children playing with their grandparent in living room

When you’re in charge of children, their safety is up to you. These child safety tips can help:

Fire safety for children

  • Teach children at least two ways out of every room.
  • Show children how to crawl low under smoke and to “stop, drop and roll” if their clothing or hair catches fire. Teach them not to be afraid of firefighters even though they might look frightening, and that they should go to the firefighters and not run away and hide.
  • Practice your family escape plan from various rooms in your home. If your home has a second floor, consider purchasing escape ladders and help your children practice using them. Agree on where your family will meet once everyone is outside the house.
  • Install smoke alarms right outside sleeping areas and on each level of your home.
  • Change the smoke alarm batteries twice a year and vacuum the filter, since dust can render detectors useless.
  • Test the alarms once a month. Encourage children to help with these tests so they are familiar with the sound of the alarms. Remind them what they should do whenever they hear that sound. 

Kitchen safety for kids

  • To avoid accidental burns, turn pot handles away from the front of the stove and install child-safe burner control knobs.
  • Never plug in electrical appliances where children can pull on the cord and cause the appliance to fall onto them.
  • Keep hot items such as fryers, crock pots and hot beverages away from counter edges, and remove place mats and tablecloths that small children can pull off a table.

Water safety for children

  • Supervise young children at bath time and whenever they’re around water.
  • Consider toilet locks and don’t leave buckets of water unattended. Small children can drown in large buckets and even toilets.
  • Be vigilant when children have access to ponds, pools and hot tubs. Secure these areas with self-latching gates and exterior doors with locks that are out of children’s reach.

General household safety

  • Install safety locks on all cabinets that store medicine, cleaning supplies and chemicals.
  • Install plastic outlet plugs or tamper resistant electrical outlets and face covers on all outlets.
  • Keep all plastic bags out of the reach of children. This includes dry cleaning, produce and trash bags.
  • Keep small items including jewelry, pins, coins, batteries and buttons out of reach.
  • Remove the caps on doorstops. Children play with the spring-type stops and are often able to remove the caps, which pose a serious choking hazard.
  • Use safety gates at stairway openings, tighten all fasteners on handrails and keep stairways and hallways well lit.
  • If your home has more than one story, install window guards and keep furniture away from the upper-story windows.
  • Keep blind and drapery cords away from children. Arrange your furniture so that children cannot reach the cords.
  • Store all firearms locked and unloaded in an approved gun safe or secured container. Do not store ammunition with the firearm. Do not keep firearms within the reach of children.

Vehicle safety for children

  • Always secure children riding in a vehicle with a properly installed safety seat or seat belt. 

Equipment recommendations for kids

  • Make sure your baby crib has slats no more than 2 3/8” apart.
  • Enclose all outdoor water hazards, such as pools, hot tubs and ponds, with a fence and self-latching gate.
  • Use automatic shut-off devices for pool ventilation and circulation systems.
  • Attach large pieces of furniture to the wall with fasteners to prevent them from toppling onto a child. 
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The information listed above was obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Nationwide, its affiliates and employees do not guarantee improved results based upon the information contained herein and assume no liability in connection with the information or the provided safety suggestions. The recommendations provided are general in nature; unique circumstances may not warrant or require implementation of some or all of the safety suggestions. There may be additional available safety procedures that are not referenced on this webpage.