Nothing is more important to you than the safety of your children, and whether you’re prepping your house to bring home baby or you’ve already got kids in residence, you might be looking for ways to make your home a little more secure when it comes to the health and safety of your family, particularly the youngest members. But even though you might start with adding a home alarm system, staving off outside threats could be secondary to negating potential hazards in the home, where your children spend most of their time. Luckily, you’re not reinventing the wheel. Plenty of parents before you have gone down the same road and found easy and effective ways to keep kids safe at home. Here are just a few simple solutions you might want to try.
- Gates, locks, and latches. There are certainly areas that you want to remain off-limits to your children. And there are a number of easy and inexpensive fixes. If you want to keep kids away from hazards like staircases, kitchens, and bathrooms, where myriad dangers lie, then gates are a good option. But you might also use a variety of door locks and latches, as well as guards for the knobs on the stove, in order to protect children from potential harm. If you don’t want them ingesting toxins, playing with knives, or burning themselves on the stove, these locks and latches can help to secure the hazards in your home. You might also want to add bumpers and safety straps for furniture, especially once kids start to crawl, climb, and walk.
- Outlet covers. Electrical outlets are right at kid level, so it’s no surprise that your curious tots might want to check them out. Unfortunately, this could mean inserting foreign objects and getting themselves electrocuted. Plastic outlet covers are cheap and easy to install, you can find them at your local hardware store (or online), and they’ll keep kids away from this potentially fatal hazard.
- Fire safety. Having smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in the house is a good place to start when it comes to fire safety. But as kids get older you need to make sure that they know how to use these tools and you should implement a fire safety plan for the family to exit the structure and meet up in the event of a blaze. You’ll also want to run drills to make sure that children are prepared so they don’t hesitate when they smell smoke, hear the alarm, or wake in the middle of a house fire.
- Green cleaners. When most people think about hazards in the home, their cleaning solvents never even enter the equation. But when you think about it, traces of these chemicals in the air and on surfaces could have a negative impact on the health of your kids, who are prone to putting everything they touch in their mouths. Plus, they are more sensitive to the effects of chemical toxins, whether ingested or inhaled. So think about switching to natural, green cleaners for maximum safety when you clean.
- Pool safety. Not every home has a pool, and even if you happen to have one, your state may not have laws in place that require you to put in fencing, locking gates, and specialized drainage equipment to protect kids from drowning. But if you’re a concerned parent, you might want more than a simple play yard to stop your kids from wandering into the water. Of course, your best line of defense is attentiveness, so make sure you never leave your kids unattended with access to the pool.