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Hazards in your home

Find them before they find you

Browse our growing list of things you can do to prevent injuries in and around your home. We’ve divided it into four key areas for reference but remember, similar tips could apply to any room.

Tip-prone Furniture Secure dressers (even short ones), televisions, bookcases, and other tip-prone furniture to the wall with restraint straps. Furniture straps are available at many baby specialty stores, available online, and through Charlie’s House. Need assistance finding or buying furniture straps? Call 913-375-7123 or visit www.charlieshouse.org.

Stairwells and Railings Install safety gates at the top & bottom of stairs. Block off any railing a child could climb over. Make sure that hand railing is secure, space between balusters should be less than 3.5″. Make sure that the steps are clutter free.

Floor Coverings Fix loose floor coverings & replace flammable rugs. Secure scatter rugs to avoid trips and falls.

Electrical Outlets Plug in electrical outlet covers/safety caps. Do not use electrical extension cords or overload the electrical outlet.

Pets Provide a childproof enclosure for pets.

Fireplace Use a fire screen and a barrier to keep children away from fire.

Purses/Shoes Store purses and shoes out of the reach of the child and out of the entryway.

Smoke Alarms Test smoke alarms & change batteries every 6 months.

Window Coverings Install window blind cord wind-ups or secure window and drapery cords out of reach of children.

Furniture Corners Place corner protectors on sharp furniture corners.

Appliance Cords Shorten cords on appliances that could be pulled down.

Door Knobs Use door knob covers.

Choking Hazards Find & remove choking hazards – anything that can fit inside a toilet paper roll.

Houseplants Remove any poisonous plants.

Trash Containers Cover all trash containers securely.

Emergency Contacts and Evacuation Plans Keep a list of emergency numbers near the phone Plan & practice your emergency evacuation plans.

Ashtrays If you smoke, use large, deep ashtrays & empty ashes in a metal container.

Guns and AmmunitionIf you have a gun in your home make sure that it is stored unloaded and locked with ammunition stored and locked separately.

Fire Extinguishers Purchase a fire extinguisher & store near exit door.

Cleaning products and poisons Secure & store poisons (cleaning products) out of the reach of children.

Large Appliances Firmly affix stove/refrigerators to the wall or floor.

Sharp Utensils and Matches Place knives & matches out of children’s reach.

Cabinets Lock/latch cabinets that children should not get into.

Outlets Near Water Install a ground fault circuit interrupter near water sources.

Stoves Apply stove & burner covers – use back burners first. Exhaust to outside for gas powered stoves. Use oven-locking latch to prevent child climbing and tip over. Never leave stove unattended while cooking.

Emergency Contacts Keep an emergency phone number list on refrigerator: Include your address, phone numbers of parents, grandparents, doctor and nearest neighbor.

Hot Foods and Liquids Never carry hot liquids or food near a child or while holding a child.

Medications and Cosmetics Lock away all medications, toiletries, cosmetics, razor blades & any other hazardous items.

Mats Use slip resistant mats in the bathtub & on the floor.

Electrical Appliances Store away electrical appliances when not in use.

Water Taps Cover the water taps.

Hot Water Set hot water heater to below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to test the bath water temperature before placing a child in the bath.

Toilet Use a toilet lock to prevent toddlers from falling into water.

Bathtub Children six & under should always be supervised in the tub. Empty the tub immediately after use. Store soaps and shampoos out of reach of children.

Outlets Near Water Install a ground fault circuit interrupter near water sources.

Exhaust Vent An exhaust vent is recommended to prevent excessive moisture and mold.

Books and Toys Keep books & toys down low where children can reach them without climbing. Remove any sharp toys. Toybox should have lid that stays open to avoid entrapment.

Crib Area Move the crib away from any windows. Ensure that crib rails are less than 2 3/8 inches apart & that there are no gaps between the crib & mattress. Sheets should fit tight. Do not hang items above the crib (mobiles, etc.) Use a firm mattress without bumper guards, comforters or pillows. No stuffed toys while infant is in crib or bassinet. Cribs should be approved by the Juvenile Products Manufacturer’s Association (JPMA). Do not place electrical monitors inside or near the crib. For more info, please visit http://cribsafety.jpma.org

Changing Table Place all products for changing baby within reach. Secure strap to dresser if using a changing table pad. Use safety straps to keep the baby in place while on a changing table.

Smoke and Fire Safety Ensure that baby’s room is smoke-free. No burning candles. A smoke alarm that works- should be tested every 6 months.

Sleep Safety Do not wrap or bundle an infant in blankets to avoid blankets from covering face. Infants should be placed in a sleep sack on their back to sleep.

Beds and Bunk Beds Do not place bed near window. If 2nd story room, window guards should be installed to prevent falling. Children less than 6 years should not sleep on the upper bunk bed. Bunk beds should always have a railing and steps. Bunk beds should always have a railing to prevent falling, there should be less than 3.5″ gap between railing and edge of mattress to avoid suffocation.

Windows Secure excess cords from window blind to prevent strangulation. If 2nd story room, an emergency escape plan and ladder is encouraged.

Space Heater/Fire Safety Do not use a space heater. Do not burn candles. Test all smoke alarms every six months.

Tip-prone Kid’s Furniture TV, chest of drawers and bookcases should be secured to wall stud to avoid tip overs.

Dryer Filter Keep dryer filter clean and free of lint.

Detergents/Supplies Store detergents and cleaning supplies out of reach of children. Keep buckets or containers out of reach of children.

Outlets Near Water Install a ground fault circuit interrupter near water sources.

Floors/Spills Keep floor dry and clutter free.

Garage Door Garage door should have a safety eye to prevent accidental trapping.

Poisons/Chemicals Garden chemicals, automotive products & fuel should be locked in a cabinet out of reach of a child.

Tools/Equipment Garden equipment, tools, and lawn mowers should be stored out of reach of children.

Floors/Spills Keep floor dry and clutter free.

Flammable Materials Papers and other flammable materials should be stored outside the house when possible.

First Aid Keep/Install a first aid kit in garage.

Lighting Install a nightlight and adequate lighting.

Vehicles Always walk around the car to check for toys, equipment or children. Keep car doors locked to keep children from playing inside the car and possible entrapment. Place your purse or cell phone or briefcase in back seat to avoid unintentionally leaving child unattended.

Supervision Do not leave children unsupervised.

Play Sets/Swings Play sets should be inspected for broken and missing parts. Playground equipment should meet the JPMA approval. Parents should secure swing sets to ground to avoid tip-overs.

Bikes/Wheeled Toys Children should use protective gear when riding wheeled play toys.

Wading and Swimming Pools Never leave children unattended. Pools should have fencing and locking gates to prevent access.