Childproofing your home

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:45 pm
Once children are able to crawl and walk, they're enormously curious and start exploring the world. In this case, their 'world' is their house, so safety training and childproofing your home are necessary now and on a continuing basis to ensure safety. If the kids spend much time with grandparents or other relatives, you might want to help childproof their home, as well. A good way to start is to get down on your hands and knees for a child's-eye view. Go through each room and check for hazards. Here are some general tips. Keep electrical appliances out of reach, away from water, and unplugged when not in use. Cover electrical outlets with heavy tape or special childproofing plugs. Remove any small objects that a child might put in the mouth. Make sure all paint kids come in contact with is nontoxic. Never use plastic bags for toys or use waterproof sheets. If you have stairs, keep them well lit, and make sure the child's head can't fit through the spaces between the railings. Install safety gates at the top and bottom. In the bathroom, lock medicine and toiletry cabinets. Keep the toilet cover closed and sealed. In the kitchen, store any household cleaners in cabinets, and install the cabinets with childproof locks. Make sure knives and other dangerous utensils, as well as trash containers, are out of reach. Guns are now the fourth-leading cause of unintentional injury and death to children in the United States. If you must have a gun in your home, keep it unloaded and locked away, with the ammunition locked in a separate place. These are just a few suggestions. Look around your house--you can probably come up with many more ideas to make your home safe for children.

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