Submitted by Danielle Cantrel
Keeping a child safe is one of the most difficult tasks a parent will face. Once babies start crawling and toddling, they seem to get into everything – and everything they get into ends up in their mouths. Protecting your toddler includes everything from general home security to safe cleaning products, and from emergency preparedness to electrical socket covers. Like any big task, the best way to approach keeping children safe indoors is breaking down childproofing and other precautionary tasks into small simple steps.
Because toddlers are mobile but won’t know what to do in the face of an emergency, parents should be extra careful about keeping their homes safe and secure. Installing an ADT home security system is a wise step. In addition to protecting the home from invasion, a chime will sound when doors or windows are opened by inquisitive little hands. Many systems also include alerts for fire and carbon monoxide, which will keep your family safe at all hours of the day, including play dates and nap time.
Make sure all electrical systems are up to code to reduce fire hazards. Cover all electrical sockets that are not in use. Electrical cords are a double hazard for a child, especially teething babies who will chew or suck on almost anything they can reach. Loose cords also pose a strangulation risk. Use materials you have around the home that are waiting to be recycled, such as empty toilet paper or paper towel tubes. Cords can be threaded through the tube and kept both neat and contained to prevent your child from harm.
Storing hazardous substances
Many substances that will not harm an adult, such as vitamins or over-the-counter medications, can hurt or kill a very young child. Childproof caps are no deterrent for a determined toddler; thus, bottles, jars, and packaging containing cosmetics, medications, food, or cleaning products should be kept out of reach or inside a locked cabinet. Toddlers can move surprisingly quickly; almost every parent can begin a story about a child’s minor injury with “I just looked away for a second!” To be safe, be a little overcautious when it comes to storing items that could pose a hazard.
Toddlers explore the world with all of their senses, especially taste. Since children have little concept of picking a dropped pacifier or toy off the ground and popping it in their mouths, use non-toxic cleaning products like baking soda and vinegar to keep your child from accidentally ingesting even trace amounts of poison like floor cleaner or furniture polish. You might also consider cleaning carpets using a dry method to avoid endangering your child’s health. Remember: What’s safer for your child is also safer for you.
Following these tips is the first step in ensuring your child’s safety around the home. Do your best to look at the world from your child’s point of view, including crouching or crawling to see the world from a different perspective. Securing your home will require vigilance but doing so is paramount for your child’s safety.