Some dangers in your home may seem harmless or even healthy. Houseplans are a perfect example. Both young children and pets have been known to nibble on a flower or leaf every now and then. Take the time to learn about child and cat safe indoor plants before you bring them inside.
Tall furniture and shelving can also pose a serious hazard if it were to fall or be pulled over onto someone. Dressers with drawers that can add weight to the front when they are opened are a particular risk. Use safety straps or brackets to securely fasten them to wall studs.
Holiday or party decorations can also quickly become dangerous. Balloons, shiny garlands, and glass ornaments can take a situation from festive to panic in no time at all. Read any warnings about dangers and be sure to provide adequate supervision for young children and pets when decorations are out. Check Safety Equipment
A first aid kit containing basic supplies should be available but kept out of reach of younger children. That is especially important if you keep medicines in it. You’ll want to have adhesive bandages, gauze, antiseptic, and an antibiotic ointment at the very least. Pain and allergy medications can be helpful, as can insect sting relief and burn lotion.
Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms should be installed throughout your home. Check or change the batteries about once every six months to ensure they work properly. It’s a small price to pay for early warning of a disaster.
Fire extinguishers should be available and accessible near anything that poses a potential hazard. The kitchen, near gas-powered heating units, or by a fireplace are all common locations. If your children are old enough, teach them how to use the extinguishers safely. Just be sure they know to get an adult if there is an actual emergency.
If your home has a second floor, you should have an emergency fire escape ladder stashed upstairs to facilitate a quick exit. They are small, compact, and easy to use, and they are invaluable if your family needs to get out of the house but can’t use the main stairs.
Make sure to have a family emergency plan that details where everyone is supposed to go in case something happens. Practice it, too, so that the actions aren’t forgotten in the confusion of an actual emergency. Since time is critical, this can make the difference in whether or not they get out safely. Cut Back on Chemicals
Household cleaners are loaded with chemicals that could be potentially dangerous if ingested. Some also cause irritation if they get onto the skin. Be sure to keep them in a safe place, away from curious or playful eyes. It is best not to store chemicals near food, either. Keeping them together can cause some confusion for little ones, especially when it comes to cleaners like laundry and dishwashing pods, which can easily be mistaken for candy.
Switching to green cleaning products is an easy way to limit the amount of chemicals that your kids and pets are exposed to. As more people embrace them, they are easier to find. You can shop online or at specialty stores, but most grocery and big box stores have a good selection, too.
Using common sense and taking a few precautions can go a long way to keeping your house safe for both kids and pets. Having the right equipment in place can help get you through any accidents that happen along the way. Just remember, nothing is a replacement for proper adult supervision.