A couple of weeks ago we discussed choosing the right window coverings for your growing family. Because cords pose a potential strangulation hazard to small children and pets, cordless treatments like shutters, motorized roller shades, and cordless cellular shades are recommended for homes where small children are present because they enhance safety by eliminating cords.
What other potential dangers lurk in other rooms of the house? From the nursery to the bathroom, we have some great tips to heighten safety for your small children and pets for every room in your home.
Keep cribs, changing tables, toy chests and chairs away from window areas to restrict access to window coverings and reduce the risk of accidental strangulation. This step can also minimize the risk of your child falling through the window. Some parents opt to install window guards. Furthermore, in the event that the window glass breaks, positioning furniture away from the window reduces the risk of injury from broken glass. If you choose this option, look for American Society for Testing and Standards (ASTM) compliant window guards.
The Living Room or Den
Again, be sure to use cordless window coverings. Cordless Cellular Shades have no accessible cords. The shades are lowered and raised with the touch of a finger. These shades are also excellent insulators so rooms will stay cozy in the winter and cool in the summer. Plus, room darkening features can be added to encourage midday naps for infants and toddlers in any room of the house including the living room.
It’s a good idea to place floor lamps so they’re out of your child’s reach and put table lamps towards the back of the table and wrap the cord around the table leg to keep it from dangling. Any appliances in the reach of your little one can be a potential strangulation hazard and should be moved.
Decorating a kid’s bathroom can be really fun with all of the great products that improve safety while adding to a great design! Rule number one is to always supervise a child while in the bathroom. Never leave a child unattended.
Choose colorful, non-skid bathmats in fun shapes to prevent slip and fall accidents on wet floors. Drain and faucet covers are important, too. They help keep your little one from bumping against the metal edges of your bathroom. We found some really cute ones that resemble a spouting hippo at kaboodle.com.
Be sure to watch the temperature of your child’s bathwater as well. In order to be certain the water isn’t too hot or too cold for your child, we recommend choosing this kid-friendly gadget, the Safety Bath Time Audible Thermometer and Alarm by Aquatopia we found at www.kidsafeinc.com.
Remember to get cupboard and toilet locks as well. While most of these are fairly plain, www.kidsafeinc.com offers the KidCo Toilet Lock, a bestseller that’s easy to open for adults and prevent children from getting to harmful under the sink products or toilet water.
Additional Safety Tips
If you live in a home where you can’t install cordless window treatments, be sure to secure dangling cords out of reach with cord cleats, which are inexpensive and readily available at most home improvement stores. If your window treatment has a continuous cord loop, make certain that the cord is properly held in a cord tensioner that it’s securely fastened to the wall.
Customers looking to retrofit window coverings rather than replace their older treatments can order free retrofit kits through the Window Covering Safety Council website at www.windowcoverings.org or its toll-free phone line at 1-800-506-4636.
Another safety option that parents may want to consider is security film. The film helps maintain the integrity of the windowpane during a storm, earthquake or other impact such as wind-driven tree limbs or flying foul balls from the neighborhood game.
While these are just some tips to help ensure the safety of your home, there are many more that will help parents avoid the unexpected. Be sure to stay up to date with common safety tips by reading your favorite parenting blogs, books and magazines. BabyCenter.com is a resource with tips from experts and peers among many of the product sites listed here.