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As parents, it's easy to get neurotic about the kids.
You worry about their health, their food, their clothes; everything you could possibly worry about, you'll worry about. Home safety is just one of the many aspects of your kids’ lives that you’ll worry about (well, alongside how not to strangle them when they irritate you).
It's not easy to let go of their hands when you're walking to the park, and it's scary to think that one day they will be living their own lives without you in the next room.
While some parenting worries are unfounded, others are completely valid and need to be taken care of. So, for the next few minutes, grab a BPA-free beverage, lock your doors, and let your paranoid side run wild.
No matter how old they are, safety will always be your priority, so let's take a look at some useful ways that you can ensure that your children are safe.
Security is all about keeping bad people out and good people in.
For those of you with teens, you know both sides are equally difficult.
On the “keeping bad people out” front, you need to invest in the best possible security company that will ensure your house is protected. Doing this will ensure that your children are kept safe without you actually having to lock them in the house - helpful!
There’s also nothing more reassuring than having security cameras on all your points of entry/exit.
We bought three of these majestic little fellows on a sale day bundle deal and it is truly a game-changer. It took me about an hour to install all three of them one day, and now we have a camera watching over each of the entrances to our house (front door, back door, garage door).
They hook up to an app and I was able to go online and select “motion zones” (basically drawing an outline around the door) so I get notifications when anyone comes in and out, but not when our dogs are roughhousing nearby.
This not only gives me peace of mind when I’m in the house, but it’s also great for knowing no one is sneaking/breaking in when no one is there.
Our camera setup actually helps on the “keeping good people in” front as well. Our teen can easily tell her friends we have security cameras, which spares us from any egging, TP-ing, or attempted sleepover sneak-outs (or sneak-ins) they may plan at other houses.
If you think about it, you may not be entirely clear on who has keys to your house.
Sure, your family and friends may have a spare key, but have you checked lately? Have those trusted individuals still got access to your key? You need to know whether they have the right access codes and who exactly has those codes - that way, you can keep everyone safe.
The next thing on our safety wish list is one of these guys. This way you can enter with a key, but you also can use a pin code (great for those relatives you want to be able to come in an emergency, but maybe all the time) and you can manage it all from an app.
I’ll let you know how it works out as soon as I convince the hubby.
You can have some extraordinary security measures in place, but it doesn't mean that you can't do more.
Do a review of your entire property and assess who has access, what plans you have in place in an emergency, and whether you have public records available for strangers to look at. When you understand the security issues with your property, you can understand how to fix the holes in it.
This is stuff like pools (which should be gated or monitored if you have small children), unmonitored entrances/exits, unsecured liquor cabinets (here’s looking at you, parents of teens), or anything else your dumb kids (all kids are dumb...not just yours) could accidentally use to injure themselves.
If you have children, who can talk, give them a password.
If ever you're in the bathroom or shower and you don't hear the door, but your precocious six-year-old does, you need a password system. Give trusted adults the password and your child; they can ask the adult for the password. If the adult doesn't know it, then they're not a trusted adult that your child can let into the house. Simple but effective.
One thing: this one needs to be practiced. Seriously. Make it a game and let your toddler slam the door in your face a few times for not knowing the password. They’ll be drunk on the power and will remember it forever.
From hazard signs on the cupboards with bleach and keeping any medicines out of reach, you are making safety in the house something relevant. Your children deserve your time and energy to be put into their protection.
This, again, applies to any “adult” substances (guns, alcohol, medicine, expensive electronics, etc.) you don’t want your kids to get into.
A house is filled with fire hazards, and you need an escape route.
Better than that, you need to have a fire blanket or at least a fire extinguisher in the house to combat any flames. Have the children well-versed on how to dial for firefighters if you are otherwise indisposed.
We actually got one of these guys for our upper floor and it has taken a truly dysfunctional amount of worry off my shoulders.
This one isn’t a physical threat, but it can actually cause way more damage than some of the other things on this list.
Today’s children are more and more precocious at younger and younger ages. I know I was chatting with random internet strangers as young as middle school (in my case, I was attempting to practice my fledgeling French skills, but I was in just as much danger as I would have been had I had much more sinister motives).
And I didn’t even grow up in the internet age.
It’s going to be so much worse for kids these days.
Here are some basic internet safety rules to get you going:
Your kids are only allowed to be on social media if you are friends with them.
You have all their passwords (computer, phone, social media, etc.) or they are not allowed on the device.
Check web histories every once in a while...just in case.
Talk about stuff. Seriously. Discussion is good.
Safety and safety practices in the family are essential, and the earlier you implement these, the better off you will be.
Plus, you don't have to lock the kids in the house. Bonus!
Founder | Contributor
Liz is a wife, mom, blogger, coder (and unabashed digital nerd), PhD student (and huge psychology geek), workout masochist, and occasional human being. She founded The Stay Sane Mom after marrying into the role of stepmom to a preteen girl (and Instagram addict) and shortly thereafter having her first bio kid (now a toddlernado supreme). Her goal is to provide tools and support to help other capable, sleep-deprived, soul-hungry moms master their domains so they have the time and energy to be more than just 'mom'.
Stay Sane Mom gives support to the over-worked, under-slept, marker-stained, soul-hungry moms of the world, so they can be more than just "mom".
You just want to keep the house clean, have a happy marriage, raise functional kids, and still have a little left in the tank to be a real person as well.
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