12 Steps for Child-Proofing Your DeLuca Home
Each year, children are injured by hazards in and around the home. The good news is that the risk of injury can be reduced or prevented with caution and the use of child-safety devices.
Constant vigilance is the key to keeping your little ones safe.
- Never leave a baby alone for even a minute unless he is in his crib or play pen.
- Be extra alert in the kitchen and bathroom, which are prime accident spots.
- Remember that a small child doesn’t see things the same way you do. To examine your home’s hazards, take a crawling tour. Take note of what’s on the floor – dog bowls, electrical cords, dust bunnies, etc.
- Use the stove’s back burners and turn pot handles toward the back of the stove to keep hot pots and pans out of the reach of children. Keep kitchenware and appliances out of reach and away from the edge of counters and tables.
Child-safety devices are easy to find and are relatively inexpensive. But to be effective, they need to be sturdy enough to hinder access, yet easy for you to use. And they must be properly installed. Here are some recommendations from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Safety Gates help prevent falls down stairs and keep children from entering rooms and other areas with possible dangers. Look for gates that children cannot dislodge easily, but that adults can open and close without difficulty. For the top of stairs, only use gates that screw to the wall.
- Doorknob Covers and Door Locks also help prevent children from entering rooms and other areas with possible dangers. Be sure the doorknob cover is sturdy, and allows a door to be opened quickly by an adult in case of emergency.
- Safety Latches and Locks for cabinets and drawers in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas help prevent poisonings and other injuries. Even products with child-resistant packaging should be locked away and kept out of reach.
- Outlet Covers and Outlet Plates help protect children from electrical shock and possible electrocution. Be sure outlet protectors cannot be easily removed by children and are large enough so that children cannot choke on them.
- Cordless Window Coverings. Window blinds that have an inner cord (for raising the slats of the blinds) can be pulled by a child and form a potentially deadly loop. Replace these types of blinds immediately.
- Window Guards and Safety Netting help prevent falls from windows, balconies, decks, and landings. Check to make sure they are secure and properly installed and maintained. Be sure at least one window in each room can be easily used for escape in a fire if you have window guards.
- Wall & Floor Anchors.Injuries occur when children can climb onto, fall against, or pull themselves up on bookcases, dressers, shelves, desks, chests and ranges. Anchor furniture, TVs and ranges to the floor or attach them to a wall. For added security, free-standing ranges and stoves should be installed with anti-tip brackets.
- Pool and Spa Barriers.A barrier that completely surrounds the pool or spa must include a 4-foot tall fence with self-closing, self-latching gates. If the house serves as a side of the barrier, doors heading to the pool should have an alarm, or the pool should have a power safety cover.