Parenting

Guide to Properly Storing Dangerous Items from Kids at Home

Keeping children aware of hazards in the home is a crucial first step in keeping your little ones safe. That being said, making sure that all dangerous products are properly stickered and marked can be a challenge. To avoid dangerous exposure, you can both limit access and increase information.

Chemicals

Take care to help your children understand what is dangerous and, as appropriate, why. For example, you may have child-safe locks on your cupboards, but your older children will work these out before too long.

As possible, store things far out of reach. Cleaning supplies can be put above the washer and dryer; as long as children can’t stand on top of the washer-dryer, their risk will be lowered. If you need to, keep one container of dish soap and dishwasher soap above the sink and store all other cleaning products in a room you can lock. Discuss products that will make them sick by referring back to a time they had a sore tummy and vomiting. Getting across the idea that not everything in the kitchen is edible will take multiple lessons.

Sharp Edges and Hot Surfaces

Magnetized knife boards can be a source of fascination. Pair this with a child who is unsteadily balanced on a stepstool and you have a hazard waiting to happen. Do your best to get in the habit of covering or sheathing knives.

Children love to join in on cooking projects and little hands can be quick to grab the tool you just used. Invest in spoon holders to set against the back of your countertop and each time you set down your tool amid food prep, set knives and spoons to the back of the counter. If need be, put your child in a pack and play while you cook. Little ones who need to creep from cabinet to cabinet will also touch the front of your oven for balance, sometimes with devastating results.

Garage and Crafting Tools

If you enjoy working in the garage on carpentry projects or if you have a crafting studio, again, get used to setting tools to the back on your bench. Put your children to work with their carpentry kit or their art table. Invest in a used rug or an edged scrap of carpet to put down under your child’s artistic play area if the space is carpeted; tossing a stained rug is much simpler than replacing the carpet.

For those with power tools that can be hazardous, from soldering irons to drills to jigsaws, consider powering everything off a single surge strip that only you can reach and shutting it all down when you’re not in the garage. Another option if older children are inclined to access your tools when you’re not home, run a bike cable through handles and lock your tools down when you’re away.

Many of us have children who love to watch builder shows. A garage full of clutter and tools can be quite tempting. Do bring your children in on age-appropriate projects; the dexterity of using a real hammer may take both hands, but this is a great chance to learn to use

  • goggles or a face shield
  • gloves when appropriate
  • a long-sleeved shirt is required

One of the big challenges as a tool-wielding adult is that you will need to model this behavior when you’re working with your tools.

Firearms

Keeping a firearm in your home to protect your family doesn’t have to increase risk if you are dedicated both to security and to training. Take your Florida concealed carry class and get your certification so you can safely carry firearms outside the home.

Inside the home, consider keeping bullets separate from guns. Make sure that guns are locked away and that the key is not easily accessible by children or teens. One of the greatest tragedies a gun owner can face is knowing that they armed someone who was not in a good place to make a forever decision. Teens are volatile and often not able to think logically.

Finally, carefully consider the mindset of your household when keeping a gun in the house. Are weapons part of your family entertainment, either when playing games or watching movies? Guns are a serious tool that takes training to operate. Teach your little ones what to stay away from and teach older children the safest ways to handle a firearm.

Also read: Childproofing Your Home

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