To protect you and your family, do a thorough safety check of every room in your home on a regular basis. You can prevent unintentional accidents, injuries, and nontraumatic emergencies and your family will be healthier and safer when you practice a little prevention.
Print this checklist so it can be used for the inspection of your home. Make extra copies for later use.
___ Don't leave medicines, toiletries, or other household products in drawers or on night stands. Keep controlled substances, such as narcotics and sedatives, in locked containers.
___ To avoid accidental injuries or choking, keep penknives, nail files, scissors, and pocket change out of reach.
___ Install a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector in the hallway outside of the bedrooms on all levels of your home. Test monthly and replace every 10 years.
___ Make certain drapery cords and blind cords are well out of reach of children.
___ Make certain the crib mattress fits snugly.
___ Crib slats should be placed no wider than 2 3/8 inches apart.
___ Make certain the crib has been put together properly and is not missing screws or bolts to prevent it from collapsing.
___ Make certain there is a carpet or rug beneath the crib or changing table to soften the impact if an infant falls.
___ Drop-side cribs, in which one or both sides drop down, are not recommended.
___ Make certain that children's toys and furniture have not been recalled. You can check at www.cpsc.gov.
___ Furniture should be attached to the walls. Then if a child climbs on it, it shouldn't fall on the child.
___ Make certain drapery cords and blind cords are well out of reach of children and cribs.
___ Remove all crib gyms, hanging toys, and decorations from a crib by the time a baby can raise up on hands and knees.
___ Make sure there is a safety belt on the infant changing table, and that it is used consistently and properly.
___ Make sure baby powder and lotions are out of a baby or child's reach. But, within your reach, so you do not have to leave the infant to reach these items.
___ If your child can climb out of the crib, consider a youth bed with guard rails, or place the crib mattress on the floor.
___ Never leave small parts or pieces of a toy in a child's room.
___ Make certain a night light is not near or touching drapes or the bedspread.
___ Never place a crib, playpen, or bed near a window.
___ Make certain window screens are securely in place, or that window guards are present to prevent a child from falling from a window.
___ Make certain there are plug protectors in the unused electrical outlets.
___ If there is a lid on the toy box, it should not be heavy, hinged, or lockable. Children may crawl inside and become trapped.
___ Put a nonskid bathmat on the floor and a nonskid mat or decals in the bathtub.
___ Protect all electrical outlets with ground fault circuit interrupters.
___ Store medicines, cosmetics, toiletries, and cleansers well out of reach of children.
___ When children are present, put child-resistant safety latches on all cabinets storing potentially harmful substances.
___ Store electrical appliances, such as hair dryers and curling irons, out of reach.
___ Always unplug such an appliance before leaving it unattended, no matter how briefly.
___ To avoid accidental scalding, make certain to set the water heater no higher than 120°F (49°C).
___ Never leave a child or disabled person unattended in a bathtub, or in a bathroom where there is a tub, sink, or bucket containing water.
___ Keep toilet lids closed.
___ Don't store vitamins (or medicines) on the kitchen table, counter top, or window sill.
___ Make certain knives, scissors, and other sharp utensils are out of reach.
___ Store dishwasher detergent and other cleaning supplies in their original containers and out of reach.
___ When children are present, install safety latches on cabinets and drawers within a child's reach.
___ Keep chairs and step stools away from counters and stoves.
___ Always turn pot handles inward when cooking on the stove. Use back burners whenever possible.
___ Keep the toaster out of the reach of toddlers.
___ Make certain appliance cords are not dangling, so they can't be pulled from a counter.
___ Unplug appliance extension cords when not in use.
___ When children are present, use plug protectors for all unused wall outlets.
___ If a child is in a highchair, make sure it is sturdy and has a seat belt with a strap between the legs.
___ Keep a working fire extinguisher in your kitchen.
___ Keep houseplants out of reach of children and pets. A number of plants are poisonous.
___ Make certain TV sets and other heavy items are secure so they can't be tipped over.
___ Remove unnecessary extension cords.
___ Put plug protectors in any unused electrical outlets when children are present.
___ Move tables and other objects with sharp edges away from the center of a room, especially if there are toddlers or disabled persons in the home.
___ Place protective material on sharp furniture edges.
___ Keep drapery and blind cords out of reach of children and disabled persons.
___ Secure area rugs to prevent falls and slips.
___ Keep stairs and walkways clear of snow, wet leaves, or other debris.
___ Repair cracks or chips in cement sidewalks and stairs.
___ Make certain railings, gates, and fences are secure and in good repair.
___ Keep garbage cans covered.
___ There should be a fence with a locked gate between the house and the backyard swimming pool.
___ Garden tools and lawn equipment should be securely stored.
___ Play equipment, such as swing sets and garden furniture, should be properly anchored and assembled. Check regularly for rust, splintered wood, or cracks.
___ If you have a fireplace, wood burning stove, or other heat source, place barriers around it to prevent accidental burns.
___ Inspect and clean chimneys and stovepipes regularly.
___ Make certain hazardous items, such as bug sprays, cleaners, laundry detergent packets, e-cigarettes, auto care products, and weed killers, are secured and stored in their original containers in the garage, utility room, or basement.
___ The first action when a person has ingested a toxic substance is to call the local poison control center at the universal telephone number in the U.S.: 800-222-1222.
___ Make certain plastic bags, broken pieces of toys, buttons, screws, and other choking or suffocation hazards are stored out of reach of children.
___ Post emergency telephone numbers near each telephone in your home.
___ When children are present, safety devices, such as gates, locks, and doorknob covers, should be in use at all stairways and exits in your home.
___ Make sure all indoor and outdoor stairways and entries are well lit and clear. Staircases are safer with handrails on both sides of the stairs.
___ Make certain bathrooms and bedrooms can be unlocked from the outside.
___ Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children and disabled persons.
___ A home should have 2 unobstructed exits, in case of fire or other emergency.
___ Check all electrical cords to make sure they are not cracked or frayed.
___ Make certain outlets or extension cords are not overloaded.
___ It is best not to use space heaters. If they are used, make sure they are in safe condition. Never plug them into an extension cord. Don't place them near drapes or furnishings.
___ Paint or wallpaper should not be chipping or peeling. Be sure the paint doesn't contain lead.
___ Keep purses, backpacks, and other portable storage bags out of a child's reach. They may contain medicines, penknives, hard candies, and other items that may harm children.