All parents have has their share of frights when faced with their toddler’s recklessness or unquenchable curiosity. Little ones are very gifted at finding the weaknesses in our efforts to childproof our homes. While most babies and toddlers survive relatively unscathed, accidental injuries remain the leading cause of death among young children in Canada.
Here are some ideas to consider when childproofing your home:
- Power cords that hang from a television or computer are a real choking hazard. Eliminate any slack in power cords so that children can’t get tangled in them.
- There are many types of devices to cover power outlets. One type is plastic covers that are difficult for babies to remove. The problem is that the covers are also hard for parents to remove, so they are less likely to reinsert them if they expect to use the outlet again shortly. The cover itself then becomes a choking hazard. Outlet covers with sliding doors that don’t need to be removed are therefore an excellent choice.
- Televisions mounted to a wall and pieces of furniture taller than one metre pose a risk when young children decide to climb up and the object falls on them. This is why televisions and furniture must be securely fastened with wall restraints.
- It is also recommended that all window treatments be completely cordless to reduce the risk of accidental choking.
- The kitchen is probably the most dangerous room in the house for little ones, with its sharp utensils, toxic cleaners, ovens and other dangerous items. The operative word here: lockdown. For drawers and cabinets containing such objects, parents should use doorknob covers or latches that automatically reset upon closing. These products are sold in pharmacies and hardware stores.
Accidents can happen so fast, but often they are so easy to prevent. To avoid unfortunate injuries, it’s worth getting literally down on all fours – before your child gets a chance to do so – and crawling around your house to spot any potential dangers that you might not notice when standing up.