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Man changing the battery in a smoke detector

Safe at Home

By Dr. Christy Fontana, Premier Pediatrics

Young children are naturally curious and don’t understand the dangerous consequences of their actions. Minor bumps and bruises here and there are all a part of growing up, but there are things you can do to prevent more serious injuries at home. Here you’ll learn about the important role you play in keeping your little one safe at home.

Keep in mind safety-proofing your home is an ongoing task. As children grow and develop, it’s important to re-evaluate the environment and to stay up-to-date on safety hazards and product recalls.

General Home Safety Guidelines

  • Make sure electrical cords are in good condition and out of sight.
  • Cover unused electrical outlets, including power strips, with protective devices.
  • Post 911 and other emergency phone numbers such as Poison control and your child’s physician near land-line telephones. Program emergency telephone numbers into all of your phones.
  • Make sure there are no accessible cords on the front, side or back of curtains or window blinds. All cords should be out of reach of children to avoid possible strangulation.
  • Don’t let children under 5 play with objects small enough to fit inside a toilet paper tube.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children and teach your children that these items are not toys.
  • Keep medicine, vitamins, alcohol and perfumes in a locked drawer or cabinet.
  • Keep electronic devices that contain coin-sized “button” batteries – such as key fobs, hearing aids, calculators, toys and greeting cards – out of your child’s reach.
  • Make sure household plants are non-toxic.
  • Make sure stairs, walls, railings, porches and balconies are sturdy.
  • Make sure hallways and stairwells are well lit and free of clutter.
  • Keep your playground equipment and home, inside and out, free of any peeling or chipping paint.
  • Keep basement and attic doors closed and locked.
  • Lock up rifles and guns, and keep them unloaded. Lock up ammunition in a cabinet separate from guns.
  • Determine your best escape routes in the event of a fire or other emergency. Make sure escape ladders are available on every floor. Practice the fire escape plan with your family.
  • Teach your children to “stop, drop and roll” if their clothes catch on fire. Practice together.
  • Never open a window unless window guards are installed or window stops are engaged to keep windows from opening greater than 4 inches. Screens will not keep a child from falling out of a window.

Find additional home safety guidelines, including safety checklists for the kitchen, bathroom, nursery and more in our Parent’s Guide to a Safe Home or see our list of safety tips designed to keep kids safe at home or on the go.

About CHKD Medical Group

About CHKD Medical  Group Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.