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Child-Proof Your Home with 12 Super Safe Products
Over 1 million children under the age of 15 have non fatal and fatal accidents in their home every year. Sadly those most at risk are from 0 - 4 years experiencing burns, scalds and poisoning , the most non severe accidents are short falls or fractures and the most severe are caused by fires and high falls. However there is good news! Most of these accidents are preventable through increased awareness, some home improvements and some very easy to install child safety products readily available in baby stores, hardware stores, drug stores, mail order and hypermarkets.
Adapting your home to child safety doesn't have to cost a fortune either, most child safety products are easy to install yourself. All the family must be educated in safety in the home including older children who may forget to re-attach a device. It only takes a second for an inquisitive child who has the spirit of adventure to misinterpret a danger spot. No safety product is totally 100% child proof, some young adamant children have successfully undone various safety devices themselves, so constant supervision is the best policy.
Below are some popular recommended safety products on the market today that can prevent your children having accidents in the home!
1. Safety Gates
Safety gates help to prevent children falling down the stairs and also to stop them going in to dangerous area's like the kitchen or the fireplace. Many gates have a detachable swing action lock for adults and if you don't have enough space for a swing action then retractable gates are also available, a great idea for vacations too! The gates that have 2 screws into the wall seem the most sturdy, and children cannot dislodge them so easily.
The (JPMA) Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association now displays a seal of certification on most new manufactured safety gates today so be aware that if your gate is a bit old it meets with the current safety standards.
Safety gates vary in price, stair gates with easy swing action retail around $39.95, soft gates that pack up in minutes are around $45, retractable gates about $100 and the fireguard gates around $180.
You can request estimates to install safety gates
2. Door Knobs and Covers
Door knobs and covers help to prevent children form entering into a hazardous area's or places where accidents are likely to happen without supervision, like a swimming pool or work area.
Door knob covers should be strong enough so they don't break but easy enough for an adult to turn quickly if there should be an emergency. Locks need to be fitted high enough from a child's reach and should also be used as well as alarms, gates and fences. Glass sliding doors are ineffective for swimming pool areas as the locks need to be secured after every use! There is too much of a risk that someone will forget to lock up!
Covers and locks are inexpensive and on average start at $2.99 - $29.95
You can request estimates to install door knob covers
3. Safety Latches and Locks
To prevent cuts, poisoning and other ingestion injuries, locks and safety latches are available for cabinets and drawers. This ensures all household cleaners, medicines, cutlery and other sharp objects are safely out of reach from your little ones. Again adults can easily install these, and should check that they are strong enough to withstand the toughest little adventurer. Safety latches and locks are not guaranteed to stop curious little fingers however they are a good preventative. Average prices start at $3.95 for sliding window locks or lazy susan latches to $44.95 for a pack of 6 adhesive cabinet and drawer latches.
4. Anti Scald and Burn Devices
The first preventative is to have anti burn and scald devices fitted on shower heads and faucets by a professional plumber. This will regulate your water temperature to a minimum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. As children under 5 have much thinner skin than adults it's imperative to regulate the temperature to avoid scalding and burns. In addition to increasing safety for your little ones it can bring added comfort to your shower or tub.The average cost of these devices are $39.95 for basic and up to $300 + for built in safety bathroom systems.
You can request estimates to install safety bathroom system
5. Smoke Alarms
As fires are the biggest killer in the home, smoke alarms should be fitted on every floor especially close to bedrooms. If you have battery operated smoke alarms then use high quality batteries and change them every year or buy long lasting. You should test your smoke detectors on a regular basis to check they are in working order. Smoke alarms can vary in price from as little as $6, however it's worth investing a little more as some detectors while good at detecting high flames may not detect smoldering bedding or soft furnishings until much later.
You can request estimates to install smoke alarms
6. Securing Your Windows
Securing your windows with guards or safety netting can protect your children against serious falls from balconies, windows, decks or landings. Once the guards are fitted It's important to make regular checks to ensure there is no risk. The width in-between the bars of a window guard needs to be a maximum of 4ins. Window screens are for bugs and are not strong enough to keep a child safe from falling through a window. Always keep chairs and other easy to climb furniture away from windows and always make sure there are accessible windows for fire exits. Window guards cost from $20 to $85 and for open decks and balconies clear UVA protected netting is about $30 for 15'.
You can request estimates to install window guards
7. Corner and Edge bumper covers
Most of home furniture and features contain sharp edges that could be dangerous to your little one if they fell onto it. You can simply cover up those sharp edges with easy to use corner and edge bumper covers to soften the fall. As these are so inexpensive you can afford to buy extra secure bumpers that don't come away too easily, Table edge bumpers cost about $22 and a pack of 4 corner bumpers cost around $10.97.
8. Carbon Monoxide Detector
The dangerous aspect of carbon monoxide is that you cannot see or smell carbon monoxide (CO), and at high levels it can be fatal within seconds. With over 500 victims each year in the United states it is the leading cause of death by poisoning. Try to have your appliances checked once a year by professionals. Some common sources are badly vented areas where fuel heaters are used and also indoor use of a charcoal BBQ. Never use fuel burning equipment or appliances in closed rooms, always have doors or windows open for fresh air. Also check your chimney isn't blocked in case of a back draft, and never idle your car in the garage, fuel travels quickly through into the house. At the start of the cooler weather it really is worth buying some carbon monoxide detectors as they cost from as little as $17 - $40.
You can request estimates to install carbon monoxide detector
9. Electrical Outlet Covers and Plates
Electrical outlet covers and plates are a necessity in the home to protect your child against any dangerous electrical outlets and a potential electric shock or electrocution. This product is attractive and is the safest way to cover up outlets, there is no other product safer. Once the cover is fitted there is no room for adventurous fingers. It's so convenient to use as there is no fitting or plugging, it simply slides on and blocks the sockets instantly making it safe. Outlet cover packs are around $14.99 for 3.
10. Window Blind Cords, Safety Tassels and Inner Cord Stoppers
We all know children are fascinated by anything that dangles so to prevent any chance of your child getting injured or strangling from loose window blind cords or drapery cords you must attach safety inner cord stoppers and safety tassels. To update older blinds you must take precautions and cut the cord loops, take off the buckles and attach safety tassels to each. Always check drapery cords, as they need good tension or if they have tie devices make sure the cords stay tight. Many new companies incorporate child safety into their products now so if you decide to buy new blinds or drapes ask whether they are child friendly. Safety inner cord stoppers and tassels are available from only 50 cents.
11. Door Stoppers and Holders
Help prevent those little fingers from getting trapped, in doors or hinges with door stops and door holders. Just be sure to buy a sturdy stopper as some can crack into pieces which little fingers may find interesting. Vinyl door stops start from as little as $4.99 and safety door holders around $ 7.99
12. The Cordless Phone
The obvious reason for a cordless phone is so you can supervise your child or children without leaving the area. Cordless and mobile phones are ideal when your child is in a park playground, near water or at the beach. Cordless and mobile phones are relatively cheap today and start around $30.