Keeping children safe in the home is number one priority and this month, September is National Child Safety Month. Sadly however, according to government figures 2-1/2 million children are injured or killed by hazards in the home each year.  Injury in the home is the leading cause of death in children and young adults. According to the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were approximately 2,800 children, ages one to 14 years, that died from an unintentional injury. These are sobering facts, so what can you do to try and keep your child safe?

 Childproofing is a major way to keep your small child safe.  Every room and area of your home should be evaluated for dangers.  The following is a list of items that can be used to help in your childproofing efforts:

  • 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. They are easy to install and only cost about $2 a piece.
  • Anti-Scald Devices To prevent burns you can add anti-scald devices to  faucets and shower heads and set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.. Anti-scald devices for regulating water temperature can help prevent burns but may need to be installed by a plumber. If you have your own home and hot water tank, set the temperature to 120 degrees or slightly lower.  Typical cost of an anti-scald device: $6 to $30. Unless you have to have a plumber install it
  • Safety Gates help prevent falls down stairs and to keep children away from dangerous areas by installing Safety gates keeping 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."   A gate may run from $ 9 - $40. Gates should meet safety standards and display a certification seal from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association http://www.jpma.org/.  If you have an older safety gate, be sure it doesn't have "V" shapes that are large enough for a  child's head and neck to fit into.
  • Mini-blind cords can cause strangulation. Information on tassels and mini-blind ties or modification can be found by calling 1-800-506-4636. Protect Children From Window Cord Strangulation: Never place a crib or child's bed near a window, Never put a chair, sofa, bench, or bookcase near a window with a dangling cord, Get rid of loops on two-corded horizontal blinds. 
  • To help prevent electrocution of children adding outlet covers and outlet plates is a simple thing. Outlet Covers and Outlet Plates are a non expensive way to ensure their safety, be sure the outlet protectors cannot be easily removed by children.  Typical cost for a box of outlet covers is less than $2.

Even with the best safety devices, nothing replaces supervision. Children can get into danger easily and surprisingly quickly, and these are just a few of the many household hazards to children.  However, no parent can be there every moment, so these inexpensive items can help prevent injures and offer a little extra piece of mind.