Resolve to make 2014 a safe and injury free year
Parents, take proactive steps to keep your home safe for your child:
Supervision and preparedness are the best ways to help prevent children from getting injured at home.
Create or review your home safety/fire escape plan:
Make sure each family member knows what to do in case of a fire or home emergency. The plan should include two ways to exit the home and a designated meeting place for family members once outside of it. Practice the home safety/fire escape plan with your family regularly. Teach your child how and when to dial 911 in case of an emergency.
Replace the batteries in your smoke detector:
Many of us are guilty of removing dead batteries in our smoke detectors to avoid the annoyance of the loud beeping; however, we often forget to replace them! Smoke detectors will not work if the batteries are dead or removed. According to the Houston Fire Department, in most fire-related deaths, not having a working smoke detector is a key problem. Place at least one working smoke detector outside of each sleeping area and on each level of the house. Test your smoke alarm monthly.
Hot soups, such as ramen noodles, and hot beverages, such as tea and coffee, can cause severe burns to your child. Do not hold a baby or small child while you are cooking and do not drink hot beverages or eat hot soup while a child is sitting on your lap. Keep bowls, mugs, and cups in places where your child cannot reach up and spill the contents on themselves. Block your child’s access to the stove or microwave. While cooking, turn all pot handles toward the back of the stove and never leave cooking food unattended.
Never leave a child alone in the bath. Most cases of drowning are results of the failure to provide adequate supervision by caregivers. Have all the supplies you need before running the water. If you must leave the bathroom, take your child with you. Set water heaters at a maximum of 120 degrees to avoid scald burns to your child.
Check the placement of your TV, furniture and other heavy items:
Unstable furniture and improperly secured televisions can cause serious injuries to your child. Mount TVs, TV stands, bookshelves, and dressers to the wall. Never place a television on furniture that children can climb on, such as a dresser, and do not place enticing items, such as toys or remote controls, on or near the TV where a child will climb to reach them.
The most effective way to keep your children safe from injury and death from firearms is to never have a gun in the home. In homes where guns are kept, parents are responsible to learn, practice and teach gun safety rules to their children. Keep guns unloaded and locked up. Store the ammunition in a separate, locked location. Make sure to hide the keys to the lock boxes and if a combination box, do not tell your children the lock combination.
In 2014, make it a habit to ensure the safety of your child in your home.