Our homes are full of safety traps that put our kids at risk, and here are some ways to find, fix and avoid traps to keep your kids safe.
Unintentional injury is the leading cause of death in kids 14 years old and under, with more than a third of these injuries happening at home, according to KidsHealth. Household injuries are also one of the top reasons kids younger than age 3 visit the ER, and nearly 70 percent of the children who die from unintentional injuries at home are 4 years old and under.
The statistics are alarming; so what can you do to childproof your home?
Use safety gates.
Cover unused electrical outlets.
Check smoke detector batteries regularly.
Install a carbon monoxide detector.
Keep fire extinguishers throughout the house.
Use safety latches on cabinets containing cleaning supplies.
Monitor children while they bathe.
Keep children away from a hot stove.
Keep window treatment cords out of reach.
Secure loose window screens.
Keep medication bottles capped and in a secure place.
Lock the liquor cabinet.
As funny as it sounds, get on the floor and crawl around to get a child's view of your house. You might come across other safety hazards that you can't see at adult eye level.
While there is no replacement for parental supervision, taking action and following these childproofing tips can help prevent an accident. In the event that something does happen, make sure that your child understands 911, and keep emergency numbers posted by all phones. This should include poison control, the pediatrician, nearest emergency room and contact numbers for family members.
Ready to make some changes around the house? Check out this printable cut-and-carry childproofing checklist from KidsHealth (www.kids health.org) with even more tips to keep your children safe. They also have an intensive checklist for each room of the house so you can perform a safety audit of your home.
Discovery Health -- www.health .discovery.com -- has a great interactive "child-proof" house on their site with information on hazards, risks and prevention in each part of the home.
As your kids grow, so should your safety checklist. The taller they get, the more they can get into. Consider reviewing your childproofing plan every six months to a year to evolve with your growing children.