Home Alone This Summer?

Home SafetyWill your kids be spending any time at home alone this summer? Help make sure they’re safe from accidental injuries that result from falls, poisonings, fires and burns, choking or drowning. The Home Safety Council counts these aas the leading causes of home injury.

June is Home Safety Month, and the Council points to its recent study showing that while 52 percent of parents report that their kids spend some time alone at home, most of these parents haven’t taken some essential steps to keep their children safe:

  • 25 percent say they haven’t posted emergency contact numbers.
  • Only 36 percent have posted the National Poison Control Hotline number and talked to their kids about when and how to use that number.
  • 38 percent have not made sure that matches and lighters are stored out of reach of children.
  • 36 percent have not planned snacks for their kids that don’t require the use of a microwave.
  • Only 44 percent have actually reviewed a fire escape plan with their kids.

With that in mind, here are the Home Safety Council’s top 10 tips for protecting children from home injury:

1. Install grab bars in the tub and shower. Use non-slip mats.

2. Have bright lights over stairs and steps and on landings. Keep stairs clear of clutter.

3. Keep cleaners, medications and beauty products in a place where children can’t reach them. Use child safety locks.

4. For Poison Help call 1-800-222-1222. Call if you need help or want information about poisons.
Call 9-1-1 if someone needs to go to the hospital right away.

5. Have working smoke alarms and hold fire drills. If you build a new home, install fire sprinklers.

6. Stay by the stove when cooking, especially when you are frying food.

7. Keep your hot water at 120˚F degrees to prevent burns. Use back burners and turn pot handles toward the back of your stove. Use a travel mug when you drink something hot.

8. Things that can fit through a toilet paper tube can cause a young child to choke. Keep coins, latex balloons and hard round foods, such as peanuts and hard candy where children cannot see or touch them.

9. Place babies to sleep on their backs, alone in their crib. Don’t put pillows, blankets, comforters or toys in cribs. These things can sometimes keep a baby from breathing.

10. When your children are in or near water, watch them very carefully. Stay close enough to reach out and touch them. This includes bathtubs, toilets, pools and spas – even buckets of water.

Visit the Parenthood Home Safety Center for a guide to child-proofing your home inside and out


Posted June 2010