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Safety: General indoor

Here is a basic safety checklist for your home. In addition to the points below, be sure to look carefully around your home for yourself, to see if there are any additional actions you can take to safety proof it for you and your child. But begin by making sure that:

  • All emergency numbers are posted by the phone including:
    • poison control centre
    • police
    • fire department
    • ambulance
    • local hospital
    • hydro - in case of a power outage
    • gas - in case of a gas leak

  • There are safety coverings on all electrical outlets

  • The following are inaccessible to children:
    • all hazardous products
    • drugs and medications (many children can take off childproof safety tops) - don't forget those that are in purses or jackets of guests
    • cleaning solutions
    • cigarettes, tobacco, matches and lighters
    • alcoholic beverages
    • garbage
    • soiled diapers and diaper pails
    • skin care preparations and container caps, baby powder, talc, cornstarch and diaper pins
    • plastic and dry cleaning bags
    • cat litter boxes and pet food
    • electrical and telephone cords
    • batteries
    • breakable materials
    • items considered personally valuable
    • guns (all guns are locked up in a cabinet that is secured permanently to the structure of the building, the ammunition is locked up in a separate container; the gun is secured with a trigger lock that needs a special key or wrench and the key or wrench is locked up separately from the gun)

  • All cleaning materials, medications and toxic substances are clearly labeled - hazardous products are never stored in drinking bottles

  • There is nothing available for children to climb up on to reach dangerous items or climb out of a crib or playpen

  • Locks on the inside of doors have been removed so children cannot lock themselves in a room

  • Hanging curtain or blind cords are out of children's reach

  • Free-standing lamps are behind heavy furniture

  • All windows that open have screens and locks

  • There is no loose flooring or rugs, or tiny objects buried in a rug

  • Doors are prevented from slamming shut and hurting fingers, by a towel tossed over the top of the door

  • Furniture is sturdy, splinter-free and without sharp edges

  • Open stairways are blocked off. (Pressure-mounted gates are not used at the top of a staircase - one good punch by a child or pet and all will go tumbling down.)

  • Purses are out of reach of children, including those of visitors (They may contain medicines or sharp objects.)

  • Wet areas (such as freshly washed floors) are blocked off so children don't slip and fall

  • Children are safe while the parent is answering the phone or door

  • A seat belt is always used when children are in a highchair, stroller, portable swing or any other piece of equipment

  • The house is properly equipped with a carbon monoxide detector(s)

  • Children are constantly supervised, and never left alone:
    • on a change table or bed
    • with a bottle
    • in the bath (children can drown in as little as 4 cm (1 1/2") of water)
    • in a highchair
    • on a bean bag chair or water bed (children can roll over and smother in the soft fabric)
    • on a balcony
    • with a pet, including sleeping with a child (jealous or curious pets can hurt children)
    • in a car
    • in the house - not even for a very brief time

  • There are no poisonous plants accessible to children.

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