For Parents: Making Your Home Safe

Image Take a careful look at your home to identify the hazards. Then take an active role in making your home safer. And check for safety hazards at the homes your child visits. Keep a list of emergency numbers near each telephone in the house. Learning basic first aid and CPR can also help.


A stairway, an open window, or a slick floor can lead to a fall.

  • Use baby gates on stairs and latches on windows.

  • Use secure straps in highchairs and on changing tables.

  • Don’t let your child climb on chairs, dressers, shelves, and step stools.


An object as small as 1 inch across can block a child’s airway. Take a first aid class to learn how to help your child if he or she starts choking.

  • Cut food into pieces that are easy to eat.

  • Put away buttons, coins, and other small items


Children don’t understand that fire can be deadly. With your child, practice an escape route from your home.

If Your Child Is Poisoned

Call Poison Control 800-222-1222 before you do anything. Have the substance that led to the poisoning nearby when you call. You can also call your local poison control center. Get the number from the front of your phone book and post it by your phone.

  • Check smoke alarm batteries monthly. Change batteries every 6 months.

  • Practice an escape route from your home.

  • Keep matches and lighters out of reach.

  • Cover electrical outlets and sockets when they’re not in use.


Cleaners, solvents, medicine, vitamins, and even some house plants are poisonous.

  • Lock cleaners and other poisons out of reach.

  • Ask at your local library or nursery for a list of poisonous houseplants. Keep these out of reach.