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Home >  Information A-ZAll Kids Information ArticlesHands-On Home Safety

Hands-On Home Safety
by Sarah Shank

As families honor fathers during June, the Home Safety Council, a national nonprofit dedicated to reducing the risk of injuries at home, is also urging dads to take a hands on approach to increase their family’s safety in and around the home.

Each year, home injuries such as falls, poisonings and fires/burns cause an average of nearly 20,000 deaths and 21 million medical visits. Parents can take simple steps to protect their families and reduce the risk of the leading causes of home injury including falls, poisonings and fires. During June, fathers and families can work together to eliminate dangers that could put a family in harms way.

“Keeping loved ones safe requires a daily commitment,” said Home Safety Council president Mari Appy. “During Home Safety Month we will engage and equip families with the home safety tools they need to make that commitment. We want families across America to realize that a safe home is in their hands and to put that awareness into action each and every day.”

The Home Safety Council urges fathers to take the following simple steps to a safer home:

- Make sure all stairs have a secure hand rail and keep all stairways, paths and walkways clear of clutter.

- Install lights at the top and bottom of stairways.

- Install grab bars in bath and shower stalls, and use a non-slip mat or adhesive safety strips inside bathtubs and showers.

- Post emergency numbers including 911 and National Poison Control hotline number (1-800-222-1222) next to every phone in your home.

- Install child locks on all cabinets used to store potentially dangerous items such as pesticides, cleaners, matches, lighters and household chemicals.

- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Be sure to test them monthly.

- Develop a fire escape plan for your family that has tow exits for every room and a place to meet outside. Practice makes perfect – hold a family fire drill at least twice each year.

- Always stay in the kitchen while food is cooking on the stove.

- Keep your water heater setting at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or less.

- If you have a pool, install four-sided fencing with self-locking and self-closing gates. Fencing should completely isolate the pool from the home and be least five feet high.

- Practice touch supervision – stay within arms length and constantly supervise children in or near water such as pools, ponds, bathtubs and buckets.

Additional information is available on www.homesafetycouncil.org. Fathers can download safety tips, brochures, create personalized home safety checklists, and access information on topics ranging from fire prevention to child safety.

©2005 Los Angeles Family Magazine

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