Monday, December 22, 2008

Checklist in Childproofing Your Home

Every parent begin to worry about his/her child health and safety the moment their first child is born. The normal, active, physically healthy child will occasionally have some cuts and bruises.
What can you do then to control the impact of many injuries ? Childproofing your home should begin prior to your child learning to crawl because once he/she becomes mobile, you are faced with an ever-increasing, intensely curious whirlwind of activity. Inspect your home while you have the time to do it thoroughly.
Childproofing does not mean moving breakables to higher shelves. It means locking, securing, relocating or removing anything that may pose a potential danger to a child.

Here’s some checklist as a starting point for childproofing your home.
· Install covers over all electrical outlets.
· Install smoke alarms on all levels of your home.
· Place gates at stairways-top and bottom.
· Lift blind and drapery cords out of the reach of children.
· Use specially designed door stops and knobs that prevent children from opening forbidden doors.
· Turn down your water heater thermostat to between 120 degrees and 125 degrees to prevent scalding young skin.
· Install "child-resistant" locks on all cabinets within the child's reach. Remember, what is child resistant to most children may not be to yours, so don't assume that with the locks in place your child is safe.
· Remove all cleaning fluids and agents from lower storage areas.
· Keep all medications, including topical ointments such as insect repellents, inside a cabinet that is locked with a key. And place the key where the child cannot reach it.
· Keep all electrical and phone cords bundled and out of reach.
· Never leave a small child alone in the bathtub for even "just a second."
· Many houseplants are toxic. Find out which ones are and, if you have any of them, remove them from your home.
· Make sure that any potentially dangerous items are stored out of reach and/or locked up.

In addition-
· Place the number of the nearest clinic, hospital near your phone. Include with it your child's weight, allergies and any special medical conditions so you won't have to remember these when in a panic. It will also be available there for a babysitter or visiting relative.
· Have a first aid kit and know what to do with its contents.

Remember, childproofing is not a 100 percent guarantee that your child will be safe from injury. It is not a babysitter. Parents must still be vigilant. At best, childproofing slows down the curious young child.