Keeping A House Safe For Kids: How Your Customers Can Do It

homeowners child safety

Photo from Cary Walker

Taking care of a baby is an adventure filled with joy, laughter, and love. And while your customers may enjoy playing with this new little human, who is emulating everything they do, there are serious considerations necessary to protecting and keeping them safe. To assist these customers in avoiding the emergency room and costly insurance bills, it can be helpful to have a sit-down with new parents and talk to them about the necessity of child-proofing their homes when their children first become mobile.

 

First things first, put yourself in their shoes.

Nationwide recommends getting down on a child’s level literally when planning for childproofing. This would include “getting down on your hands and knees and moving around each room.” Tell young parents to ask themselves what looks tempting and what’s within reach — “between the floor and about 40 inches above,” the insurer advises — and to remove or secure any items that could be dangerous. Additionally, they should examine the carpets for “buried dangers like pins, coins or other things a child could choke on.”

 

Next, plan for the worst.

Nothing is more panicky or terrifying than when a child’s health is compromised. If your customer’s should ever experience an emergency situation with their little one, they will be best served planning for the worst ahead of time and asking the question, “What if?” For instance, what if there is suspicion that the child has consumed a household cleaning item? A parent would be best served envisioning such an emergency and questioning the necessary steps they would have to take in order to save the child’s life in that scenario.

 

Also, post emergency numbers by all phones.

To go along with the above scenario, Allstate advises clients to post emergency numbers by all telephones in the house. This is particularly useful for a panicked parent or a child old enough to stay home by themselves. The insurer urges parents to keep the following numbers easy to find.

  • 911 for emergencies
  • 1-800-222-1222 for the Poison Control Center
  • The number for a pediatrician, police, fire department, emergency medical services and a neighbor
  • Your home address so that caregivers and children can easily tell emergency personnel how to locate the home

 

Fourthly, tour the house with the child.

This is beneficial whether your client is the parent of a pre-teen or a barely mobile youngster. Of course, how they give the tour will differ depending on the age of the child. For small children, it presents a great opportunity to designate “off-limits” areas and to observe the parts of the home that attract the child’s curiosity the most. (These areas are ripe for child-proofing.) For teens and pre-teens, a tour should establish need-to-know information like where emergency numbers are located, what to do in the event of a break-in, etc.

 

Finally, make rules for the home.

The older a client’s child becomes, the more likely they will find themselves staying at home alone and/or caring for younger children. In order to maximize safety, the parents need to establish house rules of what to do in the event of an emergency. Allstate notes that this might include not answering the door, letting the phone go to voice-mail, and not allowing friends over unless a parent or other trusted, responsible adult is home. “If your child stays home alone after school, agree on a daily check-in procedure,” the insurer notes. “Set a time when you’ll call home or your child will call you. Tell your child how to contact you and what time you’ll return home at day’s end.”

 

In Summary

Young parents face incredible challenges when juggling the duties of parenthood with those of being a responsible homeowner. As an agent looking out for their best interests, feel free to pass these tips along to help ensure a safer future for themselves and their children.

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