Question about the most common dangers to children in and around homes.
Q: "We have a 6 month old baby, our first. Where should we begin to childproof our home? What are the biggest risks to a toddler or younger child? Thanks. Sue."
Answer: According to the USA Today, July 5, 2012 report, the Consumer Protection Product Safety Commission lists drowning, poisoning and tipping furniture as most common dangers. You may recall the baby crib recall. The cribs our parents used for us and we used for our children and grandchildren can no longer be sold. Remember the double release locks you pushed with your foot and the side dropped? The Commission received reports and does research to determine which products are safe.
Drowning, poisoning and tipping furniture are considered the most common risks to young children. Cordless window blinds are recommended to reduce risks of strangulation.
The COSC recommends that whatever safety devices you buy for do-it-yourself installation or have installed by handymen or professional childproofers meet voluntary industry standards or are recommended by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association.
Common sense tells you that poisons, medications, dishwasher detergent, etc. must be stored in secure places whether that place is a cupboard or a closet.
Here are a few suggestions based upon our customers' purchases:
- Install child safety gates at the top and bottom of open stairways. Our customer favorites are the Cardinal Stairway Special Child Gate 27-42.5 Inches wide BLACK. These gates are made especially for stairways and can be installed at a 30 degree angle. Suggested mounted height: 29.5". Actual gate height: 27.75" (1.75" space from floor). Mount no higher than 4" off floor for toddler safety. (Gate height then is 31.75"). Bars are spaced 2.75 inches apart. Extensions are available. Also available are mounting kits for wrought iron, square posts and round post installations. This means few or no holes drilled into your railings or posts.
- Door locks to keep children out of closets, from opening entrance or basement doors, etc. Safe Home sells a variety of locks. The most popular are the Patio Door Guardian SLIDING Door/SLIDING Window Lock in WHITE that works to keep sliding windows and sliding doors closed until you want them opened. For doors that swing, the most popular are the Door Guardian locks that come in silver nickel , brass, antique brass, chrome and white.
- Window guards and window stops are very popular especially when you can save on AC by opening windows. Window guards are mandatory in some states and cities when children age 10 and under are present. Check your local codes. The Guardian Angel removable white telescoping window guards are the most popular for those who want a powder coated guard that removes entirely for cleaning. The John Sterling window guards are painted, available in white or black, and come in fixed and swing open models. Window stops come in permanent and removable versions. Window Wedges attach with velcro: use on windows that slide open either sideways or up and down. Window Guardian Window Locks and Window Guardian window locks require screws and add security, too.
- Furniture safety straps and cabinet and drawer latches. Children are injured or killed every year by furniture, TV's, microwave ovens, etc. that topple over on them. Cabinet and drawer latches help keep children out of drawers and cabinets that may contain anything from flour (what a mess!) to poisons. See Safe Home Products for ideas.
- Deck netting and xbalcony guard products. Many openings in older outdoor decks are over 4 inches. Similarly balconies inside homes often are over 4 inches. Children or pets can slip through and die or suffer injuries. We sell black and silver deck netting for outside use and PET grade sturdy plastic balcony guard for indoor use.
- Sliding door safety outlet covers for electrical outlets keep children safe and keep heat or cold out or in, depending upon the season. Most parents and grandparents choose thessliding door outlet covers that also insulate. Cover Plug Outlet Plates plates cover unused outlets and can be wallpapered or painted. We also sell Sockit Lockits, insert difficult for young children to remove from electrical outlets.
- Edge cushioning and corner covers are available for narrow and wide edges and corners. Hearth padcomes in many colors. Attaches quickly to hearth edges. Keeps young children from falling onto hard fireplace hearth edges. Install hearth padding with or without a metal backing.
These are childproofing products that are easily installed and may save the life of your child or grandchild or a visiting child.
Thank you for your questions.