Parents do their best to protect their children from danger. We may get to know another child’s mom and dad before giving permission for a sleepover, or teach our children to hold our hand while crossing the road. However, danger sometimes lurks closer than we expect. No matter if you have a newborn or a toddler, childproofing your home is critical to maintaining a safe, kid-friendly environment.
Small Objects Can Present a Big Threat
Childproofing is especially important for the parents of infant children and toddlers. A report commissioned by the National Safety Council found that asphyxiation is the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 0 and 4.
Oftentimes, such asphyxiation deaths occur when a curious young child tries to taste or eat a small, novel object. Common culprits include:
- Adult medications
- Miniature toys, or toys with easily removable parts
Prescription medications, cleaning chemicals, and detergents should always be kept inaccessible and out of reach. Even the youngest children can be quite mischievous, so it is important not to dismiss hazardous items because they are behind a cabinet door or other semi-complex barrier.
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Keeping Your Child’s Environment Safe
Many accidents and injuries can be avoided by simply ensuring a clean, open room. Parents of younger children may also wish to install physical barriers—such as childproof gates—to ensure little ones do not wander toward danger.
As silly as it may sound, sometimes the best advice is to explore like a baby — on all fours. By going prone or trying to crawl on the ground, adults can observe the world from a baby or toddler’s perspective and better identify risky objects, fixtures, or materials that may otherwise go unnoticed.
The stationary objects in an infant or toddler’s room can be just as dangerous as toys or coins. Parents who own cribs should consider its height off the ground and whether it contains any materials which could be ripped off or consumed. The bars should also be a safe distance apart—it is not unheard of for babies to get their heads stuck between crib bars while trying to explore.
Parents of older infants and toddlers who are learning to walk will want to keep sharp, hard edges covered or padded.
Tips For Childproofing Your Home
Parents should try to ensure that:
- Cribs have multiple lock-points and mattresses which fit snugly within the frame;
- Moveable pieces of furniture are securely anchored whenever possible;
- Items or objects which utilize doors, hatches, or lids contain or are outfitted with safety latches;
- Locks, gates, and other barriers are effective both after purchase and continued use
- Electrical outlets should be covered whenever they are not in use.
No matter how much effort you put into childproofing your home, accidents inevitably happen. Thankfully, most accidents are just that—mistakes that help us grow as parents, while teaching our young children how to better explore their surroundings.
When an Accident is Not an Accident
Sometimes, though, products which are marketed as “childproof” or kid-friendly contain critical design flaws—flaws that can lend to severe inconvenience, injury, or even death. A crib may have inadequately spaced bars or a faulty lock; a toy made for young children could have small, easily breakable or removable parts that pose a choking hazard.
Under certain circumstances, a parent can hold a manufacturer liable for any harm their children suffer after being injured by a faulty or unsafe item. If you have an infant, toddler, or child who was harmed because of a dangerous crib or toy, then you may be able to receive compensation for your losses through the courts.
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Contact a Long Island Personal Injury Attorney Today
Thankfully, you do not have to tackle a lawsuit alone—a Long Island personal injury attorney can help you prepare your case by reviewing the faulty product, assessing the manufacturer’s potential liability, and leading the litigation to court. Send us a message online or call us today to schedule a free consultation.