November 2022 is National Child Safety Month. This is a time to keep in mind your child's safety, and to help make your home, car and neighborhood safer for your child.
There are many accidents that happen with children every year that are preventable, so making sure your home is safe is an important way to keep your child happy and healthy for a long time into the future.
Babyproof your home
If you have a small child, it is important to make sure you baby proof your house. This should be done before you bring your baby home from the hospital, and will need to be done again as your child grows.
You will want to be sure you cover electric sockets, and move dangerous items to high shelves, or get baby locks for your cupboards.
It is also important to put chemicals out of reach. This can include items like:
Household cleaning products
Nail polish remover and cleansers
Motor oil and other car products
As your child grows, you may have to reevaluate where you have items placed in your home, and keep moving dangerous or breakable items to higher shelves. You can use kitchen cabinets above the sink, or other out-or-reach places for these items.
Teach fire safety and emergency preparedness
In addition to keeping kids safe on a daily basis, it is important to be prepared in the event of an emergency such as fire, earthquake, or other natural disasters.
If you are in an area where forest fires or flooding is possible, it is important to know where you would go for an evacuation, and to keep a go-bag ready.
You can buy a ready-made go bag, or go you can use this list of items to have your bag ready in case of an emergency.
Talk to your child about the dangers of fire, flooding or earthquake, and what they should do in case of an emergency.
According to the VA, you should:
Create and practice your emergency plan. Include two evacuation routes, a safe room and two different meet-up locations — and make sure kids can run through it calmly.
Run through the basics. Kids should know how to call 911, identify themselves, identify their location, reach emergency contacts and get to predetermined safe locations.
By preparing for an emergency ahead of time, you can help your child to feel more in control if an emergency situation was to arise in your home or neighborhood. You can have them role play what to do in these situations, and show them how to leave the house safely if the main exit to your home is blocked.
You can also install fire ladders in rooms where your children may spend a lot of time, so they will be able to exit the house quickly if there is a fire in the home. You can also show them how to use a fire extinguisher for small fires, once they are old enough.
Keeping kids safe is important, as is teaching them how to keep themselves safe in the future. This will ensure that they will be able to stay safe in a variety of situations.
Here are some additional resources from the Children's Bureau that you can read through in order to keep your children safe in your home as well.
Knowing as much as you can about child safety will be able to help you keep your kids safe today, as well as in the future.