Kid Safety at the Grandparents: A Shared Endeavor

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Keeping children safe requires a combination of close supervision and safety measures, the kind of measures normally referred to as childproofing the home. In the case of grandparents who host children occasionally rather than dealing with them daily, deciding which safety precautions should be implemented and which can be ignored can be a little tricky.

A Shared Endeavor

Grandparents should consider enlisting the help of the parents as they work on making their house a safe environment for their grandchildren. Not only are the parents likely to have valuable information, but also they will feel more confident about leaving their children in the grandparents’ care. It may even make sense to childproof both houses — the parents’ and the grandparents’ — at the same time. It’s probably not much harder to install 30 cabinet safety latches than it is to install 15.

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Another endeavor that may be easier with the parents’ help is the low-level security sweep. It is recommended that an adult survey the house at a child’s level to detect hard-to-see hazards. This maneuver can be difficult for grandparents, but can be easily accomplished by many parents.

No Such Thing as Childproof

Although childproofing is a commonly used term, no house is truly childproof, just as no medication container is childproof or child safe. When it comes to medicine holders, they are more accurately labeled child-resistant. It’s not just a matter of semantics. To meet the child-resistant label, 85% of the children in the test must be unable to open the container within five minutes. That means that some children might be able to open the container quickly and others could open it if given more time.

Just as no container is truly safe for children, no home, no matter how carefully policed, is childproof. Supervision is of cardinal importance. Still, there are safety measures that make sense for grandparents to implement.

The above is an excerpt from the article “Keeping Kids Safe at the Grandparents’ Home.” For more info, please visit www.about.com

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