As a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner and mom of two PREVENTION is the name of my game - and it should be yours too! There are so many things in the world that we have no control over. But lets reduce risk where we can - in our homes! Here are five items that I consider NECESSARY for your home - if you have infants or children in it. That means grandparents and other childcare providers too! It is not an exhaustive list but these five items are critical and truly LIFE SAVING. This list is beyond the basic no-brainer home safety tools (ie smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, outlet covers etc), but are just as important and can make the difference between life and death for a small child.
1. SECURE FURNITURE TO WALLS
Just do it. Big and small. Toppling furniture and televisions are no joke. And don't think you can get away with not doing it because your child isn't a "climber." Every 30 minutes in the U.S. a child is injured in a furniture tip over incident, 91% occurring at home, and many of these incidents are fatal (childsafetylink.ca). Pictured here is the device we use from Snugglebugz.
It is important to note it is not always the weight or size of an item that makes it a risk. Small bedside tables can be fatal when they tip and land on the child's airway.
Don't make the excuse to yourself if you are renting or don't want holes in the walls - talk to your landlord, tell them about the risks. If you need to fill in the holes before you move - thats a small price to pay.
2. ELIMINATE HOUSEHOLD TOXINS
Help clear the air for all of us! Click Here to learn how to dispose of harmful lurking toxins. Not only will it clear the air, it will also prevent the potentially fatal ingestion of these items that most people have in their homes.
Good 'ol vinegar is an excellent cleaner, check out The David Suzuki Foundation for more information on this and for other safe cleaning options.
3. GET RID OF BLINDS AND CORDS
Go blind less or cord- less. The alternative is potentially deadly. Click here to read more on this subject.
4. LOCK UP YOUR MEDICATIONS AND VITAMINS
You might think your vitamin D is harmless - but it can be very dangerous at high doses. Don't just move your medications, vitamins and supplements out of reach, lock them up! All children have the potential to climb. Keep it locked. This little one from IKEA is a safe and affordable option.
5. MIND THE HEAT
Turn down your hot water heater or buy an anti-scald product for your faucet if you are in a rental or apartment. Scalding injuries are a serious and potentially life threatening occurrence that is completely preventable.
Implementing these five items will reduce risk and keep your space safe for kiddies. It's a shared responsibility - let's make it a priority! It could make a huge difference in a child and family's life.
Yours in Health and Safety,