Many children are enjoying the freedom of summer this June. With kids out of school, it’s a good time to check around the house for anything that might affect their safety. June also marks the National Safety Council’s National Safety Month, which is dedicated to raising awareness of safety issues and reducing accidental deaths.
Every year, more than 2,200 children die from injuries suffered in accidents at home, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. Some of the most common household accidents include falls, water accidents, drowning, ingestion of poison, fire, burns, scalding and furniture falling onto children.
Safe Kids Worldwide offers a number of home safety tips to keep kids safe, including:
- To prevent falls, use approved, properly installed safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs. Babies and young kids should be strapped into high chairs, swings and strollers. Parents should also use window guards.
- To keep kids safe from drowning, adults need to make sure children are actively supervised around water. Children should take swimming lessons when they are ready and older children should always swim with a buddy. Bathtubs should be drained immediately and toilet lids should be closed, as well as laundry room doors. For homeowners with pools, it’s important that the pool has a four-sided fence at least 4-feet high with self-closing, self-latching gates to prevent children from wandering into the pool area.
- For poison prevention, it’s important to store all household cleaning products out of children’s reach and sight. Cleaning products should also be kept in their original containers so you know exactly what is in the container and it can’t be mistaken for something else. Always have the Poison Help Number handy: 1-800-222-1222.
- To keep your family safe from fire, install smoke detectors on every level of your home and test the batteries every six months. As a family, create and practice an escape plan with two ways out of every room. In the kitchen, keep items that can catch fire – such as dish towels and wooden spoons – away from the stove top and keep a fire extinguisher handy. If you use candles, blow them out when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- To prevent burns, don’t carry your child while cooking at the stove. Make sure to keep an eye on appliances such as irons, hair dryers and curling irons, since they can heat up very fast and stay hot. Unplug these appliances and make sure the cords are out of reach of children.
- To keep your child from accidental scalding in the bathtub or sink, set your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Always check the temperature of a child’s bath water. To prevent scalding in the kitchen, use the back burners of the stove, keeping handles turned away from edge, and keep hot foods and liquids away from the edge of counters and tables.
- Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, put a carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home. Don’t use a gas generator, grill or camping stove inside your house or garage or near a window and don’t use your oven or stove to heat your house. Never leave a vehicle running in the garage.
- To prevent flat-panel TVs or top-heavy furniture from falling onto children, make sure these items are safely and securely attached to the wall.
- For medication safety, put all medicine and vitamins out of sight from children. When giving medicine to children, use the dosing device that came with the medicine to ensure proper dosage.
- Sleep safety is very important for babies. They should sleep on their back in their own crib or bassinet. Sheets should be tight-fitting and soft bedding should be avoided in the crib.
If your child has been injured by a faulty device or in an unsafe home, it’s important to contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. You may be entitled to significant compensation through a product liability lawsuit, a premises liability claim or some other type of legal action, depending on the situation.
- Safe Kids Worldwide – Home Safety Tips
- National Safety Council – Celebrate and Participate in National Safety Month