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Toddler Safety: Eight Important but Overlooked Ways to Keep a Baby Safe in Your Home

Accidents are the leading cause of death among toddlers, so keeping your home baby-proof is an essential part of being a parent, grandparent or anyone who has babies and toddlers who visit their home.

toddler safety

It takes just a few minutes for you to baby-proof your home and keep your children, grandchildren or youngest visitors safe.

While most people are aware of the major risks, such as keeping toxic chemicals and medicines out of the reach of children, there are many other, less known ways that children can get hurt.

If children are ever in your home, here are the top things you can do to make sure that they stay out of harm's way.

1. Cover Your Electrical Outlets

Most electrical outlets are located in areas of the home that children can easily reach, and close to 4,000 injuries associated with electrical outlets are treated in U.S. emergency rooms every year, says the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). About one-third of these occur when kids looking to explore insert metal objects like keys and hairpins into the outlets.

Since you can't move your outlets away from your kids, it's imperative to cover your outlets with the Sliding Decora Outlet Cover (for outlet covers requiring two screws, as in most newer homes) or the Standard Sliding Outlet Cover (for outlet covers requiring only one screw in the middle, as in most older homes.)

These easy-to-install outlet covers are spring activated, so they automatically cover outlets when any plug is removed. This means kids can't insert objects or fingers into the outlets at any time.

2. Keep Your Windows Secured

Thousands of young children are killed or injured from falling out of windows every year, according to CPSC. Since keeping your windows closed is an unpleasant solution (especially during the summer months), be sure to always supervise children, including, and especially, when they have access to an open window, and consider using a window safeguard to control the height or width of your window openings.

3. Get Rid of Standing Water

Children 4 years old and younger are at the highest risk of drowning. Most drownings involving children happen when a child is left alone in a bathtub or falls into a pool, but any standing water, such as in a bucket or toilet, can pose a risk.

Toilets are especially risky, since many people are unaware that a curious toddler, when going in for a closer look, can fall in to a toilet headfirst and drown.

Toilet lids should always be kept down, but to prevent clever toddlers from opening them up we recommend the inexpensive and simple-to-install toilet lock that won the "Show Off" award for ingenious, practical products from the Juvenile Products Manufacturer Association. This clever toilet lock that works with any type of toilet seat is made of strong plastic that, in its locked position, keeps the toilet lid securely closed, preventing little ones from accessing the bowl.

Grown-ups can swing the toilet lock back to an "off" position and open up the lid easily, without fumbling.

Enviro-Rite Non-Toxic Cleaning Line: Safe Cleaning Products for a Healthy, Kid-Safe Home

Enviro-Rite Non-Toxic Cleaning Line

Unlike most cleaning solutions on the market that contain harsh detergents, synthetic chemicals and harmful additives, the Enviro-Rite cleaning line is completely safe -- they contain no hazardous ingredients, petrochemicals, perfumes, dyes or animal byproducts, so they're safe for you and your children.

And, they're incredibly effective for all of your cleaning needs:

  • Enviro-Rite Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner: Intended for use on both carpet and upholstery, EnviroRite Carpet Cleaner is an excellent vegetable-based cleaning concentrate that replaces all petroleum-based formulations.

  • Enviro-Rite Dish Washing Liquid: Kitchen Sink Dishwashing Liquid makes quick work of dirty dishes and contains soy's natural moisturizing qualities to make washing dishes smoothing to your hands!

  • Enviro-Rite Spot Lifter: Spot Lift is an excellent, ready-to-use carpet and upholstery cleaning solution that makes house cleaning easy, effective and hazard-free!

  • Enviro-Rite Glass & Plexi Cleaner: Clearly Clean is a ready-to-use, high performance cleaning solution made with naturally occurring, renewable ingredients.

Check out the entire Enviro-Rite Non-Toxic Cleaning Line Now!

4. Use Natural Cleaning Supplies

Most cleaning supplies contain hazardous chemicals that can easily be transferred from your floor onto little bare feet and hands, and right into a toddler's mouth. If you have kids around, and for your health too, you should only use non-toxic cleaners (especially on the floors).

Looking for a natural line of cleansers? Enviro-Rite has an excellent line of safe cleaning products -- they contain no hazardous ingredients, petrochemicals, perfumes, dyes or animal byproducts, and they have products for all of your cleaning needs, from carpet and upholstery cleaner to spot lifters.

5. Remove Choking/Strangulation Hazards

Choking is a common cause of accidental death among infants under 1 year old. To protect infants from choking:

  • Avoid all foods that could get stuck in your child's throat, such as popcorn, grapes, raisins, nuts, hard candies, nuts, cut-up hotdogs, etc.

  • Never let a child of any age eat or suck on anything while lying down.

  • Keep floors, tables and cabinet tops free from small objects that could be swallowed (such as rings, small batteries, coins, nails, deflated balloons, etc.).

  • Make sure that all cords from draperies and blinds are secured safely out of toddlers' reach.

6. Be Careful While Cooking

Cooking is one of the most hazardous activities when it comes to burns, as a child could reach into a hot oven out of curiosity or pull down a pot of boiling water from a stovetop. It's extremely important to always supervise kids in the kitchen, and be sure to turn pot handles toward the inside of the stove (even adults can accidentally bump into a protruding pot handle, causing it to spill on a child).

7. Protect Tiny Fingers From Slamming Windows and Doors

Kids' tiny fingers can be crushed or even amputated if they get caught in a door, particularly the hinge side, or window.

In fact, a study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine found that in children aged 4 and younger, three out of four finger amputations resulted from fingers that were caught, jammed or crushed in an opening or closing door.

That's why highly recommends installing our durable foam Finger Guards on your doors, particularly on all doors that children may be opening and closing. They're simple to install, as they grip to the side or top of just about any doorframe (we recommend installing them higher up, out of kids' reach), and they keep doors from slamming.

8. Block Off Stairways to Prevent Falls

According to the National Safe Kids Campaign (NSKC), in 2001, 121 children aged 14 and under died from unintentional falls, and in 2002, more than 2.3 million children aged 14 and under were treated in hospital emergency rooms for fall-related injuries.

child safety in the home

Get down on your knees and look around your home from HIS level, removing anything in your path that he could get into (because he WILL get into it).

Says the NSKC, more than 80 percent of fall-related injuries among children ages 4 and under occur in the home. Furniture, stairs, windows, playgrounds -- even baby walkers -- pose a fall risk to small children.

To keep toddlers safe, be sure to block off stairways, windows or other dangerous areas using The Gateway® To Go. It uses a patented, pressure mount system rated #1 by a leading consumer reporting organization to keep infants away from accident-prone areas.

You can also use corner guards to prevent serious head traumas that can occur from falling against sharp corners of furniture. You can get a 4-pack of Super Soft Gel Corner Protectors for just $2.99, and they're simple to install, so there's really no reason not to have them.

Recommended Reading

Automobile Back-Over Accidents: How to Avoid a Surprisingly Prevalent & Serious Accident

Reading Aloud to Kids: The 12 Benefits of Reading Books Out Loud to Children of All Ages

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