June is recognized as Home Safety Month. Making sure your home is child-proofed, safe and protected is an important step in preventing avoidable accidents or damage. According to the Home Safety Council, Home Safety Month is the perfect time to take a few steps to improve the safety around your home, especially with children in the home.
Here are a few safety tips and checklists that you can use to make sure your home is secure for your children:
Not only is it important to change the batteries in your home’s smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, it’s also important to know how to store and properly and safely dispose of batteries.
It can be easy to forget about changing batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors unless they start beeping, but a good rule of thumb is to check and/or change out batteries in each of these detectors when Daylight Savings Time ends and begins, twice a year.
Batteries should either be kept in their original packaging or stored in a plastic container. They should always be stored with their ends pointing in the same direction in a cool room with low humidity. Wherever you store the batteries should be out of reach or locked away from where children might be able to access them.
Alkaline batteries can be thrown away with your normal household garbage. Lithium batteries and button batteries cannot be thrown away with normal household garbage and should be treated as hazardous waste. Reach out to your local recycling center to see how they suggest disposing of these batteries.
It is important to keep all household cleaners, makeup, chemical solutions, and yard and weed sprays locked away or far out of reach of children in the house. Childproof any cabinets that contain materials that could be hazardous to children if they are ingested or touched.
Keep the nationwide Poison Control hotline phone number in a visible place in your home and program it into your cell phone. If any incident occurs, you can call them with questions and they will help you make a decision whether or not you need to seek medical attention. The toll-free Poison Control hotline number is (800-222-1222).
As your child starts moving around on their own and they are rolling, crawling and walking, it is important to install safety gates around the house at any stairway or step. This will help ensure your child isn’t at risk for falling or rolling downstairs or steps in your home. Read more on safety gate installation, model types and certifications to look for when choosing a safety gate at KidsHealth.org.
Fire Safety and Emergency Plans
Another essential part of Home Safety Month is establishing a fire safety plan and an emergency plan. When your children are old enough to understand fire safety, talk to them and create a plan for your family in case of a house fire. Practice your family’s escape plan with the kids by running through fire drills at home.
In case of other emergency situations, make sure you have a laminated binder of important information you or someone in your family might need to reference. This includes important phone numbers and copies of personal documents. Keep this in a fireproof safe in your home.
For More Information
As a parent, we know your child’s safety and health is of the utmost importance. At HealthPark Pediatrics, we are here to be a resource. If you have questions about home safety, parents in the Raleigh area can call us at (919) 896-7066 for assistance.
At HealthPark Pediatrics, the health and safety of our staff and patients is our top concern. We are taking steps to ensure that you and your child will be safe while visiting our office. This includes using a separate entrance for sick visits, limiting the number of staff and physicians, observing social distancing guidelines, and offering telemedicine visits.