The new year is right around the corner and you may already be committing yourself to making major changes in your diet, exercise routine, or budgeting plan, but why not make the new year all about your children? If ensuring safety in your home isn’t on your to-do list, it may be time to draft a new outline for your new year’s safety resolutions.
Resolution #1: Out of Sight, Out of Mind — Safeguard Your Stove and Other Appliances
Cooking with your children can be fun, but large kitchen appliances left unattended can create major risks for you and your little ones. To prevent burns from occurring, we recommend using the back burners of your stove when cooking.
Children are curious, and it’s a well-known fact that toddlers love to reach for anything and everything. Utilize your countertops and other high spaces in your kitchen for placing hot foods and turn your pot and pan handles inward to reduce your child’s desire to grab items at eye level.
Smaller appliances, such as coffee makers, toasters, and food processors should be unplugged and stored out of your child’s reach when not in use. For just a few dollars, you can purchase outlet covers and cord shorteners to use with operating appliances to eliminate the risk of electrical shock.
Resolution #2: Confirm Your Furnishings Are Kid-Friendly
When it comes time to set up the new entertainment system you got over the holidays, keep your child’s safety in mind. The rate of injuries sustained from furniture, specifically televisions, tipping over is on the rise. In fact, every hour, a child is rushed to the emergency room as a result of a TV tip-over.
The risk doesn’t end with TVs. As soon as they start crawling, babies begin to pull up on furniture. Large, bulky bookcases, dressers, and appliances also pose tipping threats. As you rearrange your home from one holiday to the next, be sure to take into account all potentially harmful items and bolt whatever you can to the wall.
For cabinets and dressers, fill the bottom shelves with heavier items to keep them from falling over and severely injuring your child. You can also install drawer stops to prevent kids from pulling them all the way out, which can cause them to tip.
Resolution #3: Bathroom Basics for Safe Tub and Toilet Use
Unlike many of the promises we create for ourselves at the start of each year, making simple adjustments to keep your bathroom danger-free for your little ones is easily achievable.
While the amount of potentially hazardous items in a bathroom can seem overwhelming, solutions are actually much simpler than you think.
To begin, always make sure your bathroom floors are dry. Adults may see a small puddle on the floor and remember to avoid it, but young children are not as observant and are much more likely to slip and sustain an injury to the face or head, as they are too young to use their arms to break the fall.
You may think your toilet is only enticing to a pet, but think again. Toilet bowls are close to the ground, which happen to be at the perfect eye level for toddlers to stick their head in. This curious act can be fatal if they are unable to remove their head. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in kids between the ages of one and four and can happen in just seconds. Closing the toilet seat lid and installing a safety latch can help reduce the likelihood of an accident occurring.
Lastly, safely storing your prescription medications and ointments is essential in keeping children safe while in the home. More than 60,000 young children are sent to the emergency room each year from accidental ingestion of medicines that were left within reach.
While most parents think placing medications off the ground and out of a child’s reach is cautious enough, a persistent child will find a way to access a bathroom shelve or medicine cabinet. Give your spring organizing a head start and install a lock on any kitchen or bathroom drawers that contain medications, vitamins, or prescription creams.
Medicine that is frequently used should be kept in child-resistant packaging to protect children from easily accessing items that may be poisonous. More and more companies that sell everything from supplements to laundry detergents are packaging their products in bottles with hinged lids and pouches with child-resistant sliders, like Child-Guard®.
Resolution #4: Keep Your Home Clean and Your Kids Safe
Automatic washing machines for laundry and dishes can save you a great deal of time and energy when it comes to keeping your items clean, but these appliances can pose a threat to small children if detergents and cleaning products are left in the open, and sharp objects are incorrectly placed.
It’s therefore important to refrain from pouring soap or a cleaning agent into the machine until it’s ready to run and keep used knives and flatware out of the dishwasher basket until you have a load ready to be washed.
To avoid injury or accidental consumption in the new year, it’s best to install a safety latch on your dishwasher to keep curious kids away from potentially harmful materials, such as liquid and crystalized detergents. These cleaning agents are tough on stains, but can also cause harm on the body when ingested. In fact, exposure to these chemicals can cause short-term and long-term health hazards, including lung and kidney damage, and even cancer.
Many products, like individual laundry packs are now being manufactured in flexible packaging with specially designed child-resistant closures to give parents extra time to react in the event of accidental exposure. Some of the newer dishwasher models also come with a child safety locking feature in place, so be sure to refer to your user manual beforehand.
A Year with Fewer Accidental Poisonings
Recently, Child-Guard® unveiled a slider that when paired with flexible packaging, helps to keep children out of packages that contain potentially harmful things like individual laundry packs, medication, household cleaners, pesticides, and much more.
Our resolution for 2017 is to keep more kids safe by incorporating child-resistant packaging into products on the shelves of many home improvement and grocery stores. Let us know what you’d like to see in child-resistant flexible packaging on social media by using the hashtag #guardit and be sure to check out our Facebook page for more home safety tips for your little ones.