It is not a well-known fact that accidents are one of the leading causes of death for young kids. Now that our children are spending more time at home due to the intermittent lockdowns, we need to make sure that our homes are a clean and safe place for them to spend the majority of their time.
Since it’s in children’s nature to throw caution to the wind, we need to do all that we can to protect them from themselves. While we can’t fully control everything that happens, there are things we can do to lessen the risks of injury or illness significantly.
Here are some steps to creating a home where children can run around safely and healthily.
Childproof your home.
The areas and items in your home that need childproofing include:
- The kitchen.
- Kids can get burned by touching stoves or burners. Install a plastic stove guard, which can help prevent them from touching things they shouldn’t.
- Keep sharp utensils like forks and knives and glass tableware inside cabinets and drawers they don’t have access to.
- Cushion the sharp edges of tabletops and counters.
- The bathroom.
- Don’t forget to unplug appliances when not in use, especially hot hair tools. Keep bottles of medicine in the cabinets.
- The stairs.
- Set up a secure and stable stair gate with an extension to prevent falls. Gates should be installed on both the top and bottom of every staircase in your house.
- The living room.
- Hide breakable items, like vases and glass furniture.
- Cushion furniture with sharp edges, like tables and dressers.
- The bedrooms.
- Keep windows secure with child locks.
Secure doors to unsafe rooms.
If there are rooms in your homes that can be potentially hazardous to small kids, like a woodshop, make sure that they’re unable to open them using doorknob covers. These covers make it difficult for little hands to grip and turn the knobs.
Doorknob covers are also useful for keeping kids from accidentally going outside.
Safeguard your cabinets.
Doorknob covers can also be used to safeguard cabinets filled with items that may cause injury to a child. Another option for cabinets is an interior latch or an external lock. Whatever you decide, make sure to add extra layers of protection to your cupboard.
Set up a pool fence.
Pool laws vary from state to state, but regardless of where you live, it’s always smart to set up a pool fence to prevent your kids from jumping into the water while no one’s looking.
Address any possible fire hazards.
- Check to see if the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working.
- Make sure there are no loose or tangled wires in the house.
- Clean dryer vents.
Good hygiene is paramount in the time of corona, especially since COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets.
- Ensure good indoor air quality. If your child is asthmatic, it may help to prevent triggers by ensuring good indoor air quality.
- Always keep your home dust-free and have it deep cleaned regularly.
- Reduce indoor allergens and other pollutants by investing in an air purifier.
- Inspect your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
- Clear out every duct and filter and consider replacing them every year; more if you own pets.
- Disinfect vacuum vents.
- Opt for household cleaners and disinfectants that don’t use harsh chemicals. A baby’s skin is sensitive, and cleaning products may inadvertently cause allergies, eczema, and other adverse health effects.
- Look for specific keywords when choosing a household cleaner. Words like “nontoxic,” “green,” “phosphate-free,” and “solvent-free” are your friends.
- DIY your cleaning agents. Baking soda and soap can be useful for kitchens, while diluted vinegar can clean windows.
- Spray high-touch surfaces like sinks, countertops, toilets, and faucets with a mild disinfectant cleaner and let it sit for fifteen minutes.
- Replace sponges regularly.
- Before putting in a new bag in the trash can, spray down the sides and wipe them thoroughly.
- Make a habit of going through your refrigerator and pantry and doing a purge. Throw away expired products and leftovers regularly. Get rid of products you haven’t used in years or those that have toxic chemicals.
- Check your children’s rooms and do a purge of items or toys they won’t miss. Old plushies and stuffed animals can be a breeding ground for dust bunnies.
Anything for Our Kids
Always having our children by our side during this pandemic doesn’t mean all the anxieties will go away. But if we do our part in protecting them not from a place of paranoia but foresight, we might find a semblance of peace and assurance.