Childproofing the garage….and what about pets?
Prevent accidents when you can, but skinned knees are part of childhood…be ready with a first aid kit!
The nicer weather has all of us outside. Most of us keep balls, sports equipment, bikes and other items in the garage that our children will be using. We also have lawn tools, fertilizers, mowers, and other more dangerous items stored in the garage too. Many times we have the inside of our homes safe, but forget about the garage, which can result in a preventable accident. So, take a look at that garage!
- Lock up poisonous items. All garages should have a cabinet with a lock. Then you can safely store pesticides, fertilizer, oil, gasoline, paint and other poisonous items that find their home in the garage.
- Keep all buckets free of liquids and stored upside down. Remember that our little ones are very top heavy. They can lean over a bucket and fall in head first. Children can drown in as little as a couple of inches of liquid. Keep those buckets empty, and store them so a child cannot fall in!
- Store gardening equipment out of reach. All the rakes, hedge trimmers, shovels, and other equipment should be out of your child’s reach. Think about purchasing child sized garden tools so your child can “help” you in the yard!
- Never allow your child to play in the car. Keep the car “off limits” when it comes to play. Never allow your child to sit in the driver’s seat and pretend to drive. Remind your child that the car is not a toy.
- Keep your car locked in the garage the keys inside the house. Keeping the car locked will prevent a young child from wandering into the car and potentially locking themself in the car. With electric locks, a child can lock themself in the car and not be able to get out. In the hot summer, a child locked in a hot garage and car can result in a tragedy. This also keeps your child from “driving” that car through the garage wall….happened in our neighborhood a few years ago. A blue Suburban ended up in our neighbor’s family room “driven” by a 4 year old!
- Make it a habit to walk around the back of your car before you enter the driver’s seat to back out. By walking around the back of the car you will see if a small child is behind the vehicle. With SUVs especially, small children are not visible out the back window. Encourage all drivers in the house to physically check behind the car before getting in the driver’s seat!
- All garages with bikes should have a bike helmet for every bike and child! Use the helmets consistently…children and adults!
Many families have pets that have been part of the family even before children! Pets are a wonderful addition, but there are a few guidelines to follow:
- Every year 2.8 million children are bitten with 900,000 requiring medical attention.
- Most bites occur from a familiar family pet. Even a pet that is usually gentle and non aggressive can bite a child that has moved quickly, pulled a tail, scared the animal or is standing at eye level with a dog.
- Children aged 2 trough 9 are at biggest risk. Most bites at this age are on the face.
- Research and choose your family pet carefully. Do not keep a pet that has bitten a child!
- Never leave a child under the age of 5 alone with a dog.
- Teach children to be still when an unfamiliar animal approaches them. Have your child extend the back of his or her fist a few inches for a dog to sniff before petting the do on it’s back.
- Teach your child to not bother a dog when it is eating.
- Have your pet neutered, they are usually less aggressive.
- It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics that families with children do not have turtles, lizards, or rodent type animals as pets. These types of pets harbor dangerous germs for young children.
- Emergency contact numbers. This would include your doctor’s number, dentist’s number, poison control number, and family member’s work and cell phone numbers.
- First aid book There are a couple you can purchase. The American Red Cross First Aid and Safety Book is an easy quick reference.
- Adhesive bandages in several sizes
- Adhesive cloth tape
- Gauze pads and rolls
- Antibiotic ointment
- Antiseptic wipes or spray
- Instant cold compress. (a bag of frozen peas kept in the freezer works great too!)
- Cortisone cream
- Benadryl This is important for bee stings or allergic reactions.
- Acetaminophen and/or ibuprofen
- Eyewash solution and eye patch
- Ace wrap
- Calamine lotion
- Sanitizing hand gel
- Disposable gloves
Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.