Find them before they find you

Browse the growing Charlie’s House Safety List list of things you can do to prevent injuries in and around your home. It is divided into four key areas for reference but remember, similar tips could apply to any room.

Tip-prone Furniture. Secure dressers (even short ones), televisions, bookcases, and other tip-prone furniture to the wall with restraint straps. Furniture straps are available at many baby specialty stores, available online, and through Charlie’s House. Need assistance finding or buying furniture straps? Call 913-375-7123 or visit

Why? Furniture can tip over and cause death or harm to children. Some hardware and drawers appear to be inviting climbing platforms that when weight is applied can come right down.

Supervision. Do not leave children unsupervised.

Why? Never ever leave a child in a vehicle even for a “quick run in”. Time goes by so fast that the poor child will suffer greatly and someone will Facebook live your vehicle, call the police on you and the news will report you throughout the nation.

Stairwells and Railings. Install safety gates at the top & bottom of stairs. Block off any railing a child could climb over. Make sure that hand railing is secure, space between balusters should be less than 3.5″. Make sure that the steps are clutter free and well lit.

Why? If you ever took your eye off a small child for a minute you know that they can disappear fast. The stairs is a likely place they can stumble down if not supervised.

Floor Coverings. Fix loose floor coverings & replace flammable rugs. Secure scatter rugs to avoid trips and falls.

Why? Flammable rugs can easily catch on fire when an unsuspecting friend lights a birthday cake candle or even if a hot iron is placed on it. Children with their small legs can trip over the loose rug.

Electrical Outlets. Plug in electrical outlet covers/safety caps. Do not use electrical extension cords or overload the electrical outlet.

Why? Little ones often like exploring. Often their explorations lead them to stick objects into places and an outlet is the last place you want them sticking their spoon. We often don’t think about how easy it is to overload an outlet or extension cord, but all it takes is a faulty circuit breaker and one too many items plugged in and the house electrical system will cook leaving the home ablaze in a matter of seconds.

Pets. Provide a childproof enclosure for pets.

Why? Let’s not find out the hard way the tolerance level of our fury friends.

Fireplace. Use a fire screen and a barrier to keep children away from fire.

Why? A fire could appeal to a child and we don’t want them falling in or getting too close.

Purses/Shoes. Store purses and shoes out of the reach of the child and out of the entryway.

Why? These are easy trip hazards.

Smoke Alarms. Test smoke alarms & change batteries every 6 months.

Why? These are your often your only notice of a fire, especially at night or if you’re in another room.

Window Coverings. Install window blind cord wind-ups or secure window and drapery cords out of reach of children.

Why? There are reports of children strangling themselves on these. 

Furniture Corners. Place corner protectors on sharp furniture corners.

Why? It’s less sharp when toddlers learning to walk or seniors fall and hit them.

Appliance Cords. Shorten cords on appliances that could be pulled down.

Door Knobs. Use door knob covers to prevent children from going into unsafe areas.

Choking Hazards. Find & remove choking hazards – anything that can fit inside a toilet paper roll and fit inside a child’s mouth and choke them.

Houseplants. Remove any potentially poisonous plants.

Why? Certain allergen and plants can cause sudden reactions.

Trash Containers. Cover all trash containers securely.

Emergency Contacts and Evacuation Plans. Keep a list of emergency numbers near the phone. Plan & practice your emergency evacuation plans.

Ashtrays. If you smoke, use large, deep ashtrays & empty ashes in a metal container.

Guns and Ammunition. If you have a gun in your home make sure that it is stored unloaded and locked with ammunition stored and locked separately.

Fire Extinguishers. Purchase a fire extinguisher & store near exit door.

Cleaning products and poisons. Secure & store poisons (cleaning products) out of the reach of children.

Why? These items are sometimes the same color as tasty drinks. Toddlers don’t know the difference.

Large Appliances. Firmly affix stove/refrigerators to the wall or floor.

Sharp Utensils and Matches. Place knives & matches out of children’s reach.

Cabinets. Lock/latch cabinets that children should not get into.

Outlets Near Water. Install a ground fault circuit interrupter near water sources.

Why? When these outlets get moisture in them instead of electrocuting unsuspecting persons, a properly working outlet shuts the outlet off.

Stoves. Apply stove & burner covers – use back burners first. Exhaust to outside for gas powered stoves. Use oven-locking latch to prevent child climbing and tip over. Never leave stove unattended while cooking.

