Approximately 2 1/2 million children are injured or killed by hazards in the home each year. The good news is that many of these incidents can be prevented by using simple child safety devices on the market today.
Any safety device you buy should be sturdy enough to prevent injury to your child, yet easy for you to use. It's important to follow installation instructions carefully. In addition, if you have older children in the house, be sure they re-secure safety devices.
Remember, too, that no device is completely childproof; determined youngsters have been known to disable them.
You can childproof your home for a fraction of what it would cost to have a professional do it -- luckily, safety devices are easy to find. You can buy them at hardware stores, baby emporiums such as Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby, supermarkets, drug stores, home and linen stores, and through mail order catalogs.
Safety Devices Every New Parent Needs
Safety Latches and Locks
Use safety latches and locks for cabinets and drawers in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas to help prevent poisonings and other injuries. Safety latches and locks on cabinets and drawers can help prevent children from gaining access to medicines and household cleaners, as well as knives and other sharp objects.
Use safety gates to help prevent falls down stairs and to keep children away from dangerous areas.
Safety gates can help keep children away from stairs or rooms that have hazards in them. Look for safety gates that children cannot dislodge easily, but that adults can open and close without difficulty. For the top of stairs, gates that screw to the wall are more secure than pressure gates.
Door Knob Covers and Door Locks
Use door knob covers and door locks to help prevent children from entering rooms and other areas with possible dangers.
Door knob covers and door locks can help keep children away from places with hazards, including swimming pools.
Use anti-scald devices for faucets and shower heads and set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to help prevent burns from hot water. Anti-scald devices for regulating water temperature can help prevent burns.
Use smoke detectors on every level of your home and near bedrooms to alert you to fires. Smoke detectors are essential safety devices for protection against fire deaths and injuries.
Window Guards and Safety Netting
Use window guards and safety netting to help prevent falls from windows, balconies, decks, and landings. Window guards and safety netting for balconies and decks can help prevent serious falls.
Corner and Edge Bumpers
Use corner and edge bumpers to help prevent injuries from falls against sharp edges of furniture and fireplaces. Corner and edge bumpers can be used with furniture and fireplace hearths to help prevent injuries from falls or to soften falls against sharp or rough edges.
Outlet Covers and Outlet Plates
Use outlet covers and outlet plates to help prevent electrocution. Outlet covers and outlet plates can help protect children from electrical shock and possible electrocution.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector
Use a carbon monoxide (CO) detector outside bedrooms to help prevent CO poisoning. A carbon monoxide (CO) detector can help prevent CO poisoning. Consumers should install CO detectors near sleeping areas in their homes. Households that should use CO detectors include those with gas or oil heat or with attached garages.
Window Blind Cords
Cut window blind cords; use safety tassels and inner cord stops to help prevent children from strangling in blind cord loops. Window blind cord safety tassels on miniblinds and tension devices on vertical blinds and drapery cords can help prevent deaths and injuries from strangulation in the loops of cords. Inner cord stops can help prevent strangulation in the inner cords of window blinds. You can get window blind cord safety information and free tassels by calling 1-800-506-4636 or visiting www.windowcoverings.org
Door Stops and Door Holders
Use door stops and door holders to help prevent injuries to fingers and hands. Door stops and door holders on doors and door hinges can help prevent small fingers and hands from being pinched or crushed in doors and door hinges.
Use a cordless phone to make it easier to continuously watch young children, especially when they're in bathtubs, swimming pools, or other potentially dangerous areas.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission