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Home Safety for Children
Survey your home for things that may pose a danger to your child. Perform the survey from the child’s point of view, sit on the floor in the middle of each room and look for hazards.

Garbage and recycling materials should be stored in covered containers.

Keep purses closed and out of reach of children, a purse can be the source of medicines and matches.

Set your home's water heater temperature at no more than 120 degrees to prevent scalds and burns.

Decals placed at a child's eye level on sliding glass doors can help to warn them when the doors are closed.

Buy a special guard to keep a patio door locked to prevent your child from opening it and slipping out. This will also help protect your door from the outside and prevent unwanted entry.

Be aware that any open door, can pose a hazard.

Use safety doorknob covers on doors that you don't want your child to open. Attach a bell to the door so you can hear it when it does open.


Install window guards and adjust them so they cannot open more than 100 millimeters (four inches).

Don't leave furniture or anything that can be climbed upon near a window.

Install safety glass in large windows and French doors so they won't shatter if a child falls into them.

Window covering cords are one of the products most frequently associated with strangulation of children. The younger victims, usually between 10 to 15 months of age, typically are in cribs which have been placed near window covering pull cords. Older children become entangled in cords while climbing on furniture to look out the window. Entanglement and strangulation can occur when a child is alone in a room for only a short time. Parents should eliminate the loop in two-corded horizontal blinds, and pleated and cellular shades.

Halls and Stairways

Safety gates should be installed at all open stairways when children are in the area. If a gate is not available, place a barrier of some kind in front of the stairway that a child cannot climb over. Safety gate slat openings should be small enough that a child’s head cannot fit into it to avoid a strangulation danger.

Make sure pressure gates are firmly in place and can't be dislodged by the child. Place the safety gate bar latch on the side farthest from your child's reach.

Furniture and Accessories

Put away any unstable or rickety furniture your child could pull over. Fasten to the wall high bookcases or other tall pieces that your child may be able to pull down.

Keep all drawers firmly closed so your child can't shut fingers in them or climb on them.


All electrical outlets that are not in use should be covered with safety plugs to prevent children from trying to insert something into exposed outlets.

Keep appliances up high, out of children's reach. Do not use extension cords unless absolutely necessary. Be sure that the extension cord is rated for the amount of electricity that you will draw through it.

Shorten all cords with cord shorteners. Shortening extension cords will reduce the risk of tripping.

The Kitchen

Keep all cleaning products, pesticides, and other poisonous substances locked up.

Use unbreakable dishes for feeding a young child.

Keep step stools out of reach.

Clean up spills immediately to prevent slips and falls.

Keep boxes of plastic kitchen wraps and plastic grocery bags out of your child's reach to avoid suffocation.

Don't use long phone cords that a child could trip on or wrap around their neck.

Turn the handles of pots and pans toward the back of the stove or counter. Use the back burners for cooking whenever possible.

Don't let your child play at your feet while you are cooking.

Use a stove guard to prevent your child from reaching the stove burners.

If your child can reach the controls on the front of the stove, try installing stove knob covers.

Never leave a boiling pot or sizzling skillet unattended on the stove.

Teach your child that the oven is 'hot' and not to touch.

Install an appliance latch on appliances such as the microwave, refrigerator and dishwasher.

Keep the dishwasher closed when not in use. There are many sharp edges that can hurt a young child inside.

Store appliances, such as electric toasters and can openers, where your child can't reach. A child can be electrocuted if they attempt to plug them in.

Countertops, Cupboards and Drawers

Never sit your child on the countertop. Besides the danger of a fall, they can easily reach for items that can harm them.

Use cabinet and drawer guard latches to keep certain reachable cupboard doors and drawers off limits to your baby.

Highchair Safety

Be sure the tray is locked and always secure the restraint system.

To prevent pinching watch your child's fingers and hands as you slide the tray in place.

Never leave your child alone in a room in a highchair.

Keep the highchair a safe distance from tables and countertops. A child can tip it over by pushing off with hands and feet.


Toy boxes may trap a child inside. Toy box lids should be lightweight and removable. Latches should be removed and ventilation holes added. Hinged lids should include a support that will hold the top open.

The crib mattress fits the side of the crib snugly and toys, blankets, and pillows are removed from the crib.


Bars should be no more than 2-3/8 inches apart with no splinters or cracks in wood.

