We all like to think our homes are safe places, but accidents can occur anywhere. Learn what precautions you can take to keep your family as safe as possible.
When it comes to the well-being of your children, it is important to be proactive. You can help ensure your kids’ safety by identifying common childhood mishaps and where they might occur in your home.
Falls. Areas such as stairwells, decks and balconies can be danger zones for children. Be sure to keep doors and windows locked, and install safety gates to restrict kids’ access to certain areas of your home.
Burns. It’s a good idea to make the kitchen off limits to kids while you cook, and when serving hot food, make little ones wait for it to cool. Also, avoid the use of space heaters, especially in bedrooms and nurseries.
Lead poisoning. Common sources of childhood lead poisoning include flaking paint and antique toys. Discourage your kids from putting unfamiliar objects in their mouths, and call your physician if you suspect they’ve been exposed to lead.
Poisoning. If your child accidentally ingests any type of poison or toxic chemical, such as those contained in common household products, call your local Poison Control Center at 800.222.1222.
Choking. Children often enjoy playing with toys like dolls or action figures, but the tiny accessories that accompany them can pose a choking hazard to small children, especially those under age 4. Some foods may be inappropriate for small children as well. To help prevent your child from choking, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends supervising children closely while playing and eating, as well as keeping the following items away from them:
- chewing gum
- latex balloons
- pen or marker caps
- small balls
A Plan for Fire
To protect your family from a potential fire, make sure smoke detectors are working and keep safety ladders in all upstairs rooms.
“A proper escape plan for fires depends on the structure and layout of the home,” says Sharon Rau, RN, community education instructor at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “You have to consider an exit strategy from all areas, and practice it several times every year with your children to ensure they know what to do in case a fire occurs.”
Accidents can happen no matter how diligent parents are about supervision, which is why it’s important for moms and dads to know cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Knowing this technique could save your child’s life, and St. Louis Children’s Hospital has CPR courses available at various times for your convenience.
Home Safety Checklist
We've developed a Home Safety Checklist to make your home and surroundings as safe as possible for your children. By using this checklist to identify and correct potentially dangerous situations, you can reduce your child's chance of injury or trauma.