The last time we had children visiting our home was when we had children living in our home. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to think about poisons, electric outlets, baby gates and other potential threats to a child. I’m probably not alone.
With the statistics about childhood home accidents, this came to mind again. A mother is grieving for her child who was strangled by the cords for a window blind. It can be that simple and that fast. A pair of scissors could probably have eliminated that concern. It’s eye opening.
Simple Steps: Almost everything you need to do to protect children in your home…and we do have grandchildren…is simple. Put poisons out of reach. Latch cabinets and drawers. Put socket protectors in unused outlets. Check the window treatments for cords that attach at the bottom. These are all simple. They can all save lives and unnecessary trips to the emergency room.
How to Look: When our first child was on the way, we got down on our hands and knees…literally…and crawled around the house looking for things that might hurt our child. A panhandle sticking out from the stove, the electric outlets, the carpet tacks (it’s an old house)…anything that could hurt her. It didn’t stop all of the accidents, but it certainly took away a lot of accident potential. It may not be easy, but the best way to see a child’s risk factors is to look from a child’s point of view.
Who should do it? Anyone and everyone who might have a child visitor. We’re going to do it again so our grandchildren will be safe if they visit. It’s a little harder at 51 than it was at 21, but it’s important for their safety.
Why should I do it? We call them accidents because otherwise it would create too much pain, but the simple truth is most accidents are preventable. 9000 home accident deaths occur in children under fourteen. 7,000,000 children are taken to the emergency room due to home accidents. That doesn’t even count the injuries not severe enough to require medical help. That’s why we should do it.
Children are one of our most precious gifts. We need to be pro-active…even if we don’t have a resident child. Going to grandma’s house shouldn’t end up with a trip to the hospital.