Keep your kids safe while they spend more time at home
VANCOUVER -- Parents have been juggling a lot lately as kids are spending more time at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But that also means children are more likely to get hurt while at home, something parent Elyse Everett knows all too well. She's already had her share of safety scares – an ankle sprain for nine-year-old Paige, and a chipped tooth for 12-year-old Charlie.
“The kids are getting a little bit more creative in how they’re playing around here, especially on rainy days,” she says. “My worst fear, like everyone else's worst fear, is having to go to the ER."
Serious injuries do require a trip to the emergency room, even when we're trying to avoid hospitals. But there are a few things you can do to make your home safer while your kids are running wild and you're trying to get work done.
The first priority is to set a schedule, says Rachel Rabkin Peachman with Consumer Reports.
"If you have a routine for everyone going outside to get some exercise each day, then your child may be less likely to be bouncing off the walls later in the day and hurt themselves."
Peachman says you can also minimize new hazards coming into your home.
“A lot of parents may be tempted to buy things that they may not have thought about buying before, like a home trampoline or a hoverboard," Peachman said. "Do you have the energy to establish rules around the use of that product, and are you going to be able to supervise your child while using that product?”
She also recommends storing new cleaning supplies carefully. Hand sanitizers pose an especially high risk to children. With companies expediting production to get more products on store shelves, some hand sanitizer bottles may look different and could be confused for water, soda, or something else.
And be sure to anchor your furniture. Someone in the U.S. is injured about every 20 minutes when an appliance, a television, or a piece of furniture tips over.
As for Charlie's chipped tooth – he was able to see a pediatric dentist who followed physical distancing protocols, and now his smile is as good as new.
With files from Consumer Reports