Important Fact: Unintentional injuries accounted for more than half of all deaths among U.S. children
Having a child is one of the greatest things that you can do in life. It sounds like a cliché, but as every parent can attest to, it is absolutely true. This is a creation unlike any other, a living, breathing person that is part of you.
For those reasons, it is important to make sure that your child is protected and safe from any dangers that could do them harm. The dangers definitely evolve as they grow older and begin to learn how to do things on their own.
Even a little bit of a slipup in terms of how you monitor your children’s safety can lead to a catastrophic result.
Everything changes when they start crawling
When you have an infant, being a parent is fairly easy. You feed them and bathe them, change their diapers, but you can account for them at all times because they can’t really go anywhere. This makes keeping tabs on them as easy as possible and you never have to ask where they are.
But when they begin to crawl, everything changes. They are mobile now and they could wind up anywhere at any time, leaving you scrambling to make sure that they are not getting into something that they shouldn’t be.
As your child begins to crawl and, eventually, walk, things change drastically. No longer can you just assume their whereabouts; they could be anywhere. And part of that means they could be literally anywhere, including in things that are detrimental to their safety.
Sharp corners, electrical sockets, drawers, cabinets, and a million other things become interesting to them as they begin to traverse the space and learn about everything. Unfortunately, they do not know how dangerous some of these things can be and this can lead to dangerous situations where your child is put in a situation where they could be injured or worse.
Worst of all, it is not reasonable to expect any parent to watch their child 24 hours per day. Children are good at waiting for a quiet moment to get into something that they are not supposed to and no matter how good a parent you are, this will happen to you.
Thankfully, there are a number of security measures that can be put into place to make your home safer for your now mobile child. Think about adding the following safety devices to your home to give yourself a bit of peace of mind.
Infant security window lock
These are not necessarily essential, but they can be depending on how adventurous your child is. Most windows will come with a screen behind them (meant to keep out bugs), providing an extra layer of separation between your child and the great outdoors.
But it is a good idea to keep the windows locked to prevent your child from accidentally closing their fingers in the window. When they are younger and their fingers are smaller, it is important to keep them from getting into positions where their fingers can be crushed or smashed.
And just because the screen is in place, that doesn’t mean that your child cannot be hurt. Especially on windows that are off the ground more than a story, you want to make sure that your child cannot go crashing through the screen. These screens are lightweight and not meant to stand up to much weight; even something as small as a toddler could break the screen and go tumbling out of the window. This can result in serious injury and even death. Take the proper precautions because you would much rather be safe than sorry.
It isn’t the most catastrophic of situations, but it is still a situation where your child could be hurt or upset. Don’t give them that chance by adding an infant security window lock so that they can’t get windows open by themselves.
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Infant security drawer and cabinet doors lock
These might be the most important security tools that you can implement in your home. It might not seem like a big deal, but there are a number of different things in those cabinets and drawers that can seriously injure your child or worse.
Think about it: your cabinets might hold larger pieces of cookware or appliances. These might be more difficult to move due to their size compared to the size of your child, but that’s something they could pull onto themselves, causing injury.
Even worse, if you are like most people, you probably keep all of your cleaning chemicals under your kitchen sink. If you don’t implement the locking mechanisms to keep those cabinets shut, your child could get to those dangerous cleaning chemicals. There have been far too many horror stories of a young child getting access to these dangerous cleaning chemicals and ingesting them. This can lead to serious issues and even death if consumed; don’t give your child the opportunity to get their little hands on those chemicals.
That’s not even mentioning all of the sharp utensils that we typically keep in our kitchen drawers. Things like scissors, knives, and other cutlery can be dangerous in the hands of a toddler or infant that doesn’t know any better. These are items that you can keep confined and protected in a relatively simple manner and you don’t want to ignore this.
If for nothing else, it is a convenience thing. Even if your children are not getting into dangerous chemicals, they could pull out cookware and get it everywhere. This means hassle and inconvenience for you in having to pick up and put away the things that your child has pulled out. It’s unpleasant all around.
Desk Table/Edge Corner Protection strip
One commonality among infants is that they are uncoordinated. This is normal given they are just beginning to walk and move, learning more about their balance and how to move about as we all do without thinking.
