Home Safety for Children

Home Safety for Children

You may be confident that your home is better for your child than a day care center, but is it as safe?

Day care centers, preschools and home day care providers’ homes must meet state safety standards. Help protect your family by childproofing your home, keeping it as safe as a day care facility.

Your skills

As a parent, you should know the Heimlich maneuver to help a choking child, as well as how to do rescue breathing and CPR.

Check your local community listings for classes in these methods. Most cities have an American Red Cross office that offers training in an hour or two for a low cost.

Safety equipment

Be sure your home is equipped with a fire extinguisher, and smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

According to the Home Safety Council, you should put a carbon monoxide detector in the hallway outside the bedrooms in all houses that have an attached garage and/or a fuel burning appliance or equipment.

Smoke alarms should be placed on every level of the house (basement, first floor and upstairs).

Batteries on all alarms should be replaced twice a year. An easy way to remember to replace batteries is to do it in the spring and fall when you turn your clocks forward and back.

Fire drills

Have fire drills with your children. Do you have an escape plan if there is a fire during the night? Do your children know where to go? Are they able to open a window on their own?

Foldable fire escape ladders can be tucked away in a closet and then hooked onto a window sill for escaping from a second-floor room.

Keep a small fire extinguisher in the kitchen and know how to use it.

Calling for help

Teach your children how to dial 911 in an emergency. Be sure to teach them what constitutes a real emergency and go over some specific examples (unless you want the police at your door when you stub your toe).

Tell your children to use a landline phone and not a cell phone, so the 911 operator knows where they’re calling from. Teach them to stay on the line and open a door for the emergency responders.

Post the phone number for the National Poison Control (1-800-222-1222) near the phone.

Prevent scalds and burns

Set your water heater temperature at 120 F or less, or just below the “medium” setting.

Lock up all matches and lighters.

Don’t light candles unless an adult is going to be in the room at all times. Flameless candles have the same ambiance as a real candle, but with no flame.

Cover all electrical outlets with safety covers.

Smart prevention

  • Keep everything out of reach of a baby’s crib, especially cords from window blinds and stuffed animals with button eyes or other ornaments.
  • Keep all medicines, cleaning products, liquor, and chemicals locked up.
  • Don’t leave water in buckets or tubs. Use a toilet lid lock on all toilets.
  • Keep your home free of little things a child can choke on. Buttons, coins, jewelry and small toys cannot be left lying around.

Do you work from your home? Read Childproof Your Home Office.

And don’t forget the outside of the house. Back Yard Safety tells you what you need for safe outdoor play at home.