While creating a safe environment for your kids in crucial at all times, there is a heightened risk now. You’re probably scrambling to find ways to replace your child’s daycare or school activities. If you’re ‘self-isolating’ at home because of the coronavirus, it’s difficult to focus on both your kids and work.
“It’s a really hard time to be a parent right now,” Josh Golin, executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, told the Washington Post. “I have so much empathy for what parents are going through.” Golin said that one of the biggest concerns for young children during this time is figuring out a way to replace interaction that typically happens in preschool settings.
“But the biggest concern now is to make sure your family is safe and protected at home,” says attorney Jeff Killino. Worse case scenario is that you or your child suffers an injury at home— many emergency rooms and health care centers can barely cope during this pandemic. Keep in mind that more than 9,000 children die each year from home-related accidents and injuries, with another 8.9 million being rushed to emergency rooms from these same occurrences, according to the Center for Disease Control. You do not want to go there.
“Let’s be overly careful at home during this time: stay vigilant and mindful of dangers that can harm our precious youngsters,” adds Killino. Here is a quick guide to alert you to five potential home hazards.
Unintentional falls are the top cause of non-fatal injuries in the U.S. Heavy furniture falling on children is just as dangerous. Millions of dressers have been recalled due to tip-over incidents, including child deaths.
Over two million poisoning incidents were reported in 2014. Many household items are potential poisoning hazards, from cleaning supplies like detergent to personal products such as hairspray and makeup. Use safety latches on doors and drawers and make sure everything is out of reach.
Inspect toys for any prospect of choking hazards. It could be anything – from small pieces of an action figure or detachable items on a doll. Remove all small magnets from the playroom or children’s bedrooms, and keep fridge magnets out of reach. Ditto for toys and electronic devices with button or coin batteries. A study published in the Journal of Pediatrics cited over 2,700 visits to ER for children who had ingested magnets.
Thoroughly check the bathroom and never leave a child unattended in the tub. Keep all buckets empty and away from water sources. If you have a swimming pool you know about drowning danger but pool toys can be extremely dangerous.
Goes without saying to keep items with sharp edges out of reach, but so many items can cause a cut, such as an open can and yard tools.
Precautions you should take RIGHT NOW
- Falling: Check for slippery surfaces and trip hazards and check for any wobbly or loose furniture—particularly dressers—and place guards on any sharp corners and make sure furniture is away from windows.
- Poison: Make sure all cleaning supplies and other household items are sealed and out of reach.
- Choking: Check and remove all small parts be it toys or other other household items.
- Drowning: Make sure all bathtubs are drained and pools are securely fenced with gates doors and latches in good working order.
- Burns: Make sure lighters candles and other combustibles are out of reach.
- Cuts: Keep sharp utensils in a drawer with a safety latch and glass objects, including glasses, out of reach.
One way to keep your kids safe and occupied during this pandemic is to copy their daycare or classroom activities. One pre-school, Dandelion Montessori, collected materials and packed bags for their students to take home. They included activities and materials like Play-Doh, beads, puzzles, snap pea seeds and art supplies, tailored to what each student was working on before school closed. Bags were handed out to parents outside the school or delivered to parents at their homes.
Child injury attorney Jeff Killino is experienced with cases involving defective products as well as injuries to children. If your child has been injured by a defective or faulty product, please do not hesitate to contact us.