November may be a good time to review safety tips to ensure your youngest holiday guests are safe from accidents. If it’s been a few years since you had small children living in your home it might surprise you what is waiting for a curious toddler to discover. Inspect your home for cleaning products and other chemicals that may harm a child.
Don’t assume children won’t taste something or stick their fingers in an electric outlet. Young children are very curious and do not have a sense of danger about these things.
If you will be hosting overnight guests with small children during the holidays take the necessary precautions and childproof your home.
- Purchase a few packages of plastic outlet covers/inserts. Children will poke pencils, nail files, even their fingers into outlets. Trust me! While we are on outlets; remove those plug-in air fresheners. They are extremely toxic (and may be the source of your dull headache or brain fog) and children will be drawn to the outlet simply to play with the ‘plug-in’. Toss them and don’t replace them after your guests are gone. A safer alternative to those toxic plug-ins is an essential oil diffuser. Keep reading for a link to save 24% on yours and discover the world of essential oil recipes. My favorite smells just like pumpkin bread baking.
- Inspect the lower cupboards in the bathroom and kitchen. Remove any cleaning products, laundry detergents and other chemicals to upper cabinets or the garage. Children are naturally curious. Don’t assume because something smells strong (think, ‘DrainO’) a small child won’t be tempted to taste it. Years of working as an ER nurse I have encountered far too many children poisoned by cleaning chemicals. These types of poisonings can have tragic results! Just move the chemicals. Even cleaning products labeled as ‘natural’ or ‘non-toxic’ can be caustic and cause severe injury. Medications need to be moved to higher ground as well. If you keep medication in your purse consider relocating it to a safer place while you have young guests.
- Don’t forget where you have handguns stored. Do we need to even talk about why these need to be moved to more secure locations? If you keep a handgun in your nightstand drawer, while young children are guests you need to relocate it out of a child’s reach. Don’t rely on trigger locks to prevent a tragedy. Move the gun to a safer place.
- Do you use anchors to prevent large bookcases or furniture from tipping? This is a safety precaution for any home with or without small children. Bookcases and large pieces of furniture can easily tip over especially if sitting on plush carpet or rugs. Small children are often climbers and bookcases can be a tempting challenge to curious children. Anchors mounted to the back of furniture and securely attached to the wall behind the piece can prevent serious injuries.
- Barrier gates for stairs and rooms you do not want children to access are a great safety device. We have a sturdy pet gate that prevents pets and children from going upstairs. This not only prevents pets from being upstairs unsupervised it also keeps children in the vicinity of the adults. Another barrier to consider is a door latch. These can be easily installed to prevent children from home offices or utility rooms etc. No need to rearrange your space if the door is secured. Safety latches on medicine cabinets can prevent poisoning from medications.
After going through the steps above, get down on your hands and knees in each room of your house and look for items you may have missed. Things an adult would never notice may be eye level with a 3 year-old and simply begging to be touched.
Even with all these precautions accidents still might happen.
Keep the POISON CONTROL Number handy 1-800-222-1222
Consider having the phone number of a nearby urgent care clinic that treats children in your phone. Out of town guests will not be familiar with addresses and directions. Knowing where the nearest urgent care clinic is located can save time in the event a minor emergency occurs. Everyone should know to call 911 if a life-threatening event happens.
I am not a physician. No product I mention or discuss is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. This information is for educational purposes only. You are encouraged to do your own research and make the best decision for yourself and your family.