Hundreds of American children die every year from household accidents. Thousands more are injured. Accidents happen and kids get into things they shouldn’t, even when you do your best to keep them safe. Here are a few tips for childproofing your home that could help.
- Look at your home through a child’s eyes
This is no joke. Simply getting down on you belly in the living room or crawling around the hallways can give you tremendous perspective. If you look for things to grab and tug and stick your fingers in (if they were 10 times smaller), you’ll see safety hazards you never would have imagined from five and a half feet or more off the ground.
- Cover the outlets
Sticking fingers or toys in light sockets is wildly enticing for children. It’s because we’re all born with an innate curiosity. What’s in that little hole? If it’s 110 volts, that’s a dangerous question. Consider installing slide-covered electric sockets and taping over any unused sockets on extension cords and power strips. If you put covers on outlets, make sure they fit snugly and will be hard for little fingers to pry out.
- Be careful with space heaters, wood stoves and fireplaces
Electric space heaters can be extremely hot to the touch and will burn children’s delicate little skin. A simple welt can be a lifelong scar. If children are playing near large wood stoves or open fireplaces, that roughhousing can result in catastrophic burns. Make sure children are educated about the dangers of those heat sources, and gate them off when possible.
- Make sure windows are secure
A surprising 3,000 American children are injured every year when they fall out of windows. It’s extremely important to make sure windows close and latch securely. Curious kids can climb on furniture, open a window and peak just a little too far outside.
Many of the hazards of the home are fundamental flaws. From faulty electrical outlets to windows that won’t close and furnaces that don’t work, the dangers could all be eliminated if the root problems were corrected.
The Energy Resource Center can help. We conduct energy efficiency audits and make free home efficiency upgrades for income-qualified families in the Denver Metro Area, the Pikes Peak Region and the San Luis Valley.
Contact us for help making your house easier to childproof for safety.