Young children and toddlers are especially vulnerable to injuries. Without the knowledge and experience to stay safe, they may get into trouble simply by exploring the world around them. If you have children at home, are babysitting, or have children visiting your home, there are several things you need to do to make your home safe:
1) Check window blinds.
Window blinds and window treatments can pose a strangulation hazard. Any cords or strings hanging from windows can result in strangulation. Your best option if you have children or have children visiting your home regularly is a motorized and cordless blind system. However, keep in mind that even draperies or blinds without cords can be dangerous if a toddler grabs hold of the window treatment and pulls, potentially causing the rods and entire window treatment to crash down. Consider keeping window treatments tied back and out of the way, and ensure children can’t climb onto furniture to get at the window. Ensure any window treatments and rods are secured firmly to the wall.
Keep in mind that draperies and blinds aren’t the only strangulation risk around the house. The strings which dangle from your treadmill or other appliance, a piece of rope tied around a door handle, or any type of dangling string can pose a strangulation risk to a small child.
2) Prevent window falls.
Windows should be locked and windows in children’s rooms should be covered with mesh or bars to prevent a child from falling through. Never leave windows open around a child and never push beds or other furniture under a window, since a child can more easily child up to the window ledge this way.
3) Anchor heavy furniture to the walls.
Each year, children are seriously injured or even killed when climbing furniture or heavy objects. Any piece of heavy furniture – including a larger television screen, a dresser, a bookshelf, or any piece of furniture or appliance needs to be secured to the wall with the appropriate hooks or brackets. To learn more, visit the “Anchor It!” website created by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Many objects which are seemingly innocuous pose a serious danger to small children and toddlers. Ceramic figurines, for example, can break easily and can pose a choking or cutting risk. Tablecloths or cloth runners draped over a coffee table or dining table can be easily pulled down by a toddler, bringing everything else crashing to the floor and onto the child. Clearing out your home to reduce the number of knickknacks and accessories you have, especially at child level, can reduce the risks.
5) Ensure proper supervision.
Even with the best precautions, children can easily get into trouble. Whether you have children of your own or have children visiting, always ensure at least two adults are watching any children in your home at all times. This will prevent the child from wandering off and can also help protect you from a premises liability claim in Homestead or your community in some cases.
If your child has been injured when visiting someone’s home or when being cared for by a caregiver, you may have a premises liability claim or other civil claim. To find out more, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation.