It’s no secret that both fur and human babies are very curious, usually while exercising minimal caution. In fact, children under the age of 4 have the highest rates of nonfatal falls and poisoning, and over 140,000 pets a year are exposed to toxic substances.
And because pets and small children are incapable of protecting themselves from potential danger, it’s vital that we take certain precautions in our homes. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered!
Listed below are a few safety tips you can use to protect both your pets and children from common hazards in your home. Keep reading to learn more.
Keep Cleaning Chemicals Out of Reach
As we mentioned earlier, poisonings are common in both children and pets, so one of the best things you can do to protect your little ones is to keep any chemicals out of reach. This means placing them on a high shelf or, better yet, in a locked cabinet.
There are plenty of options for cabinet locking solutions that will keep it easy for you to reach anything you might need, but make it impossible for children and pets to injure themselves with harmful chemicals.
Keep Clutter to a Minimum
With everything on our plates on a day-to-day basis, it can be tough to keep the house as clean as we would like. But to keep both pets and small children safe, it’s essential that you keep clutter to a minimum.
Why? Because choking and gastrointestinal problems due to swallowing foreign objects are common in both toddlers and pets. Any small figurines or souvenirs should be kept on high shelves, out of reach of little hands and mouths.
In addition, it’s a good idea to pick up any stray socks or towels that might have fallen to the floor during the laundry routine right away.
Finished with the bath? Drain the tub before doing anything else. Deep standing water poses a drowning hazard to small children and pets.
Install Screens in Windows
When we think of baby or pet-proofing, the first things that come to mind are likely locking cabinets and installing childproof coverings on the doorknobs. But one common hazard that’s often overlooked is windows. An open window is an invitation for small children or pets to get outside without your knowledge, or worse, fall.
If you don’t have screens in your windows currently, keep them closed and locked at all times. That said, we could all use some fresh air through our homes every now and then, which is why it’s such a good idea to have screens in all of your windows.
Don’t worry about them being intrusive to your view, either. You can find window screens that are virtually invisible!
While you’re working on your windows, consider replacing your current blinds with a cordless variety. Blind cords are a strangling hazard for babies, cats, and particularly curious dogs.
Be Wary of Cords and Outlets
Another major hazard is anything electrical. This means appliances, gaming consoles, and light fixtures, but more importantly, cords and outlets.
A tiny finger or tongue in an electrical outlet is a recipe for disaster. And tripping over or biting an electrical cord can be just as dangerous.
To protect your pets and children from electrical hazards, you should cover all cords and outlets when they’re not in use. The threat of outlets can be eliminated easily with plastic covers on each of them.
Cords that travel with you, such as laptop or phone chargers, should be kept in drawers between uses. Meanwhile, cords that remain in place, like those for lamps and televisions, should be covered with a flexible conduit.
In doing so, you’ll still be able to move the cords around when you need to, but they’ll be protected from teeth and hands.
Research Your Houseplants
Believe it or not, certain houseplants pose a threat equal to your harshest cleaning chemicals. If a piece of the beautiful peace lily is swallowed by a child or pet, for example, they’ll experience vomiting, burning and swelling of the digestive tract, and diarrhea. And if you aren’t careful, ingestion can even lead to death.
Though such toxic plants can be kept out of reach, it’s best to keep them out of your house altogether. With the endless variety of gorgeous, hazard-free houseplants available, there’s no need to bring such a threat into your home.
If you already own houseplants, do a quick search on each of them to ensure that none of them pose a hazard to your pets or children.
Install Safety Gates
Last but not least, you should have a few safety gates on hand to keep children and pets out of unwanted areas. The top and bottom of the staircase, the laundry room, and the kitchen are great places to start.
These can also be used to corral small children and pets in one place. So next time you’re taking a quick shower or vacuuming the living room, you can keep your little ones in one room while keeping an eye on them, as the door can remain open with the use of a safety gate.
Use These Safety Tips to Keep Your Babies Safe
Whether you’re a pet owner, a parent, or both, it’s important to do whatever you can to keep all of your babies safe. Though you can’t protect them from everything, by using these safety tips, both your pets and children will be far safer in your home.
Yes, it may take an afternoon or a weekend to be sure you’ve gone through every room, but the peace of mind will make the effort worth it.
To learn more about making your home the safest space it can be, take a look at our blog!