Whether you’re the parent of young children and have diligently baby-proofed your home, a favourite aunt who has the occasional visit from nieces or nephews, a grandparent or even a friend to those with young kids: it’s important to be thorough when making your home safe for children.
Here’s a checklist to help ensure that your children or young visitors are safe in your home.
- Anchor shelving securely to the wall. Health Canada reports hundreds of incidents each year of furniture falling on children.
- Keep window blinds and drapery cords out of reach. These cords could be a strangulation hazard.
- Ensure medications, vitamins and cosmetics are locked away. Be aware of where purses are left in your home, as they may allow easy access to potentially dangerous items to children.
- Keep lighters and matches in a secure place and out of reach to children. Only use flameless candles around young children.
- Store cleaners, household chemicals and detergents up high and completely out of sight. Those brightly coloured pods and detergents are an attractive poison risk to children.
- Learn if your house plants pose a poison danger to children and/or pets.
- Carefully review your home from the height of children and put away any items that may be a potential choking hazard. Keep electronic cords hidden when not in use.
- Keep batteries and magnets stored in a safe place. They can not only be a choking hazard but may also cause internal damage if swallowed.
- Close and latch the dishwasher when not in use. Bright, shiny and sharp utensils may attract and harm children.
- Test the garage door on a regular basis to ensure that it retracts if an object is in its path.
- Never leave children of any age unattended in a bathroom, near a pond or swimming pool.
- Balloons can be serious choking hazards. Properly store and dispose of balloons.
- Check toys regularly for wear and damage.
- Remove latches from chests. If a child can open and enter it, they may become trapped.
It’s important to be ever vigilant about the safety of children; whether they live in your home or are just visiting. Be sure to discuss this safety checklist with your family members to ensure everyone is aware of potential dangers and everyone is on board to keep kids safe in your home.