Kids can strangle or become entrapped in the most unexpected ways — even cords, strings on clothing, and infant furniture and accessories can be dangerous.
Avoiding Potential Hazards
You can protect kids from strangulation and entrapment by avoiding potential hazards and modifying certain household items:
If you're expecting a baby or already have kids, it's wise to:
- Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the age-appropriate Heimlich maneuver.
- Keep the following near the phone (for yourself and caregivers):
- toll-free poison-control number: (800) 222-1222
- doctor's number
- parents' work and cell phone numbers
- neighbor's or nearby relative's number (if you need someone to watch other children in an emergency)
- Make a first-aid kit and keep emergency instructions inside.
- Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
Maintaining a Safe, Kid-Friendly Environment
To check your childproofing efforts, get down on your hands and knees in every room of your home to see things from a child's perspective. Be aware of your child's surroundings and what might be potentially dangerous.
Completely childproofing your home can be difficult. If you can't childproof the entire house, you can shut the doors (and install doorknob covers) to any room a child shouldn't enter to prevent wandering into places that haven't been properly childproofed. For sliding doors, doorknob covers and childproof locks are also great for keeping little ones from leaving your home. Of course, how much or how little you childproof your home is up to you. Supervision is the very best way to help prevent kids from getting injured. However, even the most vigilant parent can't keep a child 100% safe at all times.
Whether you have a baby, toddler, or school-age child, your home should be a haven where your little one can explore safely. After all, touching, holding, climbing, and exploring are the activities that develop your child's body and mind.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: August 2013