Babies reach, grasp, roll, sit, and eventually crawl, pull up, "cruise" along furniture, and walk. At many stages in the first 2 years or so, they're able to move around, tumble over, and get into things in one way or another. And toddlers will try to climb but may not have the coordination to react to certain dangers. They'll pull themselves up using table legs; they'll use bureaus and dressers as jungle gyms; they'll reach for whatever they can see.
So the potential for a dangerous fall or a tumble into a sharp edge can happen in nearly every area of your home.
Here are ways to help prevent kids from getting hurt in your home:
If you're expecting a baby or you already have a child, it's a good idea to:
To check your childproofing efforts, get down on your hands and knees in every room of your home to see things from a child's perspective. Be aware of your child's surroundings and what might be potentially dangerous.
Completely childproofing your home can be difficult. If you can't childproof the entire house, you can shut the doors (and install doorknob covers) to any room a child shouldn't enter to prevent wandering into places that haven't been properly childproofed. For sliding doors, doorknob covers and childproof locks are also great for keeping little ones from leaving your home. Of course, how much or how little you childproof your home is up to you. Supervision is the very best way to help prevent kids from getting injured. However, even the most vigilant parent can't keep a child 100% safe at all times.
Whether you have a baby, toddler, or school-age child, your home should be a haven where your little one can explore safely. After all, touching, holding, climbing, and exploring are the activities that develop your child's body and mind.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: August 2013
|National SAFE KIDS Campaign The National SAFE KIDS Campaign offers information about car seats, crib safety, fact sheets, and links to other health- and safety-oriented sites.|
|National Safety Council The National Safety Council offers information on first aid, CPR, environmental health, and safety.|
|U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) This federal agency collects information about consumer goods and issues recalls on unsafe or dangerous products.|
|American Red Cross The American Red Cross helps prepare communities for emergencies and works to keep people safe every day. The website has information on first aid, safety, and more.|
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|TOYSAFETY.net This site, which is a project of the National Association of State Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) provides toy safety information for consumers.|
|Emergency Contact Sheet The best time to prepare for an emergency is before it happens. Fill out this sheet, and post it near each phone.|
|Household Safety Checklists Young kids love to explore their homes, but are unaware of the potential dangers. Learn how to protect them with our handy household safety checklists.|
|Childproofing and Preventing Household Accidents You might think of babies and toddlers when you hear the words "babyproofing" or "childproofing," but unintentional injury is the leading cause of death in kids 14 years old and under.|
|Babysitting: Dealing With a Head Injury What should you do if a child you're babysitting has a head injury? Our tips can help you be prepared.|
|Falls Instruction Sheet Although most result in mild bumps and bruises, some falls can cause serious injuries that require immediate medical attention.|
|Broken Bones Instruction Sheet Broken bones are not uncommon in children - especially after a fall. A broken bone requires emergency medical care. Find out what to do in this printer-friendly version.|
|Dealing With Falls Falls are mostly a problem for young children and old people, but they can happen to active teens. Find out what to do - and when to get medical attention - by reading this printable instruction sheet.|
|Playground Safety Following these safety guidelines can make neighborhood playgrounds entertaining and safe for your kids.|
|Concussions The term concussion conjures up the image of a child knocked unconscious while playing sports. But concussions can happen with any head injury, often without any loss of consciousness.|
|Getting Help: Know the Numbers The best time to prepare for an emergency is before one happens. Make sure your family knows emergency phone numbers - and make sure your kids know how to place a call for help.|
|Bedrooms: Household Safety Checklist Use these checklists to make a safety check of your home, including your nursery, child's room, adult's bedroom. You should answer "yes" to all of these questions.|
|Babysitting: Dealing With Falls What should you do if a child you're babysitting falls? Our tip sheet can help you be prepared.|
|Walls & Floors, Doors & Windows, Furniture, Stairways: Household Safety Checklist Use these checklists to make a safety check of your home, including your walls, floors, furniture, doors, windows, and stairways. You should answer "yes" to all of these questions.|
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