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Child Safety at Home

Parent helping child put on a bike helmet for safety

November is Child Safety and Protection month. Child Safety and Protection month is a great time to raise awareness of potential dangers children may face on a day-to-day basis and know how to prevent them. Child safety first begins at home and we at New Horizon Academy have put together a list of tips for you to keep all areas in and around your home safe for your children. General home safety tips begin by looking for safety hazards within your home that your child might see from their viewpoint. It is always a good idea to think about things that may tempt your child. These tips can help keep your home a safe and secure place for your child.

Home Safety

  • Keep cleaning supplies and toxic chemicals put away on a high shelf or locked in a cabinet out of reach of children.
  • Make sure prescriptions and over-the-counter medications have childproof caps or put them away on a high shelf or locked in a cabinet.
  • Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors on all levels in your home and in sleeping areas.
    • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors monthly and change the batteries yearly.
  • Use outlet plug protectors on all unused electrical outlets.
  • Keep emergency contact and poison control phone numbers in a readily available location in case of an emergency.
  • For young children, use safety gates at the top and bottom of all staircases.

Kitchen Safety

  • Keep knives, scissors, and sharp objects separate from other kitchen utensils and store them in a locked drawer.
  • When possible, cook on back burners and keep the handles of pots and pans turned inwards towards the back of the stove.
  • If you have a gas stove, use child safety knob covers so that your child is unable to turn on the stove.
  • Keep a working fire extinguisher in your kitchen and get it tested yearly.
  • When placing your child in a highchair, make sure to always strap them into the seat.
  • Do not warm bottles in the microwave, as the liquid heats unevenly and can scald your child’s mouth when drinking.

Bathroom Safety

  • Keep cosmetics, medication, razors, tweezers, etc. stored in a locked cabinet out of children’s reach.
  • Place nonslip bathmats in the bathtub and bathroom to prevent slipping.
  • Always supervise your child when in the bathroom. Pay extra attention when they are in the bathtub and never leave them unattended to prevent them from drowning. If you need to leave the bathroom, take your child with you, and empty the bathtub immediately after each use.
  • Keep your hot water heater at 120 °F or lower to prevent scalding your child.
  • Install toilet seat locks to prevent young children from toppling in.
  • Use a waterspout cover to prevent your child from hitting their head on the faucet.

Outdoor Safety

  • Always ensure your child is under adult supervision when outside. Never leave children unattended as accidents can happen quickly.
  • Establish safe areas where it is okay for your child to play.
    • Always make sure your child is within a safe distance from the road.
    • If you have a fenced-in backyard, make sure the gate is closed, so children aren’t tempted to wander outside of it.
    • Lock garages and sheds that contain potentially harmful equipment for children such as power tools, ladders, or chemicals.
    • Keep grills covered and out of reach of children.
    • Make sure the ground is level for playing. If there are holes in the yard, make sure they are filled in to prevent tripping.
    • Ensure all toys and playground equipment are age appropriate for your child.
  • Dress your child in appropriate clothing for the weather.
    • In summer, make sure your child is wearing sunscreen, so their skin is protected from the sun.
    • In winter, dress your child in a jacket, hat, mittens, and other necessary warm gear to prevent frostbite.
  • Make sure the weather is nice enough for your child to be playing outdoors.
    • In extreme heat or extreme cold, it’s best to find indoor activities instead.
    • If it is hot outside, make sure playground equipment is not too hot to touch. Even if the temperature is safe to play outside, equipment such as swings and slides can burn you if they’re not in shaded areas.
    • Always look ahead into the forecast for possible rain, thunderstorms, or tornadoes. Weather can change quickly, so it’s important that your child will be able to seek shelter quickly in case bad weather suddenly arrives.
  • Always make sure your child is wearing a helmet when riding bicycles, tricycles, scooters, skateboards, or roller skates. You may also want to invest in knee, wrist, and elbow pads to prevent painful falls.
  • Be aware of insects outside and have a plan in place in case of a bug bite or bee sting.

Cyber Safety

  • Ensure the apps on your child’s or home devices are kid friendly. Some apps even allow you to turn on parental controls to ensure your child is seeing age-appropriate content.
    • Bookmark your favorite and commonly used websites so they can be easily accessed.
    • If your child is using social media sites such as TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook, make sure they are of age. These apps have age limits for a reason.
  • Monitor your child’s screentime. Make sure children are not spending too much time on their devices, especially before bedtime.
  • Talk to your child about the importance of being cautious when talking to strangers online.
    • Never agree to meet up with a stranger in person.
    • Never share personal information online such as your name, age, address, phone number, passwords, or personal photos without your parent’s permission.
  • Make sure your child knows to tell an adult if they feel unsafe when using the internet.
  • Tell your child to inform a trusted adult if they are ever bullied online, and do not respond to the message. Block the user that is sending hurtful or threatening messages if you or your child notices cyberbullying.
  • Require your child to ask for parent permission before they download or purchase anything online.

As you use these safety tips in your home, remember that accidents are still bound to happen. As a parent, you can’t prevent every spill or fall. However, it’s good to take home safety precautions to ensure that your child is as safe as can be.

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