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Thursday, April 3,2014

What can I do to make my home safer for my children?

By Roger Zona  

To My Readers:

Question: What can I do to make my home safer for my children?

Answer: Good thinking. Every day there is a news item about an accidental death. Nationwide there are 245 accidents EVERY DAY! That’s nearly 90,000 accidents a year! The car is the #1 cause of injuries because the child is not properly strapped into a safe car seat. Then too, there is the rare incident where a tot is choked by an electric car window. Not a pleasant thought. 

The in-home accidents are, in order of frequency, poisons, falls, choking, drowning and fire.

About those poisons – nearly every cleaning solution is poisonous. At best the child who swallows some dishwasher soap will have a siege of nausea, and it gets worse. Ammonia and chlorine will damage an esophagus and mouth. Read the labels and store all the bottles, cans, etc., in an out-ofreach location and preferably under lock and key.

One obvious item that should be protected are electrical outlets. There is an inexpensive plastic device that plugs into the outlet and prevents your tot from poking a metal device into the outlet that will conduct an electrical charge that could be fatal. If you have a swimming pool or hot tub, you must take extra precaution when kids are around. We have a pool but we don’t allow any child to swim without constant adult supervision. There are pool alarms that are activated by the water movement if someone falls in the pool. Personally, I don’t trust this device 100%. You can get distracted by a phone call or someone is at the front door. It takes only those few minutes for a child to drown. A fence around the pool is a must.

The building codes specify type, height, gate locks, etc. Remove floating devices that are an attraction to the little guys. Don’t allow horseplay while the tots are swimming. Of course you should get your kids into swimming class as early as possible. And last I will write about fires. In some towns the Fire Marshal will inspect your home and give you suggestions about keeping your home safe. Call the fire department (not 911) and ask if your town has such a program. Fire is such a devious killer. Have an escape plan, i.e., if a fire starts in the kitchen, where is the quickest way to get out of the building? Can the kids reach a window to climb to safety? This is such an important subject. I think I will write my next column on more home safety features.


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