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Spring Cleaning and Child Safety

Child Safety Basics

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Updated March 21, 2010

Spring cleaning doesn't have to be such a chore, especially when you get motivated by knowing that the following spring cleaning activities will help to keep your kids safe.

Medicine Cabinet

Your medicine cabinet is not meant to be a storage area for all of the medicines that your child has ever been prescribed. For whatever reason, parents do seem to end up having left-over or half used prescriptions in their medicine cabinet though. Spring cleaning is a good time for a medicine cabinet clean out to get rid of them and any expired over-the-counter medicines that you may have.

Smoke & CO Detectors

If you didn't replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors at the start or end of daylight saving time, now is a good time to do it. It is also a good time to test your smoke alarms and CO detectors, although you should be doing that each and every month.

You can also this time as a reminder to review and rehearse your family's fire escape plan.

Broken Toys

Many parents use spring cleaning as an excuse to go through and get rid of toys that their kids no longer play with, but you can also use it as a time that you check the toys that they do still play with and get rid of those that are broken and can't be repaired. When considering toy safety, you should be especially watchful for:
  • splinters or sharp edges on wooden toys
  • weak or loose parts that could fall off and become a choking hazard
  • broken pieces
  • leaking batteries
  • loose screws and bolts, especially on things like playground equipment and ride on toys (bicycles, scooters, skateboards, etc.)
  • loose or exposed wires in electrical toys

Childproofing

Even if your home is well childproofed, with latches on cabinets, gates on stairs, and covers on door knobs, you do have to regularly inspect them to make sure they are still working properly. Cabinet and drawer latches and locks are especially prone to wear and tear, which may allow your child to get in them and to any unsafe items you have stored in them.

Recalls

You should always be watching for reports and alerts about recalled products, but if you don't, spring cleaning time is a good time to check and see if any toys or household products in your home have been recalled.

Car Seats

Checking your child's car seat to make sure it still fits and is installed properly is another thing that you should be doing much more often than when you are doing your spring cleaning, but it is a good time to think about it all the same. Is your child ready to move up to a booster seat? Is he ready to move out of a seat and to use regular seat belts?
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