This post was sponsored by Window Covering Safety Council as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
I thought that I knew a lot about baby proofing and kid proofing a home when I had my first child. My husband and I went over the house with what we thought was a fine toothed comb. We covered the outlets and hid electronic cords. My husband attached any device or furniture piece that could be a tip over risk to the wall. I purchased more baby gates than I knew existed. And our efforts paid off. My daughter survived her early childhood without encountering what we would consider to be any typical household hazards.
But then I had triplet boys. Everything that I thought I knew about baby proofing and child proofing was hurled out the window at an alarming speed. Once the boys were walking, I discovered that I had only truly child proofed approximately 60% of the household hazards that needed to be addressed. While some tasks were simple (such as removing floor lamps), there were others that I would not have considered until the boys made it a problem. Since June is National Safety Month, I thought it would be the perfect time to share these 4 household hazards that we found in our home that you may find in yours, as well.
#1 Corded Blinds
Cords on blinds are like beacons to kids. A hanging string, fabulous! As parents, we know differently. Exposed and dangling cords pose a serious strangulation hazard. In fact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has found that corded window coverings are one of the top five home hazards. Once we realized our boys’ intense fascination with window coverings, we worked to replace all corded blinds in our home with cordless ones. A safety standard that went into effect in December 2018 has made this much easier. Now, retailers are only allowed to carry cordless window coverings in store. These cordless window coverings are easily identified in store by the Best for Kids™ certification label on the package. Consumers who specifically want corded window coverings must order them from the manufacturer. This new safety standard makes it more convenient to find cordless window coverings readily available at my preferred retailer.
Window coverings that are included in the glass panel of a door or window are another option for a cordless window covering. We installed these French doors a few years ago, and the window covering within the door has been great.
A fireplace is a huge household hazard as it contains several risks in one. Of course, there is the obvious fire component. Secondly, the sharp edges of a brick fireplace can lead to lacerations or injuries if kids are rough housing near the fireplace and fall. I vividly remember my younger sister suffering from two lacerations in separate events from falls onto a brick fireplace. The fireplace cover may also be a hazard. Glass fireplace doors get extremely hot and can cause burns. Heavy fireplace screens are a tip-over risk.
Once our boys were mobile, we secured a long baby security gate across the length of the fireplace to surround it so that no one could access the fireplace or the brick, as seen below.
#3 Ceiling fans with open tops or bulb-exposed bottoms
I never would have dreamed that a ceiling fan would be a household hazard! When my boys were only 18 months, one of them threw a block in the air, shattering the exposed ceiling fan bulb and dropping glass fragments all over the floor. Not long after that, one of the boys tossed a stuffed animal in the air. It landed in the open top of the ceiling fan and caught the stuffed animal on fire! We replaced the ceiling fan within the week to one that had no exposed top or bottom. We are slowly replacing all the ceiling fans in the house to this type of ceiling fan.
My daughter liked playing with large animal magnets as a kid. However, my boys only liked to dismantle magnets. Magnets are big choking and swallowing hazards. Swallowed magnets can actually block, twist, or tear the intestines, posing serious health risks. We quickly disposed of magnets once we realized this.
Have you discovered any surprising household hazards within your home? Share them for National Safety Month in the comment section below, and learn more about safer window coverings at the Window Covering Safety Council website.