"Don't do that, you're going to...!"
I think all fathers have been in the situation where we've said, "Don't do that, you're going to...." and never get to the end of the sentence before we are in route to pick up and console our child. You probably don't notice it in your busy day to day life but safety is a big part of being a dad.
I can remember not long ago when I did things much differently. I didn't worry how the corners of my furniture would feel if you fell and hit your head on them, or if the program I was watching on TV would give my son nightmares. I also didn't worry if my home was safe, protected against carbon monoxide, or if my blind cords were too long.
Now I realize just how much goes into keeping our home safe for our son. I take the extra time to put the scissors back where my son can't get to them. I put padding on the sharp corners of my end tables. I make sure our home security system is armed and I never leave a Lego on the living room floor when I go to bed. Ok, maybe that last one is for my safety, but can you blame me?
Here are 5 Safety Tips For Your Home I Appreciate As a Dad:
- Make sure blind cords are out of reach. Who spends time thinking about their blind cords? Well, when you become a parent, you realize that they are a strangulation hazard. Make sure all blind cords are out of reach, and move furniture, cribs and beds away from the windows.
- Secure your TV's and furniture so they won't tip over. This is another safety measure I never thought much about until my son started climbing on EVERYTHING. Did you know that every 3 weeks a child dies from a TV tipping over? As a dad, that breaks my heart. It is a preventable tragedy. Make sure flat screen TV's are securely mounted to the wall, and older TV's are placed on low, stable pieces of furniture. You can also use brackets, braces and wall straps to secure top-heavy furniture to the wall.
- Keep poison and medication out of reach. This one seems pretty obvious, but until I was a dad I never realized how quickly kids could get into things and get stuff in their mouths. You turn your back for five seconds and they have gotten into something. Most of us store many cleaning products and chemicals under kitchen and bathroom sinks. Consider locking those cabinets or moving those chemicals somewhere higher so they are not at a child's eye level. Make sure all medications are locked up and have the toll-free Poison Help Number (1-800-222-1222) in your cell phone because accidents happen.
- Don't leave kids alone around water. We all should know not to let kids swim in swimming pools unsupervised, but this tip also extends to the small kiddie pools you put up in the back yard and even your bathtub and toilet. Drowning is the leading cause of injury related deaths for children ages 1-4, and babies can drown in as little as one inch of water. Go beyond making sure you are supervising your kids around water and learn CPR from the Red Cross to make sure you are prepared in the event of a water emergency.
- Invest in a security and automation system. Equipped with the latest technology, these systems can do it all. They can beep to alert you when your child opens a door, even telling you what door has been opened. They come with fire, carbon monoxide and burglary protection which is a great safety feature for your entire family, not just your child. The automation features can be programmed to set life safety scenes so if a fire is detected the Monitoring Center is alerted, doors will automatically unlock, lights will come on and the HVAC system will turn off so smoke won't circulate through your home. It's brings peace of mind to know that you are not the only one looking out for the safety of your family.
pictured above: Chris Delagarde and his son, Colt.