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Important Tips for Childproofing Your Home

Beyond the basics of removing breakables, there are many safety issues to remember when children visit. Prevention and common sense measures will go a long way to protect little ones from injury. So make a quick check through your home, room by room to ensure you’re ready for a safe and happy visit.

Be sure all medicines, household cleaners and any other item posing a poisoning threat is under lock and key or in cabinets with childproof locks. Keep purses and bags containing such items out of reach.

Check all windows, blinds and curtains for safety. A screen is not sufficient for keeping children safe by windows. You may need to purchase safety devices to keep windows from being opened too widely and you will need to be sure blind and drapery cords are either put up out of reach or have safety tassels on them to avoid choking.

For safety in the tub or shower, be sure your water heater is set no higher than 120 degrees and install anti-scald devices on faucets. Never leave children unsupervised near water. To prevent slips in the tub, use non-skid adhesives.

Buy sturdy safety gates for tops and bottoms of stairways and be sure that doors to basements or laundry rooms, etc. can be locked.

Check to be sure that electrical outlets are safely covered and keep appliance cords out of reach. Remove items such as paper shredders or electric pencil sharpeners, fans, and any other item posing a safety threat.

Go through the toys you keep for the grandchildren and look for choking hazards. If it could possibly fit in the mouth, it is too small!

Be aware of any sharp corners on furniture or counters and pad them where possible.

If your home was built before 1978 be sure that any paint used is not lead-based. Paint chips are still a major danger to babies and toddlers.

If you have a crib, check it out for safety. Crib bars should be no more than 2 and 3/8 inches apart and mattresses should fit snugly against edges. Babies should be placed for sleep on their backs.

Check that your smoke alarms are in working order, there are appropriate fire extinguishers available and you have a fire safety plan in place.

All of this sounds like a lot of work, but once done, you can relax in the knowledge that your home is a safe place for your grandchildren. Children are naturally curious and love to explore. Our job is to protect them while enjoying their exuberance. Now go ahead and enjoy your time with them!