As a mother with small kids I constantly look for ways to protect them and make sure we are all safe. When most of us parents think about home safety tips the first thing we want to do is learn more about how to protect our nest. We want to make sure we provide a safe shelter where the family can feel secure. They need to know that everything is okay under our roof.
There are lot of easy actions you can implement to make your house safer. Take a walk around your house, room by room, and look for any possible accidents waiting to happen. Simple misplacement of a pair of scissors can cause an unintentional injury if kids grab them and play with them. Having a very slippery bath tub with no nonskid mats will make grandma fall in the bathtub while visiting. Make a checklist for fixing those areas.
We don't usually think about accidents when we have visitors, but one of the major causes of unintentional injuries at home is slips and falls by guests. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 200,000 people are treated in emergency rooms in the U.S. every year because of slips and falls in bathrooms.
Having a good independent home insurance agent is a perfect way to start to feel safe and protected. Our agents are independent, which means they will not represent just one company; they will research many insurance companies to see which suits you best.
Below are eight home safety tips you can easily implement yourself right now to help provide a secure environment that will prevent accidents from happening.
1. Store Medicine Up and Away.
Pick a place children can't reach. Keep in mind that even if they can't reach the medicines, they might know how to grab a stool and get them. Be aware, make sure that the safety caps are secured and maybe put a key lock on the storage area as well.
2. Keep the Poison Help Line Handy.
You never know what can happen. One time I gave my son some ibuprofen and then at daycare they gave him more right away. I was worried it would be too much, but then I easily called the Poison Help Line (I have it on a magnet on the fridge). They helped me right away, assuring me that it wasn't harmful.
According to the CDC, more than 60,000 young children in the U.S. are treated in emergency rooms each year for accidental overdoses. So always keep this number handy: 800-222-1222.
3. Keep Sharp Kitchen Tools out of Reach.
It is hard to keep the tools we use regularly in the kitchen under lock and key because we use them every day, but making sure they are out of reach of kids is a good start. Teach your children how dangerous sharp tools are and make sure they understand they should never use knives and the like without supervision.
When the kids get big enough to start looking inside drawers, for example for scissors to do crafts by themselves, regular scissors should be hidden out of reach.
4. Safety in the Bathroom.
If you have infants and small children, keep the toilet lid down to prevent accidents. Install nonskid mats in the shower and watch small children closely when they are taking a bath; drowning can occur in just two inches of water. It's a good idea to keep a night light in the bathroom as well. Guests who stay overmight may not know the way and it helps prevent falls.
5. Keep Small Objects out of Reach.
There are so many little items at home that we don't keep close track of, like batteries, coins, buttons and very small toys. Be careful with all of them, as children love to explore and place small items in their mouths. These objects can be swallowed quickly, or even worse, children can choke on them.
For children under 1 year old and adults over 76 years old, choking is the third leading cause of unintentional injury (according to the CDC). Look in between the seams of the couch and behind the cushions, and get down on your knees and look around on the floor to find these tiny objects and put them away.
6. Use Fake Candles.
If you enjoy candles, this is a safe way to still enjoy candlelight. I didn't realize I would have to give up candles after I had kids, but it is very dangerous to have them around while you have little ones in the house. According to the CDC, burns are most commonly caused by scalds; you never know what can happen.
7. Be Careful with Household Chemicals.
Items like bleach, concrete mix, drain or toilet bowl cleaners, metal cleaners, and pool chlorinators can cause burns. Most will only need outpatient care if they get on the skin, but some may cause deep tissue damage. Equipment like water heaters, filters and other containers that you may have in your backyard might be made out of fiberglass. Fiberglass causes extreme irritation and itchiness to the skin, so make sure that these items are out of reach of children.
8. Install Smoke Alarms.
Sometimes we are not aware that a fire has started until we see and smell the smoke. At that point it might be too late. 70 percent of fire deaths are from smoke inhalation (CDC). Having a smoke alarm is imperative to keep a home safe. If the alarms operate with batteries (most likely), make a note on your calendar to replace the batteries once a year, even if the alarms seem to be working fine. Learn about fire hazards and prevention and what to do if a fire occurs in your home.
Above all else, make sure you're covered with an affordable home insurance policy.