Child Safety: Overlooked Dangers In The Home
If you have children, you’re already aware of how important it is to keep the home as child-safe as possible! Countless injuries can be prevented by a few simple measures. Let’s look at a few major hazards and some easy ways you can make your home safer than before.
- Fire. Every year, children set over 20,000 fires. That’s a number straight from the U.S. Fire Administration – and a sobering reason to check your smoke alarms twice a year. Other fire prevention measures include putting smoke alarms in each bedroom, covering electric outlets, and teaching your kids that fire isn’t something to be played with. While candles can set a cozy mood or make the home smell nice, they can also be fire hazards. Cut down the risk by using sturdy candleholders and blowing out candles when leaving a room.
- Drowning. Nearly everyone realizes that a child can drown in only a few inches of water. If you have buckets outside, turn then upside down so they can’t collect rainwater – or keep them in an area that is inaccessible to children. If you have a pool, you need a sturdy fence around it so kids can’t get to the pool unattended. Never leave a child alone in the tub or shower. It only takes a few minutes for a child to drown.
- Poisoning. Some sources of poison are obvious, like household cleaners, bleach, and detergent. Keep these substances in cabinets or containers that are impossible for children to open. You can install locks on your cabinets within a few minutes. Other poisons may not be so easy to spot. Some antique toys and old painted furniture can be chock-full of lead and other harsh chemicals that can cause health problems over time. Medicines and vitamins should be kept out of reach. One of the most dangerous poisons is carbon monoxide – and it’s impossible to know it’s there without a carbon monoxide detector. This feature is often included with today’s smoke detectors.
- Garage Door Accidents. When you have a garage, it’s vital that all the door functions work properly. Even if you’ve never had a problem with your garage door, you should test it by putting a small piece of wood on the floor and then closing the door. If the door reverses direction when it touches the block, you know the sensors are working to keep you, your children, and your pets safe! This five-minute test could save a life!
As home inspectors, we often see hazards that homeowners (and buyers and sellers) miss. For instance, small, contained spaces sometimes pose hazards if a child could get in and become trapped. Every corner of your house needs to be safe – or inaccessible to children – because kids will explore! Make sure your children have the safest home possible.
These safety suggestions are just scratching the surface, though. Spend 5 minutes with our child safety video. You’ll get in-depth information about the hidden hazards in the home and learn how to decrease these dangers. You can also go here to read a free whitepaper about common safety defects we find during home inspections.