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Safe at Home

Half of all injuries to children, ages 0-14, occur in the home.  Toddlers experience the highest rates of home-related injury because they spend most of their time in the home and their natural curiosity and lack of fear can lead them into potentially dangerous situations.  

Taking simple prevention measures and closely supervising children can help protect them from common household hazards, such as fires, burns, drowning, suffocation, choking, firearm injury, poisoning and falls.  To learn more about how to reduce children's risk of injury in the areas of the home, see the following room-by-room tips.  Home safety devices can be purchased at home stores, hardware stores, and baby stores.  The Injury Prevention Program has safety supplies you can request for families in need, please see the request form here​.  Please contact us at childhoodinjury@bphc.org or (617) 534-5197 to check for availability.  Literature requests can also be made by filling out the Literature request form​.

Kitchen

  • Keep hot foods and liquids out of children's' reach. 
  • Cook with pots and pans on back burners and turn pot handles to the back of the stove.
  • Lock up cleaners and other poison hazards.
  • Keep glassware, knives, appliance cords, placemats and tablecloths out of reach and away from the edge of counters and tables.
  • Keep emergency numbers near the phone.  Include poison control center, pediatrician, police, fire department, emergency medical services, and a neighbor or emergency contact number.

Bathroom

  • Watch young children at all times. Never leave them alone.
  • Set the thermostat of the hot water heater no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If you rent, ask your landlord to do it.
  • Keep toiletries, beauty products, first-aid supplies, vitamins, medicine, razors, and heating appliances away from kids.
  • Lock drawers and cabinets.
  • Install toilet locks 

Bedroom

  • Take all toys, pillows, and extra sheets and blankets out of baby' cribs. 
  • Beware of old cribs.  Sharp edges, tall corner posts, and widely spaced slats do not meet today's safety standards. 
  • Keep cribs and low-standing furniture (beds, chairs, toy boxes) away from windows.
  • Tie up window blind cords and window curtains.

Around the house

  • Make sure smoke alarms are installed in every sleeping area and on every level. 
  • Test alarms monthly and change batteries once a year.
  • Check for fire hazards such as frayed electrical wires, flammable materials near heats sources, or electrical cords under rugs.
  • Keep matches and lighters away from kids.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors and test every month.
  • Cover all unused outlets.
  • Use safety gates at the top and bottom of stairways.
  • Install window guards.
  • If firearms are kept in the house, keep them locked, unloaded, and stored out of reach.  Secure ammunition in a separate, locked location.
  • Secure bookcases, shelving, TVs, and heavy furniture to walls with furniture wall straps or brackets and anchors.  Avoid using pedestal tables to hold heavy items.
  • Contact the Injury Prevention Program to arrange a home safety training for parents, or health care, social service, or child care providers.
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Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: info@bphc.org