be hurt with, including chemicals, lawn equipment, and tools. Be sure that all chemicals are properly stored and locked out of a child’s reach.
- Never allow a child near the lawnmower, especially when it is being used. While taking a lawn mower ride on dad’s lap may sound like fun, it can lead to lost limbs and horrific accidents.
In case of accidental ingestion or exposure to dangerous chemicals or cleaning products, call poison control at 1-800-222-1222 or your child’s pediatrician. If your child is injured or you think it is a true emergency, call 9-1-1.
Taking these precautions now can do a lot to reduce the risks of potential problems later on. When you keep these items on your mind and review them from time to time you will be sure to provide your family with a happy, safe home.
You can find more tips and information on P&G’s Safe Home website.
Disclosure: I am writing on behalf of the P&G Safe Home program.