A recent controversial SuperBowl commercial from a major insurance company depicted a young boy who died as the result of numerous preventable household accidents such as poising and falls. The commercial got lots of traction via social media. Although it was presented tactfully, many people didn’t approve. The truth hurts and sometimes isn’t pretty. However the message was clear; so many child deaths are preventable!
“I’m home!” If your child is not reliable at notifying you they’ve arrived home from school, set up a real-time alert system. Home security/automation systems can assist with this.
Don’t answer the door. Your kids should be under strict orders never to answer the door no matter what. Role play this with them; pretend you’re a stranger on the outside of the door, begging to use the phone for an emergency. Instruct your child that if someone’s crying help, to NOT open the door and instead dial 9-1-1.
Smoke detectors. Have smoke alarms in the house and educate your kids about them.
Carbon monoxide detectors. Newer smoke detectors are 2-in-1 carbon and smoke detectors. CO gas is odorless and invisible. Ingestion is painless. That’s why it kills so easily.
Hide cords and wires. Not only are these a tripping hazard for adults, but toddlers just love to pull at these. Toddlers have been known to put these in their mouths and stick objects into electrical outlets. Put “baby proof” covers on outlets and bundle and/or hide the cords.
Eliminate anything that can act as a noose. It’s difficult to imagine how a toddler can end up hanging dead from a curtain cord, but it’s happened.
Buckets. Babies and toddlers love playing in small spaces like card board boxes and even buckets, but buckets can easily robs them of life under certain circumstances. Never leave a toddler unsupervised near a bucket of water (you’re bathing the dog and you leave the area to answer the phone or check your cooking food).
Toddlers have been known to topple head-first into buckets of water and drown because they couldn’t lift their heads out. Note the proportions of a toddler’s head to the rest of his body and you’ll see why this kind of fatality happens.
Baths. Never leave babies or young children unattended in bathtubs, even for “just a few seconds.”
Hide the matches. Why is it that parents can be so good at hiding the candy but not the matches? All to often we read about home fires being started because a child was “playing with matches.” Disclosure: I lit an entire couch on fire in my house as a kid while playing with matches. My mother will vouch. Sorry mom!
Hide the guns. Keep your guns available to you for protection but impossible for your kids to get to. There are numerous gun safes and lock that should be deployed.
Poison control. Our first child was allowed to go into the bottom kitchen cabinets and pull out everything she wanted to and scatter it all over the floor. Once. Made for a fun video. Of course the cabinet containing the cleaning supplies was off limits. The second child didn’t have this option due to all the cabinet locks. Don’t forget the bathroom and linen closets and even the garage.
Home security. The smartest child in the world can still be victimized by a thug who broke through a window. Windows should have shatter-proof film. Your child should learn how to activate the house alarm so that it will go off if someone tries to break in. You can be connected to all this with smartphone applications.