Underwriters Laboratories, an independent product safety certification organization that probably known best for the UL label carried on most electrical goods sold in the US, is asking parents and caretakers this month to commit a minute to review a few easy-to-follow home safety guidelines to help protect their child.
Ready for some babyproofing? Here are UL's top 10 home safety tips for parents:
- Inspect your home from a baby's point of view! Get down on your hands and knees and search each room for objects or situations that may endanger your baby.
- Eliminate toy and other household swallowing and choking hazards. Remove all small toys and other objects within your baby's reach. A good rule of thumb is if it fits in a toilet paper roll, it's too small!
- Install outlet covers. Tour your home and cover all electrical outlets with outlet covers to prevent any injury to your baby. This safety measure is easy and inexpensive.
- Install lid locks on all the toilets in your home to keep your child safe should he or she take an unsupervised trip into the bathroom. Even if your child is not potty trained, children who are just learning to walk may find pulling up on the toilet seat irresistible.
- Shop for a safe crib and purchase a flame-retardant mattresses. When purchasing a crib, make sure there is no more than 2 3/8 inches between slats; corner posts do not extend more than 1/16 of an inch above the end panels; and headboards and footboards do not contain cutout areas.
Are safety issues at home really so dire that we need an awareness month on the topic? Absolutely, says UL, citing the alarming statistic that over 2.5 million children are injured in their homes every year. And the safety warning is not just for parents of newborns.
"The most important tip this September is to keep safety top-of-mind for children of all ages," says John Drengenberg, consumer safety director for UL, in a media release. "Whether you have an infant or a toddler, it's important to take that extra minute to ensure your surroundings are safe and look for the UL Mark."