Because of that lack of coordination, kids will walk into things all the time. Bumps and bruises are a normal part of being a kid and the surest way for them to learn to be careful near certain things or surfaces. The best way to know about how something hurts is to hurt yourself on those things. This is certainly the truth when it comes to sharp angles and edges throughout your home.
Having those protection strips can eliminate those bumps and bruises, especially during those very uncoordinated months. Instead of hearing a thud and a cry, your child will simply bounce off of it and then continue about their business.
Like almost anything else on this list, it is just as much about your peace of mind as it is their protection. When you don’t have the proper safety precautions in place, you will spend most of your time worrying about whether or not they are protected. Don’t do that to yourself.
Limit the bumps and bruises – including potential for them to cut themselves or put an eye out – by using the protection strip to keep them moving around your home safely. This gives you a level of peace of mind that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Furniture Anti-Tip Straps
Most of your furniture will likely be too heavy for your child to tip over. Things like couches and chairs might not be of great concern in regards to tipping. But things like tables or smaller pieces of furniture are definitely a concern and something that your child could accidentally tip over onto themselves.
Every 17 minutes, a piece of furniture, TV or appliance tipping over causes an injury in the U.S
These straps ensure that, while the furniture can tip, it won’t come tumbling down on top of your child. This is just another way to keep your child from getting hurt as they explore your home and learn how to walk and balance themselves.
These might not be necessary for huge pieces of furniture that even you can’t seem to tip over if you tried; they are essential for lighter pieces of furniture that a little bit of a lack of balance could result in tipping.
You can never be too safe when it comes to your children as they learn and grow and having protection for both them and your furniture are definitely helpful things to have.
Electrical Socket Protection
These are perhaps the most important child safety features to have in your home. While all of the others certainly are important and will keep your child protected (mostly from themselves), having electrical socket protection is essential.
Your children at that age, as mentioned previously, will put their hands in everything as they learn what things are and what they do. Unfortunately, this is true of electrical sockets at well. The small slots at their level make them appealing to children and they can have devastating results.
Far too many children have found themselves burned or killed due to unprotected electrical sockets. Thankfully, as times have changed and children’s safety features have with it, there have been developments to keep your child safe around those electrical sockets.
Often simple plastic fixtures that fit right into the slots, they will keep a buffer layer of plastic between your child and that dangerous electricity. You can let your child walk around in confidence knowing that the electrical sockets are covered and that they are no longer at risk of electrocuting themselves.
Best of all is that these are very inexpensive to get, so you can buy enough of these to fit every accessible electrical socket in your home. It would be awful to take away access to all but one outlet and that is the one that your child gets hurt on. Stock up on as many of these as you can get and you will not have to worry about this danger occurring again.
When they grow up
As your child gets older and begins to grow, they will find their coordination, balance, and begin to understand the things that they should not be touching. It can take a while when they are toddlers and with frustrating results, but they will learn eventually.
As they continue to grow, you can also communicate far more easily with them, telling them what is and isn’t okay as they continue to grow and learn. That part of the process is far easier to implement than when they do not understand “yes” and “no” so much. You won’t have to worry about them sticking their fingers into electrical sockets or anything like that.
When they grow up and get older, you also don’t have to bubble warp your home. You can take off any additional padding, unlock the drawers and cabinets, and take off any of the protective features that you may have implemented around your home.
Obviously, there is no set age when this can happen. It is up to you to decide when your child is responsible enough to not get into areas that they are not supposed to and it is important for you to know when they have a concept for what is right and wrong.
But until your children get to an age where they can be relied on to make the right decisions for their safety, the burden is on us as parents. Keep your children protected and safe by locking up all of the dangerous areas in your home and giving yourself the peace of mind that you need when caring for your children.
Most of the items on this list are fairly inexpensive and easy to use, so you can protect your children and not have to stress every single second of every day about where they are and what they are doing. That feeling will come around later in life when they are old enough to go out and do things on their own, but you shouldn’t have to have that feeling while they are still very young.
Take an assessment of your home and determine what areas need the most change. You will be glad that you took the steps to protect your home from dangers to your children and allow yourself to breathe a sigh of relief instead of feeling as though you have to watch your child every hour of every day.
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