eSpecially Smart Autism Tips to Keep Your Child Safe

A list of a mother’s recommendations based on personal experience


If there was ever a hazardous chemical or breakable item in our home,  my dear 12 year old non-verbal, autistic kid found it and found a way to get around almost every safety mechanism I tried to use. And I have tried many. The safety strategies I have listed below are the only ones that have worked well for me.
When we have guests with little kids, I jokingly tell them that their kids can freely run anywhere in our home because if anything can be broken, it already has been broken. Our home is 100% child safe. We have no fancy porcelain curios, no fine china or wine glasses, not even dish detergent by the kitchen sink. As the parent of an autistic child who loves to pour thick liquids – Drano, Chlorine, dish detergent, shampoo, body wash, oil, you name it, the solutions I have listed below are the only ones that have worked well to keep my kid safe.
#1 rule: NEVER underestimate your child’s intelligence. Do not assume that they make messes because they don’t know any better. Understand that your child has physical, sensory needs that need an outlet.

Try to provide a safe environment to satisfy these sensory needs. If your child likes to pour, provide a “pouring station” with a few cups near a faucet and see if that helps. Be creative, and try different solutions. First we tried the laundry room sink. That worked for a  few days…until my child started to use those cups to pour gallons of water down the vents. So that was the end of that.  Now our pouring station is the bathtub with a bucket and a few plastic cups on weekends.
 

Safety for Rooms with Sharp Objects, glass and other dangerous or breakable items -

In-home Door Locks

I have this on the bathroom door that has all the cleaning liquids in it,

Pic Schlage

I love these locks because:

  • You can set your own number code
  • No need to walk around with keys in the house
  • Best of all, it self-locks when you shut the door again. No need to remember to re-lock the door when you leave the room.
  • It has a key also, if that’s what you prefer, or if the battery runs out
  • *but* it is *expensive*. The lowest price I have seen is at Home Depot for about $90, but I have saved a lot of money because my child has been unable to drain several bottles of cleaning liquids every week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Safety for Cabinets with Hazardous Chemicals

Cabinet and Door Alarms

My child is old enough to easily pull off all the regular child locks available for cabinets, except for the Dreambaby retractable cable combination loc,

CableLock

These locks work well for cabinet doors because:

  • They are very good quality locks. You can find cheaper versions on eBay, but those are hard to set and the numbers don’t rotate smoothly, which is a pain if you have to open that cabinet several times a day. If you want them, search on eBay for “retractable cable combination locks”
  • The retractable cable makes it easily fit all my cabinet door knobs
  • The combination is easy to set and easy to change whenever my kid figures out the code

If the motivation is strong enough, my kid pulls the doors of locked cabinet forward, reaches in through that little gap and somehow slides out anything those tiny hands can find. If that is the case for your child, I highly recommend the door alarms show below in addition to these cable locks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Safety for Wandering Children

Door Alarms

DoorAlarm1

My child is old enough to pull up a chair and unlock any door. These alarms will go off when the door is opened. They can be fitted high up, can be put in chime mode, and are loud enough to be heard across rooms, but not piercingly loud for sensitive ears.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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