Childproofing your Home on the Cheap!

5 inexpensive ways to safeguard your home against childhood injuries

Many young parents are already strapped for cash. As a young mother, I hardly had two pennies to rub together. However, ignoring the dangers that exist in your home can result in serious injuries to your kids’ wellbeing–tragedies that could otherwise be avoided.

According to BabyCenter.com, children between the ages of 1 and 4 are more likely to suffer fatal accidents in their own home due to things like falling, drowning, choking, and ingesting poisons than they are to suffer injuries or death at the hands of a stranger.

Pretty scary thought that your children could suffer harm in their own home. I know I read about kids ending up in hospital emergency due to these types of injuries all the time. To safeguard my own brood, I implemented a few simple and affordable childproofing techniques in my home to increase safety in your home and minimize accidents.

Take the following common childhood injuries for example and learn how I prevented them in my own home…

1. Trips and falls

Fall-related injuries are the most common in the U.S.—particularly for children. And kids in particular can risk serious injuries due to a fall in the home if they are excited, rushing, tired, upset, or simply when they’re not paying attention to their surroundings.

Childproofing tip: To reduce falls in my home, I blocked all open stairways with baby gates that I found at garage sales until my kids were capable of navigating stairs on their own. I also make sure that my stairwells and landings are well lit at all times.

2. Cuts and burns

Unsupervised kitchens can pose a burn or cut risk to kids if they reach for a hot surface—such as a stove, toaster, kettle, or boiling pot—or grab a knife on the wrong end. My kids, like most, are naturally curious. And something as simple as a pot handle turned outwards was a danger if they decided to grab or accidently bumped and spilled the contents.

Childproofing tip: Always secure knives and sharp utensils in cupboards with those inexpensive plastic safety ties so curious kids can’t open them to explore. Always supervise a hot stove and keep pot handles turned inwards so kids don’t go for the grab or accidently knock them over.

3. Open windows and balconies

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that thousands of kids are killed or injured from falling off of balconies or out of windows on a yearly basis. However, when it’s hot outside, the urge to open a window or balcony door is too tempting. And a screen doesn’t provide enough security if leaned upon by a curious toddler.

Childproofing tip: I installed window guards and balcony door wedges (even a broom handle wedged in the slide will work as a cheap slide stop) to block kids from venturing out on their own. Safeguard your windows with window guards or window stops. I also kept chairs and couches far enough from windows so my little monkeys weren’t climbing near open windows.

4. Electrical shocks

When my kids were little, they liked to put their fingers into everything—including my electrical outlets. Electrical cords and open extension cords also proved to be dangerous.

Childproofing tip: I covered the faces of all electrical outlets with cheap outlet covers (they are a few bucks a pop).  I also covered any unused yet exposed outlets with covers and wound up any unused cords to prevent any urge for kids to play and end up straggled.

5. Curtain and blind strangulation

The Customer Protection and Safety Committee (CPSC) claims window coverings pose a serious threat to our children’s wellbeing—with kids between 7-months and 10-years suffering strangulation-related injuries pretty much every month in the U.S. That means those hanging cords on your window blinds and curtain slides can easily become wound around your child’s neck in mere seconds.

Childproof tip: I did a few different things to safeguard my home—including winding blind cords up and securing them with elastics. I also gradually replaced all of my blinds and curtains with cordless window coverings after my first daughter was born—firstly, on the window near my daughter’s crib.

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