Safe Shelter Project



[A Caption describing the 360 Camera Viewing Experience with Instructions]

The Safe Shelter program is an outreach program at the hospital that aims to reduce unintentional injuries within the homeless population in Massachusetts. Fifty percent of all injuries occur in the home, and young children are the most susceptible to home injuries. These injuries, such as burns, falls, drowning, poisoning, etc. are 99% preventable. The program aims to reduce the number of unintentional injuries that occur in shelters by providing home safety education and baby proofing materials to shelters. We do this by:

  • Conducting an initial home safety assessment at the shelter
  • Providing a home safety/baby proofing training and education to residents
  • Providing home safety materials to residents in the form of safety bags
  • Baby-proofing shelters as needed

Please contact the Injury Prevention Program at 617-355-7332 or injurypreventionprogram@childrens.harvard.edu 

Kitchen Safety Tips

Burns, Fires & Poisoning
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Bathroom Safety Tips

Most dangerous room
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Bedroom Safety Tips

Check rooms for hazards 
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Playroom Safety Tips

Toys, furniture & loose cords.
Learn More

Staircases Safety Tips

Use safety gates
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Window Safety Tips

Guard against window falls
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The Facts

  • 9.2 million children are treated in ERs for unintentional injuries every year and of these, half occur in the home!
  • Unintentional injuries were the leading cause of death for people ages 1- 42 years, and the 5th leading cause of death for all ages
  • 90% of poison exposures occur in the home
  • Children can fall from windows opened as little as 4 inches 
  • Scalds account for 46% of all burns in MA and children under 5 made up 53% of the victims
  • Medicine & cleaning products look like candy, or everyday food items.
  • 90% of unintentional injuries can be prevented!

Childproofing Your Home 

Kitchen -

  • Make sure pot handles are turned to the back of the stove and cook on rear burners.
  • Teach children that pots and pans aren’t toys.
  • Keep cleaning products in their original containers and out of children’s reach!
  • Latch all cabinets and drawers from waist-level to the floor and use door knob covers to keep children out of rooms with this potential danger.

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Bathroom -

  • Never leave a child alone in the bathtub! It only takes one inch of water for someone to drown.
  • Check water temperature by using anti scald devices before putting young children into the bathtub.
  • Lock medicine cabinets and get rid of expired meds.

Bedroom -

  • Check room for strangulation and/or suffocation possibilities.
  • Keep crib and changing table away from windows.
  • Place infants on their back to sleep.
  • Check the crib for spaces and gaps--No gaps larger than 2 fingers between sides of the crib and mattress.
  • Use a safe crib with a firm, tight-fitting mattress covered with a crib sheet and nothing else in it.
  • Suffocation hazards include fluffy items, toys, bumpers, and comforters.  Remove all stuffed animals, bumper pads, hanging mobiles, toys, pillows, extra sheets and blankets from the crib.
  • Be sure to secure all furniture to the walls.
  • Remove or secure loose cords and electrical wires.
  • Windows should be opened from the top down, and not more than 4 inches.
  • Make sure fire and carbon monoxide alarms are properly installed in the necessary rooms.
  • Be sure children use toys that are age appropriate.
  • Use a choking tube or toilet paper roll to evaluate if a toy’s parts are too small.
  • Use corner and edge bumpers to help prevent children from injuries from falling against sharp edges of furniture.
  • Use outlet covers to prevent electrocution. Be sure they cannot be easily removed by children and are large enough that they are not a choking hazard.

Hallways & Stairs -

  • Keep stairs free of clutter.
  • Install stairs rails and use safety gates!

Read More of Our Home Safety Tips

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