Safe at Play
When kids play, they throw themselves into it – sometimes literally! All areas of your home become a playground. And suddenly, common household items and spaces transform into potential safety hazards.
How can parents confront dangers that are hiding in plain sight? To help you get started, we put together a list of common household hazards you might not be aware of, along with tips to help you address them.
Rugs on bare flooring.
Most rugs have a non-slip traction pad underneath, but that’s not always true. So if you have slick wood or tile flooring in your house, check the undersides of any area rugs to see if they might pose a slipping hazard.
: Need a rug pad but don’t want to buy one? Make your own by purchasing rubberized material from a fabric or hardware store and cutting it to the size of your rug. A few well-placed pieces of double-sided tape can also keep rugs in position and prevent falls.
Furniture corners and edges.
Busy parents know what it’s like to turn a corner too fast and run into the sharp edge of a table, chair or counter. You may end up with a nasty hip or leg bruise – and slightly wounded pride! However, these hazards can come at head level for your kids, which presents a much greater danger.
: Having a furniture-free home isn’t an option, but you can consider repositioning sharp-edged pieces away from doorways and outside of high-traffic areas. Adding foam padding to exposed corners can also reduce the risk of injury.
Electrical outlets and cords.
Have a lot of electrical cords in your house? Long or dangling cords are a commonly underestimated risk to playing children, who might trip over them or be crushed by a heavy electrical device, such as a lamp or TV. The same goes for power outlets. Did you know that they are always electrically active – even when they aren’t in use? Toddlers who accidentally insert a finger or toy into the socket are at risk of electrical shock.
: Minimize the risk of shocks and house fires by covering unused outlets with child-safe plastic stoppers. In addition, try to run electrical cords along walls and under rugs whenever possible, or tape them to floors if that is the only option.
Follow these steps and you can help make playtime a little more safe for your kids and their friends!
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