- Potential dangers are not just inside the house but in the surrounding storage and outdoor areas as well.
- Tools, chemicals, fertilizers, and fuels are all hazards in the garage that should be safely stored away.
- Outdoor areas are the leading cause of accidental drownings, major burns, and falls.
When you create a safe home atmosphere, free of harmful boundaries – everyone benefits. The kiddos can roam around the house and even in outdoor spaces to explore, observe, and learn. Childproofing offers parents peace of mind, so make sure you have given all your rooms deep thought about danger and throughout the milestones. Different ages equal different dangers. Here are tips for your storage areas and outdoors.
Garages and Sheds
- Install childproof latches on doors that lead to the garage and basement.
- Automatic garage doors are handy but do pose safety hazards. Make sure the child is far away from the door when you push the button to close it. Most garage doors have safety sensors, but many malfunction every year.
- Place all chemicals, fertilizers, and fuels in locked metal cabinets or storage bins.
- Heavy garden tools, such as shovels, rakes, and hedge trimmers should be secured out of reach. Power tools should be unplugged with safety guards placed on sharp blades.
- If you use plastic bins for storing household objects like holiday decorations, avoid creating a tower that can topple over. Instead, use shelving systems for safety and convenience.
- Store sports equipment and toys low to the floor.
- Make sure to close trash and recycling containers tightly. It’s best to invest in trash cans with attached locks. Be careful with plastic garbage bags around children, as these pose a suffocation problem.
- Keep all vehicle doors locked. A child should never play inside a parked car as they can become trapped or disengage the brake.
- Outdoor sheds typically contain too many hazards to list or guard against. Keep you shed locked at all times. If you use a shed to store your children’s outdoor toys, use a separate area to store the lawn mower, gasoline, chemicals, nails, hatchet, etc.
Parents should pay as much attention to the outdoor spaces as inside the home. There are many potential hazards outdoors too!
- Accidental drowning is the leading cause of death for children under the age of five. Backyard pool safety should top the childproofing list outdoors—even kiddie pools. Use multiple layers of protection around your pool—door locks, fences, safety covers, and alarms.
- Can you identify all the plants and shrubs around your landscape? Some are poisonous and can be fatal if eaten.
- Barbeques and fire pits are a major cause of burns to young children. If you cannot gate off a hot area, put another adult in charge of supervision while you cook.
- Playground equipment should be checked regularly for wood splinters and loose screws or bolts. Fall spaces around the equipment should be soft enough to break a child’s fall. Consider using wood or rubber chips instead of grass.
For more tips on childproofing your home, visit the first posts in our series:
Childproofing the Kitchen and Bathroom
Childproofing Your Bedrooms
Childproofing the Living Spaces and Laundry Room
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