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Parenting is a 24/7 job, but sometimes moms and dads of young children could use a lot of extra help keeping their babies safe. Just about every household necessity, from cleaning products to hot water, can pose a serious danger to children, even if you keep your little ones under constant watch. Here are some of the most important safety concerns you need to address to keep your home as safe as it can be.

Hide Poisonous Materials

Liquids full of dangerous chemicals, such as household cleaners and pesticides, should be kept well out of your child’s reach. You should also make sure medicines, vitamins, and even dental hygiene products are hidden, as accidentally consuming more than the recommended amount of these substances can be hazardous to a child’s health. Always have the number for poison control where you can easily find it, such as near every phone in the house.
cupboard under sink filled with cleaning supplies

Prepare for Fire

One of the most common household emergencies is the breakout of a fire. Hide any flammable material, such as lighters or matches, and never leave a candle unattended. Install multiple smoke detectors throughout your home, test the alarm monthly, and replace the batteries twice a year. You should also keep fire extinguishers and emergency escape ladders where they can be reached in a hurry. If your child is old enough, work on an emergency plan together, and make sure they understand how to Stop, Drop, and Roll.

Exterminate Pests

Nobody likes to deal with bugs, but many common household pests can cause more problems than simply being gross. Roaches carry allergens and bacteria, while rodents can bring dangerous viruses into your home. Even mosquitoes, which often seem inescapable, might inflict your child with more than just an itchy bite. To prevent roaches, ants, ticks, fleas, and any other precarious pest from causing major medical issues, keep your home clean and sprayed for bugs consistently.

Prevent Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are tiny oval-shaped critters that feed on blood and infest a home by the thousands. They are often brought back to your house after a few nights in an unclean hotel room and can be a major pain to get rid of. To prevent a bed bug infestation, always check a bed for the bugs, their skins, or even the small stains they leave behind. You can learn more about bed bugs at Orkin.com, including what to do if you think you’ve found some in your home.

Beware of Choking Hazards

Young children can easily choke on objects left lying around the house. Any toy that can fit inside a little mouth needs to be put up and locked away if you can’t watch your child playing with it. Keep coins, buttons, and knobs where they cannot be reached or played with. You should also avoid letting your child have small, round foods, like hard candies or grapes, until they are old enough to properly consume them.

Childproof Your Living Room

Young children are not very steady on their feet and can get seriously hurt if they slip and fall. Set up safety gates around your home to keep your kids out of dangerous rooms or off the stairs, and keep non-slip backing underneath area rugs. You also might want to install safety bumpers on corners of tables and keep cabinets latched closed.

Clean Often

Kids often get sick from things that can’t really be prevented, like mold and dust. Make sure to give extra attention to suspicious spots in your house when you clean, such as the carpets or the basement. A dehumidifier is a good way to combat a mold problem, but you may need professional help cleaning it up. If your child is allergic to dust or pet dander, you might need to vacuum a little extra every week just to keep them healthy, or get rid of your carpet altogether.

Get Tested for Major Issues

Some of the most dangerous problems in a home can’t be seen. Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that is fatal if left unchecked, so you will definitely want to invest in CO detectors for your home. You could also benefit from having your home tested for radon, and if the house was built prior to 1978, get it checked for lead paint. When you’re raising a child, the last thing you want is to deal with gas leaks, so always be sure your pipes are sealed and your furnaces are properly ventilated.

It may seem like a lot of hard work and maybe even over-precaution, but there are entirely too many ways your child can get hurt around the house. You should take every step you can to make sure your home is the safe haven it should be.

Images courtesy of  Dan4th Nicholas and LizMarie_AK, via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to keep their children safe.