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Child Proof Your Home for the Grandkids

11 safety moves to prevent harm to your little loved ones

11 Moves to Make Your Home Safe for Grandkids

Nick Ferrari

Beware of toys and small objects on the floor when when young children are around

1. Keep meds out of reach. About 38 percent of child-poisoning cases involve grandparents' medications, so clear all drugs from countertops, tables and drawers. Put a childproof lock on the medicine cabinet. Don't forget to watch your purse.

2. Banish detergent pods. These colorful packets of liquid laundry or dishwasher soap look like candy. But they pose "a serious poisoning risk to young children," says a study in the journal Pediatrics.

3. Nix crib clutter. We used to put our babies to sleep in a crib with bumpers and stuffed toys, but clutter can be a suffocation hazard. The American Academy of Pediatrics now says the safest way for a baby to sleep is ABC — alone on her back in the crib.

4. Make furniture tip-proof. Flat-screen TVs and modern furniture are particularly prone to tipping if little ones try to pull themselves up. Attach anti-tip brackets or straps to safely secure these items. And don't forget outlet covers, drawer locks, stairway gates, and edge and corner guards for furniture.

5. Watch walkers and wheelchairs. For kids, they are accidents waiting to happen! If you use one, make sure to keep a watchful eye and let your grandchild know that it's not a toy.

6. Keep guns under lock and key. If you're among the 1 in 3 Americans with a gun, always keep it unloaded in a locked cabinet, with the ammunition stored separately.

7. Beware of old baby gear. The used toys and baby equipment you saved may no longer be safe. Visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission website to see if the item meets current safety rules.

8. Be present with your pet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 77,000 children under age 10 are treated each year in emergency rooms for dog bites.

9. Guard pools and drains. If you've got a backyard pool or hot tub, you likely know to prevent access with a childproof gate. But you may not be aware of the danger of drains: Suction forces can be powerful enough to trap small children underwater.

10. Watch all water. Since toddlers' heads are heavy in proportion to bodies, they can easily be pulled down. That's why even an inch of standing water is dangerous. Put a childproof lock on the toilet and drain bathwater immediately.

11. Remember stove safety. When kids are around, use back burners and always keep handles of pots and pans turned in.

From 99 Great Ways to Make Your Home Healthier and Safer