Making your home child safe requires much more than placing a few outlet covers or cabinet locks. Child safety is an ongoing issue and the only way to ensure your child’s health and well being is to adopt a safety culture in your home.
The point of a safety culture is not “safety over everything else.” The goal is to balance the needs of safety with the reality of living your life.
In this article, we’ll explore how to handle 3 critical safety areas to consider when child-proofing your home: child safe window blinds, child safe lamps and lamp placements, and child safe bookshelves and cabinetry.
Child Safe Window Blinds
In the early 1990s, blind safety was a hot item among child safety advocates. Babies and toddlers were being accidentally strangled by the cords of window blinds and an outpouring of consumer concern lead to fundamental changes in the way window blinds and window shades were designed. A second redesign of window blinds in the late 90s improved blind safety even further.
However, about one child a month dies from accidental entanglement in the cords of window blinds. You don’t need to leave your windows uncovered, just take steps to enhance the safety of window blinds your home.
– Move the crib or bed away from the windows so the cords of the window blinds don’t dangle over his head.
– Move chairs and other climbable objects away from windows and window blinds.
– Tie up the cords of your window blinds so that they well out of the reach of little hands.
– Use a window blinds cord safety tool which collects the loose portions of the cord into a safety ball that hangs near the top of the window blinds.
– Older blinds can be made safer with a free repair kit from the Window Covering Safety Council.
Child Safe Lamps and Lamp Placements
Children are notorious for climbing up on everything as they explore. For lamps sitting on tables, wrap the cord tightly around the table leg so that when the table wiggles, the lamp does not topple to the ground.
Another option is to install ceiling mounted track lighting or wall mounted lamps to keep lamps out of the reach of children and also secure so that they cannot be pulled over. Lamps that fall off of tables are not just a hazard to small hands that could be burned by the hot light bulb, but can also pose a serious fire hazard.
Child Safe Bookshelves and Cabinetry
Small children that are learning to walk by pulling themselves up on objects and older children that love to climb are at serious risk of being crushed by large heavy bookshelves and cabinetry. Fortunately, there is a simple remedy for this that takes just a few minutes to implement.
Using an “L” or “U” shaped bracket, drill one side of the bracket into the back or back shelf of the cabinetry itself. Next, drill the other portion of the bracket directly into the wall. Be sure to test the strength of the bracket by pulling hard on the cabinetry to ensure a strong hold.
Remember the mantra of child safety: It only takes a second. No one can watch a child every single moment. Minimizing the dangers by taking precautions with your window blinds, securing lamps, and bolting bookshelves and cabinetry to walls makes it less likely disaster will strike during that moment your attention wanders. By keeping household risks as low as reasonably achievable you make your home a safe and secure environment.