Keeping our families safe within our homes requires changes as the family grows. Whether newborns, teenagers, or even pets, there are different strategies needed to accommodate all family members. Here are a few home safety tips by Sage Singleton as reported in a recent edition of RisMedia’s Housecall (Home Safety: How to Protect Your Family at Every Stage of Life).
Getting Ready for a New Baby – Babyproofing your home is of vital importance once the baby begins to crawl. Anything within reach may be grabbed, touched, or chewed on.
- Install baby gates to keep stairs and other rooms off limits.
- Cover unused electrical outlets with plastic plugs.
- Keep breakable items out of reach
- Small objects should be kept out of reach in order to prevent choking
Safety for Toddlers and School-age Children – Toddlers will climb on anything, open anything, and usually find ways to get in trouble.
- Move anything small or breakable to be out of their reach
- If you have a pool, fence it and be sure it is high enough and always locked.
- Secure drawers and low cabinets with childproof latches
- Put safety locks on doors and windows
- Keep toilet seats down and safely secured
- Be sure to install a home security system with motion sensors and security cameras in order to keep an eye on that curious toddler
Safety during Teen Years – At this point security moves from physical safety to online and general home security with the emphasis on online safety for teenagers
- Set clear boundaries and expectations with your teens regarding potentially dangerous situations including, but not limited to, safe driving, drinking and drugs
- Keep alcohol, firearms, and prescription/and or OTC medicines locked up safely
- Educate your teen regarding safe internet usage. Be vigilant when it comes to social media and using privacy settings; also avoid malware
Pet-proofing your Home – We all love our pets, but they come with their own safety needs. Pet-proofing is similar to baby-proofing in that they both involve keeping harmful items out of the way. One must also be sure the yard is locked so pets cannot escape and run away.
- Keep cleaning products and all chemicals high enough so that pets cannot reach them
- If pets like to chew on household items such as dish towels or socks, be sure to move them out of the pets’ range
- If you have a home security system, be sure motion sensors are able to detect pet’s movements without setting off alarm
- If you have a fenced yard, be sure your pet is unable to crawl under or jump over the fence. Be sure gate remains locked.
Getting Ready for Aging Parents – As parents get older, many move in with their children. This may help to ensure their safety and prevent loneliness. This can also present some unique challenges, depending on their needs. It is Important to minimize the chance for accidents and maintain a safe environment for elderly residents.
- Install grab bars in the bathroom near the toilet and inside the shower. This will help prevent slips and falls.
- Do a walk-through of your home and check for objects or items that may cause tripping. These items could include throw rugs, children’s and/or pets’ toys
- Set up a medical alert system, such as a wearable device that serves as panic button, in case of emergencies or falls
- Learn which food may cause complications or be hazardous to their health. With aging, the immune system becomes compromised making the elderly more susceptible to health risks
As your family grows and changes, so should your home’s safety plans. Keep up with the changes and make accommodations to suit them as you continually assess your family’s needs.