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How to Childproof Your Home

Unintentional injury is one of the top killers of children in the U.S. Prevention can eliminate almost all of these injuries.

Take the proper safety measures and childproofing steps to keep your family safe at home.

The Kitchen

  • Install safety latches on all cabinets and drawers to keep children from household products. Anything you know to be poisonous, place out of reach of children and lock it up.
  • Store household products and medicine away from food and beverages.
  • Use the stove's back burners and turn pot handles toward the back of the stove to keep hot pots and pans out of the reach of children.
  • Keep kitchenware and appliances out of reach and away from the edge of counters and tables.
  • Put visual reminders like the Mr. Yuk stickers from poison prevention centers on potential poisonous or hazardous items. Keep the poison center phone number (1-800-222-1222) somewhere visible as well.
  • While answering the door or phone, take open household products with you.

The Bathroom

  • Install safety latches on cabinets and drawers to keep children from potentially poisonous household products.
  • Store medicines and other products in their original containers.
  • Install toilet locks to keep toilet lids closed. Children are more top-heavy than adults and can lean and fall into a toilet easily. They also can drown in just one inch of water.
  • Install anti-scalding devices on faucets and shower heads to prevent burns. Also set the water heater thermostat to 120 degrees. It takes just three seconds for a child to sustain a third-degree burn from water at 140 degrees.
  • Unplug hair dryers and electric rollers after use to prevent electrocution from contact with water in the bathroom. Also keep them away from curious children to prevent burns.
  • Cover unused electrical outlets with outlet protectors or safety caps. Make sure outlets in the bathroom and kitchen -- or near any water source -- are updated with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), which turn off electricity if appliances fall into water. For outlets in use, especially those low to the ground, there are devices which make it difficult to pull out plugs.

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