how to prevent accidents at home

As we all know - accidents happen. But you can prevent accidents at home without turning your home into a fortress. What types of home accidents are most common?

Tripping hazards, choking hazards and poison hazards are the most common injuries at home that can easily be prevented.

Here's how to make your home safe for visiting friends and family - and prevent accidents before they happen.

child safety checklist to prevent accidents at home.

  • Make sure all walkways and stairs are clear of debris and clutter and are well lit.
  • To prevent tots from a stairway slip and fall, gates that lock from banister to wall are a must.
  • Tie up drapery and mini blind cords. They invite attention and pose a trip and fall or strangulation hazard for children.
  • Remove doors not used for privacy. They can catch little fingers. 
  • Place stickers or colored tape on sliding glass doors to keep people from crashing into them.
  • Make sure the doors leading to hazardous rooms, such as the garage or cellar, and those leading outdoors have installed above a child's reach to prevent little ones from wandering about. 
  • Consider replacing interior doorknobs with lever-type handles. They're easier for kids and for those whose grip is impaired. 

how to prevent accidents at home in living areas.

The living room and the family room are the natural gathering areas in any home.

Look carefully around these rooms for any item within reach that a toddler could knock off its perch.

Use furniture corner protectors on sharp-edged tables to keep newly-walking family members safe as they toddle about.

If you have a wobbly bookcase, fasten it securely to the wall so that a curious climber can't pull it down. (Added benefit: this is also a great way to prepare your home for earthquakes.)

kitchen safety tips.

Since the kitchen houses a variety of sharp objects, chemicals, and choking hazards, you'll need to be especially vigilant here.

  • Keep the telephone number for your local poison-control center close at hand, and have a bottle of syrup of ipecac to induce vomiting when - and only when - you are advised to do so by a physician.
  • In both the kitchen and bathroom, use childproof locks to secure cabinets with cleaners inside. Do the same for drawers containing sharp tools. 
  • Stow trash containers in a locked cabinet. 
  • If you have a gas stove, cover the knobs with inexpensive sheaths so only you can turn on the gas.
  • Move refrigerator magnets out of a child's reach. If one of these breaks, its various parts could pose a choking hazard.

bathroom safety tips.

The bathroom is rife with danger. You can prevent bathroom accidents at home before they happen by:

  • Placing a nonslip mat on the floor of the tub or shower.
  • Padding the bathtub spout with an insulating cover that protects against bruising and scalding.
  • Keeping razors, blow-dryers, and other electric appliances unplugged when they're not being used. 
  • Setting your hot-water heater to a temperature no higher than 120 degrees F. (49 degrees C).
  • Clearing everything from around the bathtub. 
  • Closing the toilet lid and the bathroom door after each use. Even an inch of water is enough to drown a small child.

If small children are only occasional visitors to your home, before they arrive focus on securing a single room for them to use.

Remember, however, that there is no substitute for adult supervision.

› How to Prevent Accidents at Home


Have your say about what you just read! Leave a comment in the box below.