Safety Devices to Protect Your Children in Home

InterNachi Article – Edited by InspectMyhouse

About 2.5 million children are injured or killed by hazards in the home each year. The good news is that many of these incidents can be prevented by using simple child-safety devices on the market today. Any safety device you buy should be sturdy enough to prevent injury to your child, yet easy for you to use. Also, it is important to follow installation instructions carefully. 

In addition, if you have older children in the house, be sure they re-secure safety devices. Remember that no device is completely childproof; determined youngsters have been known to disable them. You can childproof your home for a fraction of what it would cost to have a professional do it. And safety devices are easy to find. You can buy them at hardware stores, baby equipment shops, supermarkets, drug stores, , and through online and mail-order catalogs.

Here are some child-safety devices that can help prevent many injuries to young children.

Safety Latches and Locks

Use safety latches and locks for cabinets and drawers in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas to help prevent poisonings and other injuries. Safety latches and locks on cabinets and drawers can help prevent children from gaining access to medicines and household cleaners, as well as knives and other sharp objects.

Look for safety latches and locks that adults can easily install and use, but that are sturdy enough to withstand pulls and tugs from children. Safety latches are not a guarantee of protection, but they can make it more difficult for children to reach dangerous substances. Even products with child-resistant packaging should be locked away out of reach; this packaging is not childproof. 

Door Locks

Use door locks to help prevent children from entering rooms and other areas with possible dangers, including swimming pools.

To prevent access to swimming pools, door locks on safety gates should be placed high, out of reach of young children. Locks should be used in addition to fences and alarms. Sliding glass doors with locks that must be re-secured after each use are often not an effective barrier to pool access.

Doorknob covers, while inexpensive and recommended by some, are generally not effective for children who are tall enough to reach the doorknob; a child’s ingenuity and persistence can usually trump the cover’s effectiveness.

Safety Gates

Use safety gates to help prevent fall from stairs and to keep children away from dangerous areas. Look for safety gates that children cannot dislodge easily, but that adults can open and close without difficulty. For the top of stairs, gates that screw into the wall are more secure than “pressure gates.” 

If you have an older safety gate, be sure it does not have “V” shapes that are large enough for a child’s head and neck to fit into.

 

Anti-Scald Devices

Use anti-scald devices for faucets and shower heads and set your water heater temperature to 120° F to help prevent burns from hot water. A plumber may need to install these. 

Corner and Edge Bumpers

Use corner and edge bumpers to help prevent injuries from falls against sharp edges of furniture and fireplaces. Corner and edge bumpers can be used with furniture and fireplace hearths to help prevent injuries from falls, and to soften falls against sharp and rough edges. Be sure to look for bumpers that stay securely on furniture and hearth edges.

Outlet Covers

Use receptacle or outlet covers and plates to help prevent children from electrical shock and possible electrocution.

Be sure the outlet protectors cannot be easily removed by children and are large enough so that children cannot choke on them.

Carbon Monoxide Detector

Use a carbon monoxide (CO) detector outside bedrooms to help prevent CO poisoning. Consumers should install CO detectors near sleeping areas in their homes. Households that should use CO detectors include those with gas or oil heat or with attached garages.

Smoke Detectors

Use smoke detectors on every level of your home and near bedrooms to alert you to fires. Smoke detectors are essential safety devices for protection against fire deaths and injuries. Check smoke detectors once a month to make sure they are working. If detectors are battery-operated, change batteries at least once a year, or consider using 10-year batteries.

Door Stops and Door Holders

Use door stops and door holders to help prevent injuries to fingers and hands. Door stops and door holders on doors and door hinges can help prevent small fingers and hands from being pinched or crushed in doors and door hinges. 

Be sure any safety device for doors is easy to use and is not likely to break into small parts, which could be a choking hazard for young children.

The Last Word:

There are several different safety devices that can be purchased to ensure the safety of children in the home. Parents should be sure to do their own consumer research to find the most effective safety devices for their home that are age-appropriate for their children’s protection, as well as affordable and compatible with their household habits and lifestyles. 

At Inspect My House, we have years of experience inspecting  types of houses within Toronto, Hamilton, Mississauga, Brampton, Richmond Hill, North York and the rest of the GTA area so feel free to fill up our CONTAC US FORM so our inspector can answer any question you might have in your mind about these and other safety measures

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Written by

Navid Aghili, a visionary P. Eng., and professional house inspector, certified by InterNACHI, he has worked his way into many a home within Toronto and the GTA and wishes to extend his trusted services to more residential homes regardless of type (from condo to townhouse). He leads a group of other similarly talented, experienced and certified only inspectors to complete his Inspecting Dream Team. His InterNACHI membership number: #NACHI15041619.