Apr. 4, 2006
As child safety is my favorite topic, I’m going to revert back to it just so we keep it fresh in our minds. If there is anything I lose sleep over, it’s the topic of injury (any kind) to my child (and other children too of course, but pretty much mainly mine!).
I now realize that minor injuries (scratches, superficial hematomas and other non-life threatening, non-emotionally scarring injuries) are kind of o.k. and have let my son sort of ‘experiment’ to teach him this.
For example, he has squished a finger or two in the closet door and once (after I removed the gate) touched the gas fireplace glass.
What I will not allow, as much as some folks insist I should, is the potential for a life-threatening injury. I will not allow my son to fall down the stairs, escape out of the house, fall head-first into a toilet, put choking-sized objects in his mouth and let heavy objects fall on his head.
I did have a ‘professional baby-proofer’ come into my home and help me with the cabinet locks and installation of the fireplace gates. What I realized after this experience is that I honestly think I should do this as a living. I swear I saw more than she did and basically paid her (a lot) to drill holes for me.
So, I’ve come up with what I truly think is a list of very important, but not always thought of, safety items to consider and why:
I may be the only one in the world who does this (though I hope not) but I secure (with strong tape) the battery compartment of not only every single remote control in the home, but desk clocks, toys, battery-operated toothbrushes, monitors and anything else that requires batteries.
How many women come in to your home and plop their bag right on the floor? This should immediately be picked up and moved out of reach. There could be medications, breath mints, coins and whatever else in there just a grab away from a baby or toddler.
A friend told me that her 2 year old son pulled a sewing machine onto his head which required a hospital stay. This should have never been within reach, including the cord which could be pulled.
This and any other heavy items (TV’s, coffee pots, etc.) shouldn’t be on any table, bookcase or shelf that could be shaken gradually moving the machine to the edge.
It goes unsaid that bookcases and other tall or heavy pieces of furniture should be properly bolted to the wall.
Beyond the obvious (blind cords), windows that open with a screen or not are extremely dangerous:
According to the CPSC, thousands of children in the United States every year die or are injured in falls from windows. Most of the children injured or killed are under the age of 5.
I have these wonderful ‘window blocks’ that basically adhere to the window pane ensuring the window cannot be opened more than 4 inches (or smaller if you choose).
They are super easy to install on almost any window and cost about $8.00/ea. I can't seem to find them on-line as I’m writing this though. I’ll look harder if anyone is interested. OR, if you want I’ll take a pic of it and e-mail to you.
This kind of goes along with purses but how many folks leave their gym bags on the closet or bedroom floor? Any coins or locker keys in there? What about shoe boxes?
Do you store anything in them that may also be in your closet where a child could reach? And of course coats. What’s in the pockets? Coins, keys etc.
Fortunately this is not completely unknown but I am shocked to hear that many people assume if their 2 year old has teeth, they can’t choke on a grape.
What I think they’re forgetting (or just don’t feel like taking the time to do it) is that most kids that age don’t choke due to a lack of chewing ability but rather if they are not securely seated when eating they can get distracted, running around, see a toy or another child and choke because they are not paying attention.
Just this last weekend a friend of mine said her daycare allows whole grapes for her son's class (he's 18 months!) and she's furious.
The recommended age for no longer needing to cut up food is 4.
The plastic ones are not really safe as not only can they pose a choking risk but people forget to replace them after using the outlet. e.g. vacuuming.
I like the swivel outlet covers for three reasons:
Children under age one most often drown in bathtubs, buckets, or toilets
~ (Brenner et al. 2001).
CPSC has received reports of 16 children under age 5 who drowned in toilets between 1996 and 1999.
Maybe not a high incidence of death but one is enough for me. I bought one of these for each bathroom in the house and they are fabulous!
Not only do they deter a child from possibly falling in but also tossing stuff into the toilet.
Though I’m sure most children are taught not to play with and/or eat cat litter or anything else in the litter box. I don’t want take the chance for experimentation.
We have a newly built home (up to all codes) with a large deck, railing all around it, slats not too close together etc. Sound safe? Not to me.
The 'safe' railing is sitting perpendicularly on the top of about two feet of deck wall. There is a nice small ledge that a child could easily place a foot on (easier than climbing out of a crib) and scale right over the ‘safety’ railing. Secondly, there are deck chairs, table and a grill too. Perfect for climbing on in order to climb over.
Do I dare mention when my husband thought a nice cooler full of chilled bev’s sitting right up against the deck wall was okay? I asked him what he saw and he said ‘a cooler’. I said I saw ‘potential child’ death.
So, of course, my child is NEVER allowed even to look at that deck without an attached adult.
So, this is just a short list of my top safety concerns. I hope everyone will just take that extra bit of time it takes to ensure children are safe.
This post is not intended to be an all-inclusive list nor do I represent myself as a professional in this area. Just a mom. A very safe mom not willing to take chances.
I would love hear about others' not so obvious child safety tips!