Babies and young children can bring an abundance of light and joy into our lives, but part of being young is lacking knowledge and making mistakes. In the case of babies and young children, these mistakes can lead to serious injuries, and often because of risk factors that we as adults don’t even think twice about and take completely for granted. As such, parents will often go through painstaking efforts to make sure their house has been “baby-proofed,” or had preventative measures put in place to get rid of or hide injury risk factors to young children.
Even if you don’t have young children, it’s still a good idea to go through and make an effort to reduce the injury risk. Should someone with a curious child come to visit, premises liability laws say you as the property owner have a duty to ensure their safety, and that can include making sure that hazards are hidden or secured so young children can’t accidentally hurt themselves.
Here are five simple yet remarkably effective ways to improve baby safety in your home.
Install Child Locks on Cabinets
Your kitchen and bathroom both have extremely useful space beneath the sink, however we usually use this useful space to store potentially harmful products like bleach, dish soap, or other cleaning solutions. While many of these harmful chemicals now have child-proof locking caps on them for an added layer of safety, they’re not perfect and you should still take the extra step to prevent kids from getting access to them.
Child locks can be purchased at most home improvement and hardware stores for just a few dollars, add little difficulty to opening your cabinets, and even give your home an added degree of safety in the event of an earthquake. And the best part: they prevent any curious young children who visit your home from accidentally getting into something that could hurt them.
Cover Unused Electrical Outlets
Electrical outlets provide our home with power for everything from our appliances to our lights to our devices. However, while they make our lives so much easier, the electricity that flows through the wires in these outlets is immensely dangerous. Even a quick shock at 110 volts of AC power could cause serious injuries including burns, brain damage, paralysis, and even cause your heart to stop. The effects are particularly damaging on young children. Kids often don’t realize how dangerous it is to stick something in an electric socket, and unfortunately some find out the hard way.
Of course, you aren’t constantly using all of the electric plugs in your home (imagine how expensive that electric bill would be). So how can you prevent young children and babies from accidentally being shocked by an open or unused socket? Cover them. Socket covers are available from most hardware stores and home supply stores like Target or Wal-Mart for a few dollars for a set of several. These small plastic plugs go right into your open socket and cover it. You want them to fight somewhat tight—the tighter it is, the harder it will be for a child to remove it. However, the best part about these is that they often put sockets out of sight, which removes a young child’s curiosity.
Gate Hazardous Areas
If there’s an area of your home that’s particularly dangerous for young children and getting rid of all of the hazards will be too much of a hassle to deal with, simply closing that area off is your best option. Either shut the door on that particular room or use a baby gate to keep a child from getting in. Many parents do this for things like their kitchen, staircases, and even the garage, which are full of potentially dangerous things that they don’t want a child getting into. In the case of staircases, this prevents a child who is either crawling or still learning to walk from accidentally stumbling and tumbling their way down the stairs, getting hurt in the process.
If your child has suffered a serious injury because of the carelessness of another, talk to a Stuart injury lawyer today by calling Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC at (866) 675-4427!