Keeping Kids Safe in the Home

Children love to explore and having a safe home environment allows them to do this to the fullest extent! The more opportunities kids have to safely explore, touch, taste, smell, and look at things, the more they develop and learn. Children are curious and love to experiment- that’s how they learn and master skills. We want to provide a safe place for all that learning to occur!
The Kitchen
The kitchen is a common place for accidents in the home. Make sure to keep anything that could harm your kids out of reach. This includes knives, scissors, lighters, glassware, medicine, and any cleaners such as bleach. Keep your dishwasher closed tightly at all times, and put any of the above-mentioned items in high cabinets, or cabinets that lock. Dispose of any old, unneeded, or outdated medications and cleaning supplies. Keep cleaning supplies, including dishwasher soap and laundry detergent locked in a cabinet.
The stove and oven are always tempting to young children, so make sure to keep the handles of any pots and pans turned facing in. Use the back burners when possible to minimize the risk of your child touching a hot surface. This is especially important if you have a flat, glass-top stove.
It is not always obvious when the surface is hot. To keep kids from pulling appliances onto themselves, hide any cords out of sight.
Keep electrical outlets covered with safety covers that fit into the socket when not in use. Outlets, plugs, and cords can be dangerous for infants and toddlers. Keep a fire extinguisher and fire blanket somewhere nearby. Regularly check that your smoke alarms and carbon
monoxide alarms are working properly. An easy time to remember to check these is when we change our clocks backward or forward with the seasons.
Once infants and toddlers learn to pull to stand, they may want to pull themselves up onto the bathtub or try to reach faucets. However, this can cause burns and other harmful water injuries. Keep bathroom doors closed when they are not being used. Never leave your kids unattended in a bath, even for a moment. Kids can drown quickly, in just a few inches of water. If you have to leave the bathroom, take your kids with you. Always check the temperature of the bathwater before putting your kids in as well. The recommendation is to
set your hot water heater at 120 degrees to prevent scalding.

Stairs and Doorways

As early as 8 months, babies may start trying to climb stairs. However, falling down stairs can cause neck and spine injuries. If possible, put baby gates at the top and bottom of stairs and keep them closed. Always closely supervise your infants and toddlers when going up and down stairs. Crawling up a few stairs and then going down backward on hands and knees is sometimes a helpful strategy for aggressive climbers. When possible, keep any inside doors propped open with door stops or wedges. This stops your young kids from getting their fingers shut in the door. In a pinch, throwing a sock over the top of the door should keep it from closing. Keep any doors leading outside firmly closed and locked.
Always follow recommendations for ages on toys, and check recall lists. Regularly check for any broken or missing pieces, as well as batteries. If you have older children in your home, think about the dangers their toys can pose for smaller siblings. If they’re buying marbles for example, where can you keep them that will ensure your toddler won’t be able to access them? Small toys, or toys with removable pieces, can be a choking hazard. Keep this in mind, and communicate with your older kids if a toy is absolutely not for their little brother or sister. Home safety can seem like a big task, especially when young children are involved. Start by making simple changes where your kids spend most of their time, such as in the family room. Slowly go through rooms in your home to assess what could possibly be dangerous, and make changes as needed. If you have an infant, check your space for hazards by getting down on your hands and knees and crawling through your space to see the world from their perspective. You may be surprised to discover what you find. As we move into summer and kids are spending more time at home, being too safe is never a bad thing!

Triple P – Positive Parenting Program

Are you interested in receiving more parenting advice? Triple P Online – Positive Parenting Program could be for you! This online parenting program allows you to take a parenting class in the comfort of your own home!


If you live in Lane County, you can get Triple P Online for free by filling out the form on the Triple P page. A staff person from Parenting Now will send you an access code within 24 hours and you’ll be able to start using the program right away! For more information about the program and to sign up visit the Triple P page.

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