Many parents are working from home as they adjust to a new normal in response to COVID-19. It’s especially challenging as kids have more unstructured time at home, and parents are navigating so many competing priorities that make it difficult to stay focused on everything all at once.
With more kids spending time at home, the risk of injuries may increase. But the good news is, there are precautions that can be taken to ensure the safety of children.
Safe Kids Big Bend wants to share a helpful Home Safety checklist for parents to keep kids’ safe:
- Watch children when they are in and around water, without being distracted. Remember to keep young children within arm’s reach of an adult.
- Check the water temperature with your wrist or elbow before giving your baby a bath.
- Keep all medicine and vitamins out of children’s reach and sight, even medicine you take every day.
- Write clear instructions for other caregivers about what medicine to give children, when to give it and how much to give.
- Make sure babies sleep on their backs and in their own crib. Room sharing is a safer option than having your baby sleep in bed with you. Choose a firm mattress and a fitted crib sheet for your baby’s crib. Keep cribs clear of toys and soft bedding.
- Keep firearms and ammunition LOCKED, UNLOADED, UP and AWAY and out of the sight and reach of children.
- Use approved safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs, and attach them to the wall, if possible.
- Properly install window guards or stops to help prevent falls from windows.
Fire and Carbon Monoxide Safety
- Make sure there is a working smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home. Test the batteries every month.
- Create and practice a home fire escape plan with your family. Know two ways out of every room in case of a fire.
- Cook on the back burners of the stove and keep pot handles turned away from the edge.
- Keep hot foods and liquids away from the edge of counters and tables. Don’t hold a child while cooking on the stove. It’s better to put your child in a high chair where you can still see them.
- Store all household cleaning products and chemicals in their original containers, out of children’s reach and sight.
- Save the toll-free Poison Help number into your phone in case of emergency:
Preventing TV and Furniture Tip-overs
- Mount flat-panel TVs to the wall and place large, box-style TVs on a low, stable piece of furniture.
- Use brackets, braces or wall straps to secure unstable or top-heavy furniture to the wall.
- When choosing a toy or game, read the instructions and warning labels.
- Make sure the toy is appropriate for your child’s age and development.
- Sign up for product recalls at http://www.safekids.org/product-recalls.
Preventing Choking and Strangulation
- Keep small objects out of children’s reach and sight.
- Look for and remove small items that are at your child’s eye level.
- Keep cords and strings out of children’s reach, including those attached to window blinds.
Felicia Green, MPH is the Child Health Promotion Specialist at TMH and Safe Kids Big Bend Coordinator. If you would like additional information, please feel free to contact her at Felicia.firstname.lastname@example.org