Many common household items that wouldn’t normally be considered dangerous can pose serious strangulation or entrapment risks for young children.
Please keep the following suggestions in mind when childproofing your home.
- Remove drawstrings from hoods, jackets and waistbands of your child’s clothing. The strings can get caught on furniture or playground equipment. If your child has mittens that are attached with a string, cut the string.
- Don’t put necklaces or headbands on your baby
- Never leave a child in a stroller alone, small children can slide down and become trapped.
- Don’t use cribs with cutouts in the headboard or footboard
- Do not tie a pacifier around your baby’s neck or tether it to your child’ clothing with a ribbon or a piece of string.
- Do not hang diaper bags or purses on cribs – babies can become entangled in straps or strings
- Secure wires, such as long telephone or electrical cords.
- Do not use older accordion-style safety gates. Children can trip their heads in them.
- Tie up all window blind and drapery cords. Keep cribs and playpens away from window covering. Even the inner cords that hold window blinds together can strangle a child.
- Remove mobiles from cribs once a child is able to stand or sit up without help.
- Clip strings or ribbons off of crib toys and cut strings on crib bumpers to less than 6 inches.
- Make sure the space in between crib slats is no larger than 2 3/8 inches. The same goes for older playpens
- Make sure that all toy boxes or chests do not have hinged lids – remove the lids and leave them off.
- Put all plastic bags away, even if they are filled. Most accidents involving plastic bags occur with dry cleaning bags, garbage bags, bags being used for storage and bags used to protect beds or furniture.
- Children can get trapped inside large appliances, such as refrigerators, freezers, clothes dryers. Childproof your utility room. If discarding old latch-style refrigerators, remove the door first (if the door will not come off, remove or disable the latch so that it cannot lock when closed or chain and padlock the door).
- Recliners have caused death and brain injury to children playing on them. A child can become trapped if their head enters the space above the foot rest and their body forces the footrest down.
- Balloons have caused more deaths in children than any other toy because they can become trapped inside a child’s throat and cut off air by taking the shape of the child’s windpipe. Choose Mylar balloons rather than rubber balloons.