November is widely recognized as National Child Safety and Prevention Month, serving as a reminder for parents and caregivers to minimize potential dangers for their youngest family members before the holidays. Help make your home a safer space this year by following these child-proofing tips from Oklahoma Farm Bureau Insurance.
“With families convening for the holidays, people of all ages are brought together,” said Gary Buckner, executive vice president and general manager of Oklahoma Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Companies. “Parents try to protect children from the dangers of the outside world, but sometimes they forget about the dangers closer to home. This month is a good reminder for us to check the safety of our homes and to improve upon it.”
Oklahoma Farm Bureau Insurance is offering the following tips for child-proofing your home, just in time for the family to gather for the holidays:
Secure furniture. Heavy, large furniture can pose hazards to young children who may attempt to climb on or play around the items. Inspect all pieces of furniture that a child might climb on and secure any heavy or unstable furniture to the wall with “L” brackets to avoid tipping over. A Christmas tree is also a tip-over risk, so consider securing it to the wall as well or blocking it off with a safety gate.
Put up or lock up harmful substances. Kids are curious by nature and are prone to opening drawers and doors, providing access to the items inside that might not be meant for them. Keep all cleaning supplies, medications, laundry supplies and kitchen tools up high and out of reach of children. If these products must be kept in lower, reachable spaces, use a child-proof lock on the drawer or door.
Cover electrical outlets. Electrical outlets pose the risk of electrical shock to children who may put items such as coins, keys or tiny fingers in the outlet slots. Eliminate the risk for electrical shock by putting outlet caps over the outlets. If an outlet has holiday lights or another item plugged into it, keep children from unplugging the cords by moving furniture in front of the outlet or by installing a cover that encases the cords in the outlet.
Remove choking hazards. Start by viewing the space from a child’s eye level. Identify and remove any small objects from their reach. When the holidays are in full swing, parents should also think through added choking hazards, such as round, hard food items, board game pieces, small gifts and gift wrapping items.