Home Safety Hotspots
Illustration: Anoosha Syed
1. Keep all toxic cleaning supplies and other chemical-based products out of reach in top drawers and shelves.
2. Use the back burners and turn the handles of pots and pans inward so that no one can grab them. You can also buy knob covers and stove guards that prevent toddlers from turning on the burners themselves.
3. Make sure every outlet has an intact cover plate with a safety sliding latch, which acts as a barrier between tiny hands and exposed wires.
4. When loading the dishwasher, point knives, forks and any other sharp objects downward.
5. Install tamper-resistant ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in rooms with outlets near water. They protect against electric shocks by shutting off power when they detect current leaking into the ground.
6. While you can purchase safety mechanisms to tie window blind cords and keep them out of reach, cordless blinds are the safest option.
7. Old-school coil door stoppers look like toys but if the plastic tip falls off, it can become a choking hazard. Instead, install small, plastic rod-like doorstops.
8. Install tamper-resistant receptacles to protect young children from shocks. They have special shutters that cover plug slots and help prevent little fingers and objects from entering the outlet.
9. Make sure that all of the plants you keep indoors are non-toxic; some plants are poisonous when ingested.
10. Use bumpers to cushion everything from coffee table edges to fireplace hearths to low windowsills, softening the blow of any bumps to the head.
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