If you have young children at home, you’re probably trying to keep them as safe as possible by removing visible risks and hazards. Still, more than 3.4 million kids experience an unintentional household injury every year. Here are five ways to keep your home as safe as possible for kids.
1. Switch to natural, homemade cleaners
Traditional store-bought cleaning products can contain dangerous chemicals and substances that irritate the skin and respiratory systems, cause allergic reactions, and contribute to indoor air pollution. Avoid chemical cleaners altogether by substituting them for natural cleaning solutions like baking soda and vinegar. Baking soda can be used as an air freshener, a toilet cleaner, and as a way to unclog drains.
Like baking soda, white vinegar is also a solid household cleaner. It can be used to clean shower doors and windows, pewter, copper, dishes, and microwaves. Mixed with olive oil, it becomes a great stainless-steel cleaner and when combined with baking soda and lemon oil, it becomes an all-purpose cleaner.
2. Make sure all appliances are in excellent working condition
Broken electrical appliances can pose a serious safety hazard for kids. If you notice that your dishwasher keeps shorting or your washer and dryer are having problems, get a licensed electrician to make the necessary repairs as soon as possible. Have them install safety switches, which will cut power off to avoid electrocution, use power point covers to prevent electrical shock, and replace all electrical appliance cords if you find that they’re worn.
3. Secure all windows
Every year, more than 4,000 kids end up in the emergency room from a window-related accident. Ensure that all of the windows in your home have screens, window guards, and window stops (the stops prevent windows from opening more than four inches). In addition, make sure there aren’t any cords dangling down from window blinds or shades and place all cribs and toddler beds away from windows. Blinds with looped or chained cords can become strangulation hazards for young children.
4. Prevent falls
Falls are the most common cause of injuries in every age group. To prevent falls around the house, install safety guards across stair entryways, use low-power night lights to help your children navigate in the dark, remove all clutter from floors to prevent tripping hazards, and make sure all windows and doors are locked tightly.
Some people like their homes to have a “lived in” appearance. While this might impart a sense of coziness, it can prove overstimulating to a child with autism. Instead, you’ll want to eliminate as much clutter as possible and carefully organize your home to create a safe, stress-free space for your child to thrive in.
Kay Carter is a writer from Raleigh, NC. When she isn't writing about home improvement or the latest wellness trends, she enjoys, reading, traveling, and practicing photography. She is affiliated with House Method.