Top 5 Safety Buys for the Mom on a Budget

Top 5 Safety Buys for the Mom on a BudgetKids have accidents.  It happens no matter how good of a parent you are, even if you watch them like a hawk.  They climb (and fall), run, jump, slip, skip, and stumble.  They scrape knees and elbows, cut hands and heads, bruise every conceivable body part, and generally bounce right back and head for more trouble.  And of course, every bump makes you feel like a failure.  But after awhile, you realize that it’s pretty much inevitable.  You are only human, incapable of focusing your attention every second of the day, and besides, your child is not an egg.  They need to try things in order to learn.  However, there are a few items you can rely on to at least keep them safe around the house.  These five simple purchases will help you sleep at night (and although you can’t put a price tag on your child’s safety, they’re all pretty cheap).

  1. A lock. Kids constantly get into stuff they’re not supposed to: the fridge, the cookie jar, your jewelry box.  So it’s no surprise that accidental poisonings occur when children get a hold of medication.  Although most prescription bottles are child-proof, it couldn’t hurt to have a locked cabinet in the house for extra protection.  You can purchase a safety latch and combination or key lock at your local hardware store for under $10.  You may also want to lock cabinets that contain alcohol, cleaning solvents, and other toxic substances.
  2. Safety covers. These inexpensive plastic outlet covers can save your child from the horrifying experience of electrical shock.  Kids are curious and outlets are at their level, so block their fingers and anything else they devise to stick in there.
  3. GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets. If you don’t already have these safety outlets installed near sinks (kitchen, bathrooms) in your home, you should invest in them right away.  When wet, they automatically shut off to prevent electrocution.  If your kids are big enough to wash their own hands at the sink, you should already have these.  The cost on this item is a bit higher than others because they must be installed by a licensed technician, but considering how harmful an electrical accident involving water can be, it’s money well spent.
  4. Baby gates. Falls are a major cause of accidental death among children, so keep them on the stairs while your children are infants and toddlers.  They start at about $20-30, but can get very pricey.  In general, they all tend to do what they’re supposed to, which is to create a barrier.  As kids get older and learn to bypass the gates, be sure that all staircases in your home are equipped with handrails.
  5. Fire extinguisher. This tool will become more important as kids get older and learn to use the microwave, toaster, and stove.  Your home should have at least one on each level, positioned near exits (plus one for the kitchen).  Teach kids to use an extinguisher with this simple acronym: P-A-S-S.  Pull the pin.  Aim the nozzle (at the base of the fire).  Squeeze the handle.  Sweep the base of the fire.  In the event that children are home alone when a fire occurs, this could save your house…and their lives.

Jennifer Kardish is a communications coordinator at RTA Kitchen Cabinets. You can check out their free design tips for your kitchen and home.

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