Cost-effective Ways to Keep Your Child Safe around the Home
About 2-1/2 million children are killed or injured by hazards in the home each year. The good news is that many of these occurrences can be prevented by using simple child safety devices that are readily available today.
You can childproof your home for a minimal cost without compromising the safety of your child and without paying a fortune for a professional to do the job. And safety devices are easy to find. You can buy them at hardware stores, baby equipment shops, supermarkets, drug stores, home and linen stores, and through mail order catalogues.
Here are some child safety devices that can help prevent many injuries to young children.
1. Safety latches and locks are a must have item on cupboards in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas to prevent poisoning from medication and cleaning products. This will also prevent injuries from knives and other sharp objects.
Look for safety latches and locks that adults can easily install and use, but are sturdy enough to withstand pulls and tugs from children. Safety latches are not a guarantee of protection, but they can make it more difficult for children to reach dangerous substances.
Typical cost of a safety latch or lock: less than $2.
2. Preventing falls or keeping children out of areas where danger lurks can be helped by the use of safety gates.
It is best to buy safety gates that children cannot dislodge easily, but that adults are able to open without any problems. For the top of stairs, gates that screw to the wall are more secure than “pressure gates.”
Typical cost of a safety gate: $13 to $40.
3. Use Door Knob Covers and Door Locks to help prevent children from entering rooms and other areas with possible dangers. Door knob covers and door locks can help keep children away from places with hazards, including swimming pools.
Be sure the door knob cover is sturdy enough not to break, but allows a door to be opened quickly by an adult in case of emergency. By restricting access to potentially hazardous rooms in the home, door knob covers could help prevent many kinds of injuries.
Typical cost of a door knob cover: $1 and door lock: $5 and up.
4. Use Anti-Scald Devices for water taps and shower heads. Anti-scald devices for regulating water temperature can also help prevent burns.
Typical cost of an anti-scald device: $6 to $30.
5. Use Smoke Detectors on every level of your home and near bedrooms to alert you to fires. Smoke detectors are essential safety devices for protection against fire deaths and injuries.
Check smoke detectors once a month to make sure they’re working. If detectors are battery-operated, change batteries at least once a year or consider using 10-year batteries.
Typical cost of a smoke detector: less than $10.
6. Use Window Guards and Safety Netting to help prevent falls from windows, balconies, decks, and landings. Window guards and safety netting for balconies and decks can help prevent serious falls.
Typical cost of a window guard or safety netting: $8 to $16.
7. Use bumpers on corners and edges to help prevent injuries from falls against sharp edges of furniture and fireplaces. Corner and edge bumpers can be used with furniture and fireplaces to help prevent injuries from falls or to soften falls against sharp or rough edges.
Typical cost of a corner and edge bumper: $1 and up.
8. Use Outlet Covers and Outlet Plates to help prevent electrocution. Outlet covers and outlet plates can help protect children from electrical shock and possible electrocution.
Be sure the outlet protectors cannot be easily removed by children and are large enough so that children cannot choke on them.
Typical cost of an outlet cover: less than $2.
9. Use a Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector outside bedrooms to help prevent CO poisoning. A carbon monoxide (CO) detector can help prevent CO poisoning. Consumers should install CO detectors near sleeping areas in their homes. Households that should use CO detectors include those with gas or oil heat or with attached garages.
Typical cost of a carbon monoxide (CO) detector: $30 to $70.
10. Cut Window Blind Cords; use Safety Tassels and Inner Cord Stops to help prevent children from strangling in blind cord loops. Window blind cord safety tassels on miniblinds and tension devices on vertical blinds and drapery cords can help prevent deaths and injuries from strangulation in the loops of cords. Inner cord stops can help prevent strangulation in the inner cords of window blinds.
For older miniblinds, cut the cord loop, remove the buckle, and put safety tassels on each cord. Be sure that older vertical blinds and drapery cords have tension or tie-down devices to hold the cords tight. When buying new miniblinds, verticals, and draperies, ask for safety features to prevent child strangulation.
11. A common injury in children is crushed or pinched fingers and hands from doors. The use of door stops and door holders will help to avoid this type of injury.
Typical cost of a door stop and door holder: less than $4.
12. Use a Cordless Phone to make it easier to continuously watch young children, especially when they’re in bathtubs, swimming pools, or other potentially dangerous areas.
Cordless phones help you watch your child continuously, without leaving the vicinity to answer a phone call. Cordless phones are especially helpful when children are in or near water, whether it’s the bathtub, the swimming pool, or the beach.
Typical cost of a cordless phone: $30 and up.
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