8 Tips for Keeping a Child-Safe Healthy Home
Having kids is nerve-wracking. When they’re babies, they’re exploring and discovering their senses, putting everything in their mouth – food, toys…their hands.
When they get older, they have an attitude and start to think they know best and we have to negotiate to get them to do anything. Nobody told me there would be so much politics to parenting.
No matter what, as parents it’s our responsibility to do everything we can to make sure our little ones grow up surrounded by love and support in a safe and healthy home. I do it for my daughter. Growing up is hard enough without having to worry about things around the home. That’s my job. And I’m working with Health Canada to make it happen.
As a helping hand, here are 8 useful pointers to keep our tiny dictators safe.
- Use art supplies and toys specifically made for children
My daughter just loves to pour an entire bottle of paint, press her hands into it and create ‘art’ on or around the paper, all before I’ve run back into the room with a roll of paper towels. Make sure the paint your little one is splashing around the kitchen table is non-toxic and labeled for the use of kids. Because, somehow, a piece of craft material will end up in her mouth. Why and how remain a mystery.
2. Throw away chipped or worn-out toys.
Toys that have exposed layers under the paint can give splinters or get rusty depending on what they’re made of. Parts can fall out and become a hazard, so once they’re worn out, explain that the “Toy Fairy came and replaced it for something new”, or any other lie that we’re desperately trying to get away with to avoid another tantrum.
3. Don’t use products with exposed stuffing, such as nursing pillows or stuffies.
Stuffing can be a choking hazard and once a toy or pillow has lived its best life, be ruthless and throw it out like you ‘accidentally’ did with that whistle from the party bag. Who gives a kid a whistle?
4. Keep soft plastics and other items not intended for children out of reach.
While putting a cardboard box on their head is a fun game, kids don’t initially see the danger in using soft plastics for the same effect.
5. Lock up cleaning chemicals in a secure cupboard, out of reach.
Detergents, dishwasher and laundry pods, drain cleaners, and household chemicals are all brightly labeled so they appeal to us grown-ups when we’re shopping in the smelliest aisle of the supermarket. However, this also means that they look exciting to kids too, especially when they see us using them. Avoid the temptation and keep them out of sight and out of mind.
6. Take leftover and expired prescriptions back to the pharmacy.
You simply don’t need these in your home. Dispose of the candy-shaped pills safely by bringing them back to the pharmacy. They’ll get rid of them on your behalf. Also, don’t flush them down the toilet. We like our water drinkable and our fish non-3 headed.
7. Subscribe to Health Canada’s recall website and properly dispose of recalled toys and other recalled products.
Just this morning I read about a type of glue not having child-proof packaging and some bedroom blinds being recalled due to strangulation risk. Stay informed by keeping up to date on all the recalls from Health Canada. In some cases, you can also register your baby products on the manufacturer’s website to be notified in case there is an issue with the product. If a toy or product you’ve purchased is being recalled, take it back to the store and you may be able to get a refund depending on when you bought it. Or, destroy it. Don’t leave it in the alley or donate it to a charity shop.
8. Add Poison Control to your phone book.
Don’t waste time. If you or your little one might have ingested something they shouldn’t have, or if you have a poisoning-related question, call the BC Poison Control directly.
24-hour Line: 604-682-5050 or 1-800-567-8911
For other tips on keeping a healthy home, visit the Health Canada Healthy Home website.
Disclaimer: This article was sponsored by Health Canada. All words and opinions are my own.