For most people, home is a safe haven. But for parents of a special needs child, your home can feel like a danger zone, with potential hazards around every corner.
Parents with children take all kinds of precautions to keep them out of harm’s way. From latching closet doors to locking up medications, to installing home alarm systems. But parents of children who are living with Autism, Smith Magenis, Angelman’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Genetic Disorders or other special needs diagnosis, may have to increase the typical precautions to a higher level.
Finding the right solutions to meet your day-to-day needs is often difficult, so we want to compile a few practical tips and resources to support your needs.
Around the House:
The dangers inside a home may not always be obvious. Here are a few items to consider when safe guarding your home:
- Consider a lock for your refrigerator to prevent harmful consumption.
- Cover all electrical outlets covered.
- Consider using plastic picture frame covers instead of glass.
- Lock away all medicines and store out of arm’s reach.
- Install toilet locks in all of your bathrooms.
- Lock all doors with a deadbolt lock and keep key with parents/guardians at all times.
- Install alarm systems for any door that should not be opened without parent permission.
- Alarms on child’s bedroom door and activated at night.
In the Bedroom:
Middle of the night wandering is very common with special needs children. This is especially dangerous as parents are asleep and the child is left completely unattended. Many families consider locking the bedroom door but this does not solve the problem of tantrums, melt downs, and exposure to other dangers inside their bedroom. Locking the bedroom door does not solve the desire to roam nor reduce stimulation. The Safety Sleeper is a solution that can help in those nighttime and napping hours:
- Fully enclosed bed reduces outside stimulation helping the child to calm him or herself down to a restful state.
- Coverlets protect against entrapment for children with high movement or seizer conditions.
- Zipper locking mechanism keeps the child tucked safely in at night.
- Frame padding provides a soft space while the child is transitioning to sleep.
In the Neighborhood:
There are special needs diagnoses where children tend to wander and elope. Often times these children have difficulty speaking which makes it all the harder to connect and return that child with their parents or guardian. Here are some helpful tips to respond to this reality:
- Attach proper forms of identification and contact information on the child’s clothing every morning.
- Purchase a child locator and clip it to their belt or shoe.
- Introduce your child to your neighbors and notify them of his/her diagnosis.
- Visit the local police and fire department and provide your child’s photo with contact information and share with them his/her diagnosis.
- Walk your child around the neighborhood often so they can become familiar with their surroundings.
These steps can help you have peace of mind and your loved stay safer during day-to-day activities.