As a pediatrician in Wake Forest, NC, one question I run into again and again from young parents is this:
“How do I child proof my home?”
Most parents are worried about bad falls or injuries from their home but what they really need to be worried about is the possibility of poison or choking. With that in mind, here are 5 steps you can take to childproof your home.
1. Get Cleaning Supplies Out of Reach
Whether in your cabinets or stored in the garage, you need to make sure a child can’t get the following products:
- All-purpose cleaners
- Dishwashing detergent (liquid, powdered, or single-use packets or tablets)
- Drain openers and toilet bowl cleaners
- Furniture polish
- Laundry detergent (liquid, powdered, or single-use packets or tablets)
- Antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid
- Gasoline, kerosene, and lamp oil
Any of these things are incredibly dangerous for a child. Most child poisonings happen when a parent or caregiver is home but not paying attention. The best way to keep these out of the hands and mouths of your kids is:
- Keeping everything in the original packaging
- Installing safety latches on doors that lock when you close the cabinet door.
2. Secure Your Cosmetics and Medication
Beyond cleaning supplies, your bathroom should be secure. That means watching out for cosmetics like:
- Nail polish removers
- Perfume and aftershave
Also make sure any medications are out of reach. That means secure your:
- Prescription medicines
- Over-the-counter medicines
- Vitamins and supplements
All of these things can be poisonous to a child, especially in excess. Make sure everything stays in the containers it was bought in (because they’re often child-proof) and utilize child latches where ever you can.
3. Sweep for Small Objects
Young children are always investigating things. They use all of their five senses to try to understand the world. Often that means touching, smelling and tasting an object that’s foreign to them. That’s not only dangerous in terms of poison but in terms of choking. Make sure there isn’t loose change or small parts of anything that could be choked on. This includes looking to make sure battery covers are secure on remote controls, key fobs, musical books, and greeting cards.Also make sure small button batteries are not accessible, they can cause severe injury or death if ingested.
4. Check for Poisonous Plants
Certain houseplants may be harmful. According to NC Poison Center, some of these plants include azaleas, daffodils, and lily of the valley. Call Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222 for a list or description of plants to avoid. It may be best to eliminate houseplants until the children reach a certain age or, at the very least, keep all houseplants out of reach.
5. Move the Alcohol
Alcohol can be very poisonous for young children. Don’t forget to empty any unfinished drinks as soon as possible. For all other drinks, make sure to keep it out of reach,implement door latches , and even lock it up.
What Else Can You Do?
These are only a couple things you need to do to childproof your home, but are a great start. For more tips check out Healthy Children’s full catalogue of safety advice. In addition, don’t forget to take advantage of us at Rainbow Kids Pediatrics. If you want to know more about what other safety measures you need for your child from a Pediatrician in the Wake Forest NC area, give us a call at 919-435-1099 and schedule an appointment. I’d love to talk more about what Rainbow Kids Pediatrics can do to promote lifelong health with your little ones.