When it comes to children and home safety, it takes only one overlooked danger to cause an accident and perhaps even dire injury. You may think you have all of your child safety locks and electrical outlet plugs in place so that you’ve made your apartment safe for children, but there are a few potential hazards you may have overlooked.
1. Paints and Craft Supplies
Most people remember to lock up the poisons and cleaning supplies when children are present, but “crafts” and “danger” don’t usually come up when discussing children and home safety, unless you’re talking about the child performing crafts under adult supervision. However, many crafting tools and items are actually dangerous for children because they’re sharp or toxic. Paints especially can be toxic if ingested even in small amounts. You can avoid dangers by locking up your crafts and art supplies and also looking for certified non-toxic paints in case a child accidentally ingests them.
2. Shallow Amounts of Liquid
A basic lesson for children and home safety is to keep kids away from bathtubs and sinks full of water when unattended to avoid drowning accidents, but children can actually drown in as little as 2 inches of water. Keep buckets, pails and sinks empty when children are present and never leave them unattended around water dishes for pets. Even leaving toilet seats up can pose a hazard to children, so make sure the lids are down.
3. Airway Passage-Blocking Items and Food
One of the leading causes of injury and death among children is blocked airways, which result when children swallow something large enough for them to choke on. This includes foods like sausages, carrots and bananas. When serving food, make sure it’s cut up into very small pieces. A child can choke on something that’s only as big as a quarter. As for non-food items, keep all small items out of reach, even if you think the items are unlikely to entice a child.
4. Hanging Strings
Innocuous-seeming hanging strings, such as the drawstrings for your blinds, can become entangled around children’s necks, and choke them. Make sure you tuck all hanging strings high above a child’s reach. If possible, avoid having hanging strings present at all.
5. Open Dishwashers
Open dishwashers can pose a threat to children and home safety because they bring dangerous utensils, such as sharp knives, down to the ground level and in easy reach of children’s hands. Then there’s the fact that even an empty dishwasher has spikes on which to hang the dishes. The tips of these spikes may not be sharp, but the spikes themselves can prove dangerous to a child who trips near the dishwasher and falls on top of them. A full dishwasher may also have detergent in an easily accessible location, so watch nearby children when loading and unloading the dishwasher.
When it comes to children and home safety, you can never be over-prepared. Taking the time to learn about other potential hazards besides the ones you’re used to can help protect the children who live in or visit your home from injury.