‘Tis The Season For Hosting Grandkids — Is Your Home Ready?

‘Tis the season for welcoming family and guests for the holidays.
When it comes to the safety of your most special houseguests — your grandchildren — you can’t be too cautious. So before their next visit, check out these tips for childproofing your home and ridding it of hidden hazards that might seriously injure babies or young children.

Hide temptation.

Naturally curious little ones will put almost anything into their mouths. Keep potential poisons (such as medicine, household cleaners and rubbing alcohol) out of reach and — ideally — in a locked cabinet. And don’t leave purses within grabbing distance. Chances are they contain choking hazards, like coins or medicine.

Hold off on hand-me-downs.

Yes, it might seem sweet to tuck your grandbaby into the same crib your children slept in. But old baby furniture is risky. A crib that is more than a few years old, for example, won’t meet today’s safety standards. The same is likely true for playpens.
Set the stage for safe sleep. To protect against sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), keep soft, cushiony objects—such as stuffed animals, bumper pads, pillows and blankets—out of cribs. And always put babies to sleep on their backs on a firm surface—not your bed.

Beware of bathroom dangers.

Babies and toddlers can fall headfirst into toilets and drown. Play it safe and use toilet locks.

Fend off falls.

Install gates at the top and bottom of each staircase. The gates at the top of stairs should be mounted with screws. But it’s OK if those at the bottom are pressure mounted. And help keep adventurous climbers safe by moving chairs, cribs and other furniture away from windows.

Secure climb hazards.

Toddlers are especially prone to want to pull themselves up on just about anything they can grab on to. This can pose a danger around chairs, hutches or cabinets, and that Christmas tree that is so beautifully decorated. Make sure these areas are either secured to the wall or sectioned off, and that all adults are notified to keep a close eye out for climbing hazards.

What are they going to reach for?

Consider using the back burner of your stove or turning pot handles away from the edge of the stove to keep reaching hands and arms safe. A pack of electrical outlet safety caps can also go a long way toward closing off dangerous targets for younger fingers.

For more ways to help keep grandchildren out of harm’s way, visit www.safekids.org. Click on “Safety Tips.”
And remember, in case of emergency, the Carson Valley Medical Center emergency room, 1107 Highway 395 N in Gardnerville, will be open 24 hours on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Visit www.cvmchospital.org for more information.
Sources: AARP; American Academy of Pediatrics; Safe Kids Worldwide 

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