Often times, our minds are so preoccupied with making sure our kids stay safe when we’re not around to protect them that we overlook hazards in the home. While it’s good to always keep a vigilant watch over your youngsters, it’s equally important to teach them dangerous situations they might encounter at home or a friend or relative’s house.
Here are five home hazards you’ll want to talk to your kids about to ensure they know how to keep themselves safe and sound.
Every parent knows they’re supposed to bolt bulky furniture to the wall, but it doesn’t always happen, and that definitely won’t always be the case in other residences. Kids might climb up on furniture to reach something or just plop themselves on top because, well, kids do that kind of thing. But heavy furniture can fall over in an instant and crush children underneath.
Warn your children about this, offer tools (like stepping stools) for retrieving hard-to-reach objects, and make sure they know that it’s always best to ask an adult for help when they aren’t able to get something on their own.
It’s not unheard of for kids to lean out of windows or press their faces against the screens; this is extremely dangerous as window screens pop out with minimal force and the drop can be deadly, especially when someone plummets out of a window headfirst. Talk to your kids about avoiding open windows when they’re playing and never pushing on the screen.
Washers and Dryers
Kids may think it’s funny to climb inside of a washer or dryer during a game of hide-and-seek, but once the door is locked, air supply runs low and children can suffocate fast. It’s not possible for them to let themselves out, and if they’re with young friends, it’s possible one might even turn one of the devices on while your child is inside. Children should be aware from a young age that the laundry room is not a playroom and to never climb inside a washing machine, dryer or any other appliance.
Scaling fences might be a childhood pastime for some, but splinters, bacteria, sharp edges and other hazards await kids who try to climb over fences. Talk to your kids about safe navigation when they’re out in the neighborhood, and make sure they don’t just understand the meaning of trespassing but also the fact climbing fences could get them seriously hurt.
IPads, phones, laptops, game consoles—there’s no shortage of devices for our kids, but they may not be aware that chargers and outlets can be a source of major danger. Talk to your kids about properly charging their devices, never using them in the tub or shower (even if they’re waterproof), never inserting anything into an outlet and never overloading extension cords. Fires and shock can happen in a tragic instant, but most cases are avoidable with the right instruction. Make sure also to take care of any issues with electrical wiring as soon as possible, to avoid shocks or fire hazards.
Keeping Kids Safe at Home
There’s always something to worry about as a parent, and this article isn’t meant to scare you by any means. We want to protect our children no matter what, and we’re typically so focused on the threats beyond our scope that we miss the dangers that can lurk right under our own roofs.
Posting a list of safety rules on the fridge and talking honestly with your kids doesn’t take much time, but it could wind up preventing serious injury. Sit down, have a chat and sleep easier knowing that your children are better equipped to care for themselves.