How to Keep Your Kids Safe in Your Garage
By Brooke Chaplan
Kids love to play in the family garage on days when the weather is not that great outside. While washing the car or doing yard work, parents can keep an eye on their children in the garage. However, a garage might not be as naturally safe as being indoors. Here are a few tips to keep your children protected whenever they are in the garage.
Install a Child-Safe Garage Door
If you have an automatic garage door opener, make sure it has an obstruction sensor that will stop closing and reverse movement to open if an object, like a child or pet, is detected in the path of the door. Although children should be taught to stay away from a garage door that is closing, little ones can forget or get overly excited and playful so that they run into or out of the garage without thinking. A door with a reverse option when it detects something in the way of closing will stop trying to close and will automatically open, thus protecting children from injury. If your door does not have this feature or it needs to be repaired, contact a professional company like Plano Overhead Garage Door for an estimate.
Remove Dangerous Items
Sharp tools, accessible nails, dangerous chemicals, and other hazards may be lurking in the garage. Before letting your kids play there, remove everything that could cause an injury, including items like mouse traps, insecticides, herbicides, paint, gasoline, lawnmowers, saws, and hand tools like hammers or screwdrivers that kids may try to play with and get hurt.
Check for Pests
Take a look around for flying insect nests, crawling bugs that bite, signs of rodent infestation, or bat lairs. Clean out the garage by thoroughly sweeping it and checking for pests like brown recluse spiders or garden snakes that could be hiding in dark corners. Garages also often have less insulation than the rest of the house, which means it can be extremely hot and cold in certain places.
Remove or Bind Old Appliances
Refrigerators, freezers, or stoves that are sitting in the garage invite kids to crawl inside when they play games like hide and seek. However, children have gotten stuck in these appliances and were asphyxiated as a result. Cabinets holding materials or supplies should be kept locked. Vehicles parked in the garage should also be locked so kids can’t get accidentally locked inside. Better yet, park the car in the driveway when kids are playing in the garage.
A few minutes of preparation and precautions will ensure your children some fun time in the garage. As a parent, you can rest easy, knowing they are safe.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan