Parents know to cover the outlets and install a child safety seat in their car. But, there is another often overlooked step caregivers need to take to keep kids safe, especially as the weather gets nice. And, it doesn't have to cost a lot of money.
Addison Meyer doesn't just like playing with toys. Mom Mary Beth Meyer says, "She's 18 months, so she's very, very busy. She's at the age where she's into everything."
And, everything is what Meyer wants to do to keep her toddler safe. So, we asked Community Outreach Educator Brandi Thompson to go through Meyer's home. She says, “I think one of the key things when it comes to childproofing your home is to actually get yourself down on her level."
Walking through the house, Thompson says, "You do have all of your outlets plugged up which is fantastic." She says it's also important to put locks on cabinets with cleaners and chemicals. And, put safety knobs on bathroom doors. Thompson says, "This is a very simple product that can be placed over the door knob, so Addy is not able to access the water in the bathroom in the toilet."
And, parents will find another potential problem in just about every room. Thompson says, "As far as making our windows safe as well, that is probably our newest unintentional injury issue."
To prevent falls, Thompson says to move furniture away from the window. And, teach kids the area around a window is a no play zone by taking two steps away from the window and taping off the area. And, when windows are closed, keep those locked.
Thompson says, "An option is to just not open them, but with the weather, it is going to get so nice, it's going to be very tempting to not want to do that."
Thompson says parents can install a simple stop on most windows that will only allow those to open a safe four inches. Others will need a mesh window guard. But, Thompson says it can be hard finding the safety devices in area stores. "We wanted to make those products more accessible for our families, also more reasonably priced."
So, Blank Children's Hospital recently opened the Safety Store inside The Center for Advocacy and Outreach. You'll find items like the window stops for $5.50, childproofing kits for $6, bike helmets for $9 and life jackets for $10.25. Thompson says, "Low cost, below retail pricing for anyone. It's not for low income. It's for anyone and everyone. We just really want to keep all children safe."
That’s something Meyer wants as well. She says, "You definitely want to make sure your kids are safe and not getting into anything that could harm them."
The Safety Store is located on the lower level of the Anna Blank Building at Blank Children's Hospital. You don't need an appointment, but the store is only open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for now from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.