Child Home Safety

Child safety in the home: 10 safety products no parent can do without

With both babies and toddlers, it is important to eliminate as many hazards in your home as possible. There are several inexpensive items on the market to help you do this, many of which can be found in the baby section of your local department store.

Use child safety gates at the top and bottom of all staircases, and be sure they're installed correctly. There are many different kinds of gates, each functioning differently; find the one that suits your needs best.

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A bath thermometer can be used to prevent scalding. Many thermometers come in fun shapes and designs. Water temperature at the hot-water heater should also be set at no higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Childproof locks should be used for all cupboards and drawers to help prevent pinched fingers.

Childproof window guards can be placed on all windows, upper- and lower-story, to keep them from opening no more than 4 inches. This prevents falling from a window, which can cause serious injury.

You may secure large objects, such as dressers and entertainment centers, to the wall with furniture straps. These are sturdy straps that fasten large furniture pieces to the wall without the straps even being noticed.

Always make sure there are a suitable number of carbon monoxide and smoke detectors throughout the house. Change the batteries and test them every six months to ensure they are in good working order.

Snap-on outlet covers fit easily into the outlet for protection against things such as pennies or small toys being pushed into them. For outlets that are frequently being used, try sliding outlet plates. They replace the existing plate and have a slide cover over the outlet that closes immediately when the appliance is removed.

In the kitchen, you can use stove-knob covers or locks to prevent fire hazards and burns.

Similar to the stove-knob covers are doorknob covers. The installation is quite simple, since they just snap snugly over the doorknobs and must be pinched at two pressure points while the knob is being turned in order for the door to be opened.

Toilet locks can be used in your bathroom(s) to prevent your toddler from playing in or toppling into the water. This is a major drowning hazard most parents don't think about.

These are just a few of the safety devices available to parents. To ensure safety in your home, get down on your toddler's level. By looking at things from his or her point of view, you may be able to prevent future accidents.

By Brandi Borland