Childproofing: Get Down on Their Level


 It’s every parent’s worst nightmare; an accident harms your little darling, especially a preventable accident.  Outlets, dresser drawers and cabinets filled with chemicals are child magnets.  Being naturally curious, a child will explore everything with their hands and mouth.  Choking, shock and strangulation hazards are everywhere.

 Some advice from the experts:

  • Start before the child comes
  • Get down on their level.  Crawl around on your hands and knees and see things from a child’s perspective
    • Outlets:  use outlet covers with horizontally sliding doors.  Easy for parents to use, don’t need to be removed and reinserted.  Check out Safety 1st Swivel Outlet cover about $2.25, or Levitons Decora tamper-resistant duplex receptacle, $2.50 at Home Depot.
    • Choking and strangulation hazards:  Cords on window treatments and power cords.  Secure the electric cords out of reach with Safety 1st’s Cord Short’ner, about $4.  Forego the venetian blinds for something that is completely cordless.
    • Secure the TV to the wall, a child reaching and grabbing could tip the TV onto themselves.
    • Secure furniture more than 30 inches tall with wall restraints.  Be sure to screw the straps into a wall stud.
  • With all the temptations in the kitchen and bath, toxic chemicals, sharp utensils, etc., think Operation Lockdown:
    • Use latches that automatically reset upon closing.  Safety 1st No-Drill Deluxe latch kit (about $31/set of 4) uses a magnetic handle to release the latch.  Once installed, keeping track of the handle will be the hardest part.
    • In the bath, get a toilet lock.  KidCo makes one that automatically resets and is relatively easy to clean (about $15).
    • Keep the bathroom doors closed and put child-proof doorknob covers on the knobs.
  • Stairs:  Use a child safety gate top and bottom. 

 While this list isn’t all inclusive, it gives you a good start.  Consider calling in a consultant.  Every home is different, and poses different potential hazards. 

 Based on New York Times article by Bob TedeschiOctober 26, 2011

Categories : Buyers, Fun Stuff

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