The ben­e­fits of child-safe home im­prove­ments

The Prince George Citizen - The Citizen - Real Estate Weekly - - Front Page -

All fam­ily mem­bers should be con­sid­ered when home im­prove­ments are be­ing planned, es­pe­cially the youngest house­hold res­i­dents who may not be re­spon­si­ble enough to avoid accidents and in­juries.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent Vi­tal Signs re­port from the U.S. Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion, ac­ci­den­tal in­juries are a lead­ing cause of death among the coun­try’s youth — with one fa­tal­ity oc­cur­ring every hour from some­thing en­tirely pre­ventable. The CDC notes that the lead­ing causes of child in­jury in­clude suf­fo­ca­tion, drown­ing, poi­son­ing, fires, and falls. More can be done to keep chil­dren safe, and many strate­gies start at home.

Install se­cu­rity sys­tems

A se­cu­rity sys­tem can be just as ef­fec­tive at keep­ing lit­tle ones in­side as it is at keep­ing un­wanted guests out­side. Alarms can be set to sound any­time a win­dow or door is breached, which can de­ter cu­ri­ous chil­dren from try­ing to leave the house without per­mis­sion. Pair the alarm sys­tem with se­cure locks and high latches that can also stop chil­dren in their tracks.

Re­move fall haz­ards

Safety de­vices in­stalled on win­dows that are above ground level can keep chil­dren safe. Stair rails should be se­cure and in good work­ing or­der. Tem­po­rary gates can block kids from get­ting on stair­ways. Im­prove light­ing around stair­cases to help chil­dren and adults avoid falls, and re­move any ob­sta­cles.

An­chor heavy fur­ni­ture

The U.S. Con­sumer Prod­uct Safety Com­mis­sion warns that unan­chored tele­vi­sions and top-heavy fur­ni­ture can tip over onto chil­dren and cause se­vere in­juries and even death. Ev­ery­day fur­ni­ture can be tempt­ing to climb; there­fore, us­ing an­chors to se­cure fur­ni­ture to walls for se­cu­rity is a must.

Install lock­ing cab­i­nets

Lock­ing cab­i­nets can keep med­i­ca­tions, house­hold chem­i­cals, home im­prove­ment paints and sol­vents, and other po­ten­tial poi­sons out of reach.

Erect fenc­ing around pools and yards

Install fenc­ing around pools to keep chil­dren from wan­der­ing close to the wa­ter’s edge. Towns and cities may re­quire cer­tain fence heights or self-latch­ing gates to keep lit­tle ones safe. Young chil­dren should never be left to their own de­vices around any source of wa­ter, whether it’s a pool, tub or toi­let.

Test and re­place smoke alarms

Smoke and car­bon monox­ide de­tec­tors are only use­ful if they are functional. Home­own­ers should in­spect such de­vices reg­u­larly to en­sure proper op­er­a­tion and promptly re­place old or faulty de­tec­tors to im­prove safety.

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