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Home Updates You Should Be Doing to Make Your Home Safer for Your Kids

Home Updates You Should Be Doing to Make Your Home Safer for Your Kids  via  www.productreviewmom.com
 Guest Post by Anita Ginsburg

Parents spend a significant amount of time trying to keep their children safe. However, what too many parents overlook is the need to protect a child in their own home. More than two million children are accidentally injured each year and more than 2,500 are killed, often in their own home. These simple home updates can help make your home safer for your children.

    1. Outlets with Safety Latches

Many times, parents with new babies simply close off outlets with the inexpensive plug-in caps available at almost any department store. Although these types of outlet protectors are better than no protection, babies can pull them out and place them in their mouth, making them a choking hazard. Instead, purchase outlet covers that are inaccessible by children with ones that include a sliding safety latch.

    1. Install Gates

Although gates are a well-known child proofing addition to a home with a small child, many parents forget that gates must be used properly in order to protect the child. Choose a gate that is difficult for a child to open but not for an adult. A gate that is difficult to open and close may tempt you to leave it open when you are in a hurry. As your child grows, replace the gate with one that is age appropriate. Never use a pressure gate at the top of the stairs as the child could fall against it. Instead, choose one that screws into the wall. Use straight-slat design gates and not the accordion version used by your own parents. Accordion gates pose an entrapment and strangulation hazard.

    1. Replace Blinds with Cords

According to the CPSC, a child between the ages of seven and ten months dies once each month in the United States by strangling on the cords of window covering. Children can become entangled in a looped window cord and strangle fairly quickly. Replace window coverings with cords with those that do not have cords. Plantation shutters are a great option for your home. Not only are they a safer choice for your little ones, they look great in the home.

    1. Avoid Lead

Homes built before 1978 may have lead paint on the walls or may have lead in the water from pipes that are lined or soldered with lead. If you live in an older home, even if it has been painted several times, talk to your child’s doctor about testing for lead. Breathing lead fumes or ingesting lead in paint chips can cause lead poisoning which can lead to learning disabilities, kidney disease, brain damage, delayed growth and other problems. You may need to have a licensed professional remove or cover the lead with the proper sealant. Until you can eliminate the lead problem, wash your child’s hands, face and toys often to reduce exposure.

    1. Window Screens

Regular window screens are not strong enough to prevent a child from falling from a window. Low windows should not open more than four inches. To keep children safe, install window stops or guards to keep the window from being opened more than four inches. Be sure that the window stops are secure but that they can be removed easily in case of an emergency. Keep furniture away from windows to prevent children from climbing on the windowsill.

These simple home improvements are inexpensive, but can mean the difference between life and death for a child. By making these small improvements, your home will be a safer environment for your children.

What updates have you done to keep your home safer for kids?

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