Mattress adjustability with a minimum rail height of 22 inches when the mattress is at its highest position and the rail is at its lowest. Be sure the mattress is firm and fits snugly against the frame. You should not be able to get two fingers between the mattress and the crib sides.

Use bumper pads with at least six ties so that they fit snugly against the entire perimeter of the crib. Ties should be no longer than 12 inches to avoid strangulation.

When your child can stand in the crib, you need to remove the bumpers. These can be used to climb on to get out of the crib.

When placing the crib in the room, make sure that your child cannot reach lamps, electrical cords, shades or blinds.

Don't place the crib near a window especially on the second level of a house.

Don't leave rattles, teethers or squeeze toys in the crib. They can become wedged in child's mouth causing suffocation.

Bassinets and Cradles

A bassinet or cradle should have a wide base and be sturdy and stable.

Do not use a basket not intended to be a bassinet. Loose wicker can poke and hurt a baby.

The Changing Table

Look for a table that is sturdily built, with high sides and a safety strap. Always keep the child fastened and never turn your back, even for a second.

Keep diaper-changing supplies out of baby's reach.

If you keep a diaper pail near the changing table, be sure it has a locking lid. If it does not, keep it where your child cannot get at it.

The Bathroom

Never let children lock a bathroom door. Go in the bathroom with young children to assure this doesn't happen. If the door does become locked it should be possible to unlock it by inserting a pin into the hole on the outside of the doorknob. Know where the unlocking pin is located. When not in use, keep the bathroom door closed and the toilet seat and lid down. If at all possible, place a guard on the lid to lock the toilet seat.

Place adhesive non-slip stickers in the bathtub and shower to prevent falls.

Use soft, inflated spout covers to save child from bumps and bruises.

Never leave a child under 5 in a tub by themselves.


All medications should be kept in a locked and very secure place at all times. Remember that a high place is not always a secure place and they should be kept out of sight and out of reach.

Make sure all medicines are in child-resistant containers.

Don't save old prescription medicines. Contact a pharmacy or the Solid Waste department for disposal. Do not wash medication down the sink or flush in a toilet. Drugs are chemicals, and can place additional strain on a water purification system. Before throwing a medicine container in the trash, ensure it is empty. This reduces the danger of people retrieving used medication from the trash.

Don't tell your child that medicine tastes "like candy" or is good. It's better to have to struggle to get them to take it than to tempt them to take more when they don't really need it.

Store children's vitamins in a safe place also. Overdosing on vitamins is among the top phone calls received by Poison Control Centers.

Infant Swings

Never leave your child unattended in either an infant seat or and infant swing.

Use a head support for infants.

The two most common types of injuries from swings are entrapment of a child's head when it gets caught between the edge of the backrest and the bars from which the seat hangs and falls, when the back of the seat collapses.


Walkers could be dangerous, use of these devices should be done under very careful supervision. If you have a walker with wheels, the wheels should be removed. New style walkers (standers) are designed to be stationary.

A playpen can inhibit your child's exploration and environmental stimulation so you don't want to place your child in one all day.

The sides should be high enough to contain an 18-month-old child (Approximately 20 inches). Be sure that your child cannot lower the side of the playpen.

Never tie a toy across the top of the playpen, it is a strangulation hazard.

Keep the railing secured tightly; a child can become entrapped in the pocket formed between the floor edge and the mesh siding and suffocate.

Fire safety tips

Parents should review with the family the fire escape plan with alternate exits and the designated meeting place outside once everyone has escaped the fire.

Plan ahead. Know how to get the children out of the bedrooms if smoke or fire blocks the front or back doors. Make sure you know in advance what all your escape options are. Show children how to crawl under smoke low to the ground to get better air near the floor. If clothing were to catch on fire, stop, drop, and roll, to extinguish the flames. Under no circumstances are the children to go back into the house once they escape.

Parents should also verify that all smoke detectors are in working condition. Insure that at least one approved smoke detector is installed and operating near the sleeping area. Check that the home has a functioning carbon monoxide detector.

In case of a fire, sound the alarm, yell "FIRE" as loud as possible. The family members should get out of the house first, then call 911 from a neighbor’s home.

Smoke kills. Shut doors to stop it from advancing. If possible, close the door to the area where the fire is.

Check all doors and doorknobs for heat before opening them.

In the kitchen, smother a pan fire with a lid. Never use water.

Keep matches and lighters locked up and away from children.

Flammable liquids must be securely stored in their original containers.