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Childproofing The Family Room
Our children’s safety should be our first priority and the family room can be a dangerous place for younger children if certain precautionary measures aren’t taken. Child proofing the family room is not a difficult task. It simply takes a little time and a lot of attention to detail which are both easily accomplished with a little extra knowledge.
The electrical outlets are probably one of the most common sources of child injuries and can easily be removed from the list of child hazards. All that is needed to child proof an electrical outlet is a simple little gadget that can be purchased from most variety stores as well as online. It is a simple plastic two pronged plug that fits right into any standard household outlet blocking anything from entering it while attached. This keeps children from inserting metal objects into an outlet and experiencing electrocution.
The fireplace is another area of the family room that can cause injury to children. Without the proper barricade, children could easily reach into a fireplace and experience life threatening injuries. Purchasing a fireplace barricade is a great idea but an even better idea would be to establish a child free zone around the entire fireplace. Using a small flexible gate of some sort would allow you to put up a 2-3 foot barricade keeping children completely away from a fireplace.
Space heaters can be very dangerous to children as they produce multiple dangerous possibilities. The first and most obvious danger is the burning hazard. Some space heaters operate by heating coils that are easily accessible by the little hands of curious little children. The second danger is in the cord of the space heater or more specifically, how easy it is to remove the cord of a space heater from the wall outlet. If a child can pull the cord of a space heater out of the outlet, the original danger of electrocution becomes a danger once again.
Household plants can be a wonderful way to decorate a family room but many household plants can be a poison to children if ingested. Keeping household plants out of the reach of children should be a priority as it will help to eliminate the possibility of poisoning. To guarantee that poisoning will never be a possibility, simply remove the household plant from the family room altogether.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can literally kill and is undetectable until it is too late. It is extremely important to have a carbon monoxide detector on every level of the home. This does not just apply to the family room but it is a child proofing must. Just as important is a smoke detector. Having a smoke detector in the family room is a great idea. In fact, having a smoke detector in every room of the house is a good idea. Be sure to test alarms monthly and change batteries yearly as this will ensure a working alarm system.
Falls in the family room are a popular injury for children as by nature they love to climb on anything and everything possible. It is important to secure every form of furniture and shelving in place. This can be done by attaching each piece to a wall by strap or bracket. This way if a child should sneak into the family room and decide to climb the book shelf, the book shelf will stay in its place.
Sharp edges are always a danger for little ones as they love to run into things. The corners of tables and counters can be padded with a bumper protecting a child’s sensitive little head. Glass table are a completely different story. They should be completely removed from any area that a child has access to. A glass table that breaks as a result of a child falling into it would be a horrifying experience.
There are other things that should be considered when child proofing the family room and these might include keeping small parts such as batteries, coins, and buttons out of reach as they can be a choking danger and replacing any window coverings that include draw strings as they can be a strangulation hazard. It really just comes down to being very aware of your surroundings and paying attention to detail.