Five Quick Tips to Make Your Home Safer for Holiday Visitors
Madison, Wisconsin - If you have children visiting you for the holidays, it's time to get down to their level.
"One of the best ways to identify potential harms to children who will be visiting over the holidays is to look at your home literally at their level," said Nicole Vesely, Safe Kids coordinator at American Family Children's Hospital. "If you look from a child's viewpoint, you will see the potential dangers that are within arm's reach of little ones."
Vesely pinpoints five key safety issues to think about before you host for the holidays.
Outlets and cords
Take a look at all the electrical outlets in your home to determine which need outlet covers. "Outlet covers are inexpensive and easy to install and can give you peace of mind while little ones are in your home," said Vesely. She also recommends checking for cords that should be secured.
Children love to explore and sometimes they see a tall dresser or an entertainment center as a fun challenge. Vesely said that furniture should be attached firmly to the wall or that children should not be left unattended around these dangers. "Don't put anything that would appeal to kids on top of tall dressers or entertainment centers," said Vesely. "Things that appeal to children could entice them to climb up furniture. Tipping furniture is deadly to children."
Vesely said to check bathrooms and kitchens to make sure all medications are stored out of children’s reach. In addition, all chemicals and poisons should be locked up or stored out of reach. “Don’t forget things like dishwasher and laundry items that can pose dangers to children,” said Vesely.
Gates, which can be purchased inexpensively, should be placed at the top and the bottom of the stairs. The gate at the top of the stairs should be hard mounted to the wall. Vesely said the gate at the bottom of the stairs can be pressure mounted so that children can’t climb stairs.
Safe Kids Worldwide says that more than 2800 kids are treated in emergency rooms each year after swallowing “button batteries,” lithium batteries that are found in remote controls, watches and children’s toys. “Secure remote controls, car key fobs and other things that have button batteries,” said Vesely. Singing greeting cards also are powered by button batteries and should be kept out of the reach of children.
And, of course holiday decorations including trees and lights, can pose safety risks for kids. Vesely recommends supervising children around trees and lights.
Date Published: 12/03/2014