When you raise an autistic child, especially in the younger years, you really worry about their safety and their whereabouts. The autistic child does not react to normal stimuli nor do they respond to verbal commands as quickly as a non-autistic child. Their curiosity and lack of understanding of danger may put them in harms way more that a normal pre-school child. There are certain things you can do to make your home more autistic child friendly and these few precautions could make your household safer and give you peace of mind.
Locks and latches are the best thing to keep cabinets closed and locked from the curiosity of your autistic child. Chemicals and cleaners need to be kept locked and anytime there are in use, they need to be watched carefully. Lock away anything that could be a source of harm to your child. This could include the knife drawer, your sewing basket, chemical closets, and other things that you could foresee as a possible harm for your child. There should be locks on anything of danger especially gun cabinets and other things that would be a danger to anyone.
Using a cordless or wireless phone is a good idea as you go through the day with your autistic child. Talking on the phone and being restricted to one place during your conversation will take away your concentration on supervision. Another reason you might want to consider a cordless phone is to have the availability to call for assistance if you are your child is in danger. The wireless phone will let you tend to your business and also give you the assurance that help is just a phone call away.
It may not be the greatest danger but you should bind up your cords from your drapes and curtains. A curious mind can conjure all sorts of dangerous activities with a hanging cord. They are in danger of hanging themselves or getting caught in the cord and having a panic attack that could lead to dangerous behavior. If you have pets, an autistic child could innocently injure them by tying them to the cord. Anything that loops and could fit around the next should be put up out of reach or bound so that your child can not use it in a dangerous manner.
Not only does the inside of you house need to be childproofed, but the outside as well. Watch your child around swing sets or tire swings. Again the danger of getting caught in the chains or wrapping a rope around their neck is possible. Watch out for lawnmowers and other dangerous lawn grooming equipment. The curious mind might have watched daddy start and mow the lawn and the danger of the blades might not have stuck in the mind as much as the process of getting it started. If you have a fenced in lawn, make sure there is a latch and a lock on the gate. Autistic children have a skill of disappearing when your back is turned and it would be easier to find them in the backyard than