CHILD-PROOFING YOUR HOME: DEVICES TO PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN
Bringing a child into the home is an exciting, new adventure all on its own, and ensuring that your home is ready to safely home your child is priceless. Here are some of our top suggested devices to help create a safe environment to help you raise that baby into an adventurous toddler.
CABINET LATCHES & LOCKS
Cabinet latches and locks can deter your toddler from getting into dangerous or inconvenient drawers and cabinets. While latches and locks can help prevent children from breaking dishes and filling the toilet with Q-tips, it’s important to remember to store truly dangerous objects, such as cleaning chemicals and knives up in a place where the children can’t reach.
Install safety gates at the top of stairs and in dangerous areas, to keep them from falling down stairs and out of harm’s way. Gates that screw into walls are better suited for the top of the stairs than pressure gates. New safety gates that meet safety standards display a certification seal from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). If you have an older safety gate, be sure it doesn’t have “V” shapes that are large enough for a child’s head and neck to fit into.
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.
CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS
Use a carbon monoxide (CO) detector outside bedrooms to 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.
WINDOW BLIND CORDS
Secure your loop window blind cords to a position out of reach of children to prevent strangulation. 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.
Babies who sleep in cribs should not have anything that the baby can suffocate himself on, including bumpers, blankets or stuffed animals. Young babies who are prone to SIDS should sleep in layers of clothing without loose ends or frills that may cover his face. If you own an older crib, you may also want to look into any current recalls due to the slat-widths. Slats on new cribs have a little enough width to ensure that heads and necks can’t slip through them.