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Safety & Prevention

Garage and Basement Safety

Garages and basements tend to be places where potentially lethal tools and chemicals are stored. In almost all homes, these areas should be locked and strictly off-limits to children. To minimize the risk when children do gain access to the garage and basement:

  • Keep paints, varnishes, thinners, pesticides, and fertilizers in a locked cabinet or locker. Be sure these substances are always kept in their original, labeled containers.
  • Store tools in a safe area out of reach and locked. Be sure power tools are unplugged and locked in a cabinet when you finish using them.
  • Do not allow your child to play near the garage or driveway where cars may be coming and going. Many children are killed when someone, often a family member, unintentionally runs them over with a car. Most vehicles have large blind spots where a child cannot be seen.
  • If you have an automatic garage door opener, be sure your child is nowhere near the door before you open or close it. Keep the opener out of reach and out of sight. Make sure the automatic reversing mechanism is properly adjusted.
  • If, for some reason, you must store an unused refrigerator or freezer, remove the door so that a child cannot become trapped if he crawls inside.
Last Updated
Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 (Copyright © 2009 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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