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Keeping Kids Safe at Home

Children have fun exploring, and you can keep them safe by controlling the household terrain.

Fire

Practice two escape routes from your home.

Install smoke detectors, and test them once a month. Replace the batteries at least once a year.

Drowning

When a young child is in the tub, stay in the room. If the phone rings, take the child with you.

When you are mopping, empty the bucket as soon as you are finished.

Poisoning

Store poisonous cleaners and medicine out of children's reach. Some products that are safe for adults are hazardous to children.

Post the number of your local poison control center near your phone.

Falls

Stay close when babies are on furniture, including beds and sofas.

Use safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs.

Move furniture away from windows.

Choking

Keep small objects out of the reach of young children. Round and hard foods are especially hazardous for children younger than 4.

Hot water

To prevent scalding your child, set your water heater's temperature at 120 degrees F. Gas water heaters built since 1990 have a mark or arrow indicating this setting on the thermostat dial. On older gas heaters, this generally is the lowest, or "energy-conserving," setting. Refer to the owner's manual.

The thermostat on most electric water heaters is inside the unit and should be set by the electric company or a repair person.