Why? Children may think that you just cooked their favorite item and its right on the stove waiting for them to climb up and enjoy. 

Emergency Contacts. Keep an emergency phone number list on refrigerator: Include your address, phone numbers of parents, grandparents, doctor and nearest neighbor.

Hot Foods and Liquids. Never carry hot liquids or food near a child or while holding a child.

Medications and Cosmetics. Lock away all medications, toiletries, cosmetics, razor blades & any other hazardous items.

Mats. Use slip resistant mats in the bathtub & on the floor.

Electrical Appliances. Store away electrical appliances when not in use.

Water Taps. Cover the water taps.

Hot Water. Set hot water heater to below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to test the bath water temperature before placing a child in the bath.

Toilet. Use a toilet lock to prevent toddlers from falling into water.

Bathtub. Children six & under should always be supervised in the tub. Empty the tub immediately after use. Store soaps and shampoos out of reach of children.

Exhaust Vent. An exhaust vent is recommended to prevent excessive moisture, excessive heat in the summer and mold.

Books and Toys. Keep books & toys down low where children can reach them without climbing. Remove any sharp toys. Toybox should have lid that stays open to avoid entrapment.

Why? When buying a toy bin or using a old favorite chest remember to consider the ability of the lid to fall on the child if it doesn’t stay open.

Crib Area. Move the crib away from any windows. Ensure that crib rails are less than 2 3/8 inches apart & that there are no gaps between the crib & mattress. Sheets should fit tight. Do not hang items above the crib (mobiles, etc.) Use a firm mattress without bumper guards, comforters or pillows. No stuffed toys while infant is in crib or bassinet. Cribs should be approved by the Juvenile Products Manufacturer’s Association (JPMA). Do not place electrical monitors inside or near the crib. For more info, please visit

Changing Table. Place all products for changing baby within reach. Secure strap to dresser if using a changing table pad. Use safety straps to keep the baby in place while on a changing table.

Smoke and Fire Safety. Ensure that baby’s room is smoke-free. No burning candles. A smoke alarm that works- should be tested every 6 months.

Sleep Safety. Do not wrap or bundle an infant in blankets to avoid blankets from covering face. Infants should be placed in a sleep sack on their back to sleep.

Why? Many infants have suffocated in pillows or were strangled by blankets.

Beds and Bunk Beds. Do not place bed near window. If 2nd story room, window guards should be installed to prevent falling. Children less than 6 years should not sleep on the upper bunk bed. Bunk beds should always have a railing and steps. Bunk beds should always have a railing to prevent falling, there should be less than 3.5″ gap between railing and edge of mattress to avoid suffocation.

Windows. Secure excess cords from window blind to prevent strangulation. If 2nd story room, an emergency escape plan and ladder is encouraged.

Space Heater/Fire Safety. Do not use a space heaters. Do not burn candles. Test all smoke alarms every six months.

Tip-prone Kid’s Furniture. TV, chest of drawers and bookcases should be secured to wall stud to avoid tip overs.

Dryer Filter. Keep dryer filter clean and free of lint.

Detergents/Supplies. Store detergents and cleaning supplies out of reach of children. Keep buckets or containers out of reach of children.

Floors/Spills. Keep floor dry and clutter free.

Garage Door. Garage door should have a safety eye to prevent accidental trapping.

Tools/Equipment. Garden equipment, tools, and lawn mowers should be stored out of reach of children.

Floors/Spills. Keep floor dry and clutter free.

Flammable Materials. Papers and other flammable materials should be stored outside the house when possible.

First Aid. Keep/Install a first aid kit in the garage and kitchen.

Lighting. Install a nightlight and adequate lighting.

Vehicles. Always walk around the car to check for toys, equipment or children. Keep car doors locked to keep children from playing inside the car and possible entrapment. Place your purse or cell phone or briefcase in back seat to avoid unintentionally leaving child unattended.

Supervision. Do not leave children unsupervised.

Play Sets/Swings. Play sets should be inspected for broken and missing parts. Playground equipment should meet the JPMA approval. Parents should secure swing sets to ground to avoid tip-overs.

Why? Public playgrounds are highly regulated for safety. Ensuring that they adhere to safety standards ensures your child’s safety.

Bikes/Wheeled Toys. Children should use protective gear when riding wheeled play toys.

Wading and Swimming Pools. Never leave children unattended. Pools should have fencing and locking gates to prevent access.

Why? Many jurisdictions require fences around pools to prevent neighborhood children from unauthorized access.

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