3 On Your Side Investigates: Is your home child-proof? - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

3 On Your Side Investigates: Is your home child-proof?

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

Colleen Hollimon of Madison works in the evenings - that means she's home all day with her two-year-old twin girls and her ten-month-old son Briar. 

"You don't sit down. You are chasing them constantly," she says. 

But when they get away, is the house safe for them? 

"I trust the girls to go around. I have it pretty well baby-proofed I think," Hollimon adds. 

3 On Your Side put that to the test.

We start over at the fireplace. Hollimon and her husband have blocked the stones with cushions. 

"And they have never bothered with them. They think it's a natural part of the house," she tells us. 

Hollimon has also put locks on cabinets in most rooms. In the girls' bedroom, all of the dressers are affixed to the wall to prevent toppling-over accidents. 

In the kitchen, cleaning supplies are put up high, and there's a sturdy lock on the pantry door.

But could more be done at the Hollimon household?

Madison Fire Department Community Educator Lisa Garforth looked around with us.  We examined a big toy with small pieces next to the fireplace. 

"You worry about the choke hazards. Little Briar is probably still putting everything in his mouth," Garforth says. 

The smaller pieces should be put out of the baby's reach. A few steps away, a living room chair sits to breakables on built-in shelves. Curious toddlers could climb up and pull objects down. Heavy objects should be placed up high. 

We also found a lamp cord on the floor, which a child could trip over, or receive electric shock from the plug. The wobbly floor lamp is a danger in itself, and should be removed for safety. 

"With Briar, since he's in the crawling up on stuff phase, he could very easily pull it over," Garforth tells us. 

The kitchen holds dangers Hollimon is aware of, like loose ice in the ice freezer at floor level. It needs a good secure lock. And bar stools in the kitchen tip over easily. Hollimon says the twins have pulled them down before.

But one of Hollimon's biggest fears is the set of stairs leading to the second floor. 

"Now we have the ten-month-old that I found yesterday on the second step, already making his way up," Hollimon says. 

The best solution?  A gate that a child can't open and close. 

The family has done a couple of important things around their windows that you may not think about. First of all, they replaced all of their blinds with shutters so there are no cords that children can grab and choke on.  Also, all of their curtains have extra mounting up high so the children can't pull them down.

Hollimon also makes good use of removable door stoppers. She puts them on doors as needed. They're handy so the doors don't shut all the way and children can't smash their fingers. A towel draped over the top of the door will also do the trick. 

Finally, all parents and baby sitters should learn vital life-saving skills like the Heimlich Maneuver and the Foreign Body Obstructed Airway Maneuver, should a child grab something and begin to choke. 

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