Naturally, we worry when our kids are away from us. At home, we feel we can let our guard down. But, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unintentional injuries at home are a leading cause of death for children. Here are some at-home safety tips:

Mount TVs and Furniture

Mount TVs and secure any furniture that could tip to walls with anchors, wall straps, mounts or braces. Mounting equipment can be purchased at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Prevent Accidental Drowning

Never leave children alone near any amount of water, including toilets and basins. Empty the tub immediately after bath. Lock toilet seats, as well as bathroom and laundry rooms when not in use.   If you see a child drowning, remove him immediately, begin CPR and call 911. For your peace of mind, CPR kits can be purchased at Boston Children’s Hospital or you can become certified by visiting

Sleep and Suffocation

Place babies on their backs in cribs, bassinets and playpens. Place a tight sheet on a firm mattress and avoid pillows, blankets or other suffocation hazards. Consult with a pediatrician for the right time to introduce pillows and blankets.

Medication and Poisoning

Store and lock all poisonous items (cleaning products, laundry and bath products) in one, safe place. Lock away all personal products, medications and vitamins. If you suspect your child has been poisoned, call the Poison Control Center immediately at 1-800-222-1222.

Fire and Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

* Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless. Have properly working fire and Carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home and in front of every sleeping area. Review with your family a fire escape plan that has at least two exits.

* Keep fireworks, gasoline, matches and lighters away from children.

* Do not grill, use a camp stove or generator indoors.

* If possible, set your water heater to 120 degrees.

* * Keep kids out of the kitchen when you’re cooking. Place pans on back burners, handles inward.

* Never leave running vehicles in a garage.


Use baby gates wherever there are stairs, regardless of how many steps. Guard all windows with window guards as screens will not prevent a child from falling out of a window.

Prevent Choking

In order to avoid choking, cut food into small, manageable pieces. Be sure to read all toys before purchasing them, ensuring they are age appropriate. Avoid leaving anything that is small enough to be placed in a child’s mouth in their reach. Duct tape remote control battery compartments to prevent battery ingestion.

Together these minor improvements can make your home a safer environment for your family!

Rebekah Coelho is an injury prevention specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital Trauma Center, 617-355-7332.
For emergency safety tips you can teach your children, click here.