Six essential child-proofing steps often overlooked during holidays
Courtesy of Safe Kids Worldwide
‘Tis the season for merrymaking and visiting, and as a parent or host of young children, there are some extra steps you’ll want to take beyond decorating, cooking and cleaning to prepare for little ones in the home.
Young children are born explorers – climbing, touching and, of course, putting things in their mouths. While it is important for kids to try new things, their curiosity, when left unsupervised, can lead to tragedy: Each year, more than 2,200 children ages 12 and under – or six kids a day – die from an injury in or around the home. This holiday season, Safe Kids Worldwide, with support from Tide, urges parents and hosts to take a few minutes to do some important childproofing while preparing for celebrations.
When families are decluttering and decorating for the holidays, it’s a great time to look at the home from a child’s point of view to see potential hazards. For parents, it’s a perfect opportunity to review places your child can now reach that were outside their grasp just weeks ago. And for hosts not used to having kids around, it’s helpful to have a child-proofing checklist.
“As a busy, working parent, I know first-hand how difficult it can be to find the time to tackle any home project,” said Safe Kids president Torine Creppy. “But safety starts at home, and if parents can combine child-proofing with holiday planning, they’ll create a home that’s festive, and more important, one that’s safe for kids.”
Here are six spots you may have missed when child-proofing your home:
- Burns and Scalds – Each day about 300 children ages 0-19 years are seen in emergency rooms from burn or scald injuries, many of which come from the kitchen. Keep hot foods and liquids away from the edges of tables and counters.
- Button Batteries – Each year, more than 3,300 button battery swallowing cases are reported to U.S. poison control centers. Keep items that may contain coin-sized lithium batteries, like key fobs and small remote controls, out of children’s reach and sight.
- Liquid Laundry Packets – In 2018, there were 9,444 calls to poison centers related to laundry packet incidents involving young children. Keep liquid laundry packets in their original containers, up, closed and out of children’s reach and sight.
- Poisons – Every minute a poison control center receives a call about a child getting into a poison. Keep all household cleaning products, personal care products and medicines in their original containers, out of children’s reach and sight. Save the Poison Help number in your phone and post it visibly at home: 1-800-222-1222.
- Televisions – Every day, 15 children go to the ER because of a TV tip-over. Use brackets, braces, mounts or wall straps to secure unstable TVs or top-heavy furniture to prevent tip-overs.
- Toys – In 2018, an estimated 165,000 children under the age of 15 were seen in emergency departments for toy-related injuries – 452 kids every day. When choosing a toy or game, carefully read age recommendations and warning labels. For little kids, check for small parts and other choking hazards.
Use this interactive tool to take a 360° view inside a toddler’s home and spot these six risks.
More home safety tips for families can be found at SafeKids.org.
Safe Kids Worldwide is a global nonprofit dedicated to protecting kids from preventable injuries, the number one cause of death to children in the United States. Around the world, a child dies every 30 seconds from an injury that could have been prevented. Safe Kids is a go-to resource to help parents keep kids safe from car crashes, fires, falls, poisoning and more. Through more than 400 coalitions in the U.S. and partners in more than 30 countries, Safe Kids works with children’s hospitals, trauma centers, first responders and public health experts to get life-saving information to families. Together, we can help all kids grow up healthy and safe. Join our effort at safekids.org.