Whether you’ve got a litter of kids or a baby on the way, childproofing your home is a preventative measure no family should go without. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends a number of safeguards to make your home an environment free from hazards. Here are five of those tips to help maximize child safety at home.
Window Guards. Open or unlocked windows can be hazardous for any member of your household. To avoid injury or worse, install a window guard with sturdy bars securely fastened to the frame. And be wary of window treatments that operate with a cord–younger children especially may think the dangling string is a toy. If possible, go cordless.
Interior Gates. To restrict access to stairs or areas that are off-limits, install a safety gate. Before purchasing a product for your home, measure the access point to ensure the gate fits securely. The CPSC advises using gates without a V-shape design so a child won’t become trapped.
Locks and Latches. Prevent children from entering barred rooms, closets or cabinets with locks or latches that only adults can access. This is particularly crucial for under-sink cabinets and kitchen drawers, where chemicals, like bleach, and sharp objects, like knives or scissors, are typically stored.
Outlet Plates and Covers. Outlets without plates present a danger to both children and adults, so be sure plates are secured to every outlet in the home, especially ones near the floor. Outlet covers, which are inserted into the prong slots, can deter small fingers from accidental shock or kids from sticking objects into the outlets. Try removing the covers to test them–they can potentially become a choking hazard if they come loose.
Pool Safety. There’s a reason why pools require additional insurance coverage; they present a much higher risk than many other features at home. Pools must be enclosed with a fence no lower than four feet high, with a gate that self-closes and self-locks. Inspect the fence to ensure there are no gaping holes. In addition, the CPSC encourages a comprehensive “protection layer” that includes an alarm and a power safety cover.