Parents are bombarded with safety warnings on most products on a daily basis. While you aren't expected to be an expert the minute you bring your little bundle of joy home, there are some things that may not come to the front of your mind when considering childproofing your home and life to keep your littles safe.
Television and Heavy Furniture Tip-Overs
It's natural for your curious little ones to want to climb all over furniture and other places in your home once they get the hang of using their limbs. A large bookcase, or the flat screen television are prime areas to be secured when you have a little one running around the place. In your bedroom, if you pull out more than one drawer in a chest of drawers, it starts to tip. Being aware of these hazardous areas in your home is your first step to making your child's environment safe. Anchor large appliances and other household items to the wall with a strap. Most home improvement stores will have the necessary tools. Many appliances and bookcases now come with the anchors already.
Bypass tables with glass tops, they pose a risk of a child falling on or through them. Bunk beds are a blast for siblings, but children should not sleep in the upper bunk until they are at least 6 years of age. Pools (and the gates around them) should be locked at all times. Children should never swim unattended. Drawers and cabinets should have childproof locks on them in kitchens, bathrooms, garages, laundry rooms and any other place were chemicals or hazardous materials are kept.
Away From the House
Escalators are a danger that most don't realize until it's too late. Always ensure your child's shoelaces are tied prior to getting on an escalator. A child (or anyone for that matter) can fall or a limb can become trapped in the escalator. Ensure that your child knows that escalators are not toys and should be taken seriously. They need to hold the handrail and face forward at all times.
While you wouldn't necessarily view it as a hazard, shopping carts are still in some way, dangerous for your children. Ensure they are strapped into the shopping cart prior to continuing through the store. Children shouldn't ride on the bottom of the cart, or hang on to the sides and ride along. Fingers can become caught, they could be run over or they could fall and hit their head on the very solid supermarket tile. Heed all warnings notated on these items.
What a blast! Bounces Houses continue to be the star of many a birthday celebration. These giant fun houses should be well supervised by an adult. Make sure they are anchored to the ground and ensure you are able to get the children out of the bounce house if necessary should it begin to deflate, or blow away.
Remember not to leave your child home alone until he or she is really ready.
Take kids to a public fireworks display, instead of letting them play with fireworks, including sparklers, which can reach over 1000 degrees and cause half of the fireworks-related injuries to children under age five.6
Can Your Child Be Too Safe?
You don't want your child to live in a bubble or walk around wearing a helmet at all times, but remember that the more chances you take, the more likely your child will be injured or killed in an accident.
In addition to obvious safety steps of using a car seat correctly, installing a smoke detector, and childproofing your home, beware of other hidden dangers that can compromise your child's safety:
Musical instruments, such as a guitar, that can hurt a young child that is playing with the strings (for example, trying to over-tune them), if one of the strings that are under high tension breaks, flying into his eye or scratches his face, etc.
High water, storm drains, and ditches when flash flooding occurs during and after severe thunderstorms.
Parade floats, which can run over a child along the parade route; kids can also fall while riding on a float.
Recalled or broken toys.
Toys that are not age-appropriate especially toys with magnets and small parts, which pose a choking hazard for younger children.
Home exercise equipment, including stationery bikes, treadmills, and stair climbers.
Ride-on lawnmowers, which should not be used by children under age 16 years of age; walk-behind lawnmowers, which should not be used by children under age 12.
Hot cars, especially when infants or toddlers are left in a car seat, toddlers or preschoolers sneak into the car to play and can't get out, or kids get trapped in the trunk.
Drawstrings on clothing hoods, which can be a strangulation hazard; extra buttons, ribbons, or decorative items on baby clothes and clothing for infants or toddlers, since they can come off and be a choking hazard.
Paper shredders, which can cause finger amputations and lacerations, especially to younger children.
Older (sold before November 2000) window blinds and cords, which can form loops and strangle young children.
Roman shades and roll-up blinds that have looped pull cords or exposed inner cords.
Falls from windows, which can be prevented by installing a window guard or window stop (prevents the window from opening more than four inches).
A garage door that does not automatically reverse and can trap a child underneath the door (mainly a problem for garage doors made before 1993 and newer ones that no longer work properly).
Balloons, which cause more choking deaths than balls, marbles, or small toy parts (In addition to choking or aspirating on broken balloon pieces, some children suck in uninflated balloons while trying to blow them up, which is why adults should supervise children under age eight who are playing with balloons. Kids under age three shouldn't be allowed to play with balloons at all).
Older pool, spa, and hot tub drains; their powerful suction and older covers can lead to hair entanglement or body part entrapment.
Home trampolines, motorized cycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), non-powder guns (BB guns, pellet guns, air rifles, or paintball guns), or loud toys
Be sure to secure the liquid nicotine that goes into e-cigarettes, as poison centers across the country are noting a large increase in kids getting exposed by ingestion, inhalation or absorption through the skin or eyes.
Laundry detergent pods, which the AAP states "pose a serious poisoning risk to young children," including over 17,000 calls to poison control in one year from children who ingest or aspirate the pods.