The simple - but often overlooked - child safety tips

Published 25 March 2013
(Photo: Aaron Beall

Most parents take common-sense steps to childproof their homes, such as covering plug sockets and keeping cleaning products out of reach. But some areas can still present health hazards for kids.

A poll by PEMCO found that while roughly half of parents were putting a gate at the top of staircases to prevent a tumble, 10% fewer were placing them at the bottom of the stairs to block access and stop small children climbing up the stairs.

A 2012 US government study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the leading causes of death among young people included burns, drowning, falls, and poisoning.

The CDC and Consumer Product Safety Commission found that drowning was the leading cause of unintentional death among children aged one to four.

It has these suggestions to keep the home safe for young children:

Install a toilet seat lock

Remove furniture with sharp corners, or cover corners with padding

Secure cupboards with childproof locks

Keep low-hanging window-blind cords beyond kids' reach

Cover electrical outlets

Set hot water heaters to no more than 120 degrees

Store chemicals and harmful cleaners out of reach

Do not leave young children unattended while they're in bathtubs, on toilets, near water buckets, or in swimming pools – even shallow inflatable pools

Secure bookshelves and cabinets to walls

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