|1 Use Safety
Latches and Locks for cabinets and drawers in kitchens, bathrooms,
and other areas to help prevent poisonings and other injuries. Safety latches
and locks on cabinets and drawers can help prevent children from gaining
access to medicines and household cleaners, as well as knives and other
Look for safety latches and locks that adults
can easily install and use, but are sturdy enough to withstand pulls and
tugs from children. Safety latches are not a guarantee of protection, but
they can make it more difficult for children to reach dangerous substances.
Even products with child-resistant packaging should be locked away, out
of reach; this packaging is not childproof.
Typical cost of a safety latch or lock: less than
2 Use Safety Gates to help prevent
falls down stairs and to keep children away from dangerous areas. Safety
gates can help keep children away from stairs or rooms that have hazards
in them. Look for safety gates that children cannot dislodge easily, but
that adults can open and close without difficulty. For the top of stairs,
gates that screw to the wall are more secure than "pressure gates."
New safety gates that meet safety standards display
a certification seal from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association
(JPMA). If you have an older safety gate, be sure it doesn't have "V" shapes
that are large enough for a child's head and neck to fit into.
Typical cost of a safety gate: $13 to $40.
3 Use Door Knob Covers and Door Locks
to help prevent children from entering rooms and other areas with possible
dangers. Door knob covers and door locks can help keep children away from
places with hazards, including swimming pools.
Be sure the door knob cover is sturdy enough not
to break, but allows a door to be opened quickly by an adult in case of
emergency. By restricting access to potentially hazardous rooms in the
home, door knob covers could help prevent many kinds of injuries. To prevent
access to swimming pools, door locks should be placed high out of reach
of young children. Locks should be used in addition to fences and door
alarms. Sliding glass doors, with locks that must be re-secured after each
use, are often not an effective barrier to pools.
Typical cost of a door knob cover: $1 and door
lock: $5 and up.
4 Use Anti-Scald Devices for faucets
and shower heads and set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit
to help prevent burns from hot water. Anti-scald devices for regulating
water temperature can help prevent burns.
Consider using anti-scald devices for faucets
and showerheads. A plumber may need to install these. In addition, if you
live in your own home, set water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit
to help prevent burns from hot water.
Typical cost of an anti-scald device: $6 to $30.
5 Use Smoke Detectors on every level
of your home and near bedrooms to alert you to fires. Smoke detectors are
essential safety devices for protection against fire deaths and injuries.
Check smoke detectors once a month to make sure
If detectors are battery-operated, change batteries
at least once a year or consider using 10-year batteries.
Typical cost of a smoke detector: less than $10.
6 Use Window Guards and Safety Netting
to help prevent falls from windows, balconies, decks, and landings. Window
guards and safety netting for balconies and decks can help prevent serious
Check these safety devices frequently to make
sure they are secure and properly installed and maintained. There should
be no more than four inches between the bars of the window guard. If you
have window guards, be sure at least one window in each room can be easily
used for escape in a fire. Window screens are not effective for preventing
children from falling out of windows.
Typical cost of a window guard or safety netting:
$8 to $16.
7 Use Corner and Edge Bumpers to
help prevent injuries from falls against sharp edges of furniture and fireplaces.
Corner and edge bumpers can be used with furniture and fireplace hearths
to help prevent injuries from falls or to soften falls against sharp or
Be sure to look for bumpers that stay securely
on furniture or hearth edges.
Typical cost of a corner and edge bumper: $1 and
8 Use Outlet Covers and Outlet Plates
to help prevent electrocution. Outlet covers and outlet plates can help
protect children from electrical shock and possible electrocution.
Be sure the outlet protectors cannot be easily
removed by children and are large enough so that children cannot choke
Typical cost of an outlet cover: less than $2.
9 Use a Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector
outside bedrooms to help prevent CO poisoning. A carbon monoxide (CO) detector
can help prevent CO poisoning. Consumers should install CO detectors near
sleeping areas in their homes. Households that should use CO detectors
include those with gas or oil heat or with attached garages.
Typical cost of a carbon monoxide (CO) detector:
$30 to $70.
10 Cut Window Blind Cords and use
Safety Tassels to help prevent children from strangling in blind
cord loops. Window blind cord safety tassels on miniblinds and tension
devices on vertical blinds and drapery cords can help prevent deaths and
injuries from strangulation in the loops of cords.
For older miniblinds, cut the cord loop, remove
the buckle, and put safety tassels on each cord. Be sure that older vertical
blinds and drapery cords have tension or tie-down devices to hold the cords
tight. When buying new miniblinds, verticals, and draperies, ask for safety
features to prevent child strangulation.
You can get window blind cord safety tassels free
by calling 1-800-506-4636.
11 UseDoor Stops and Door Holders
to help prevent injuries to fingers and hands. Door stops and door holders
on doors and door hinges can help prevent small fingers and hands from
being pinched or crushed in doors and door hinges.
Be sure any safety device for doors is easy to
use and is not likely to break into small parts, which could be a choking
hazard for young children.
Typical cost of a door stop and door holder: less
12 Use a Cordless Phone to make
it easier to continuously watch young children, especially when they're
in bathtubs, swimming pools, or other potentially dangerous areas.
Cordless phones help you watch your child continuously,
without leaving the vicinity to answer a phone call. Cordless phones are
especially helpful when children are in or near water, whether it's the
bathtub, the swimming pool, or the beach.
Typical cost of a cordless phone: $20 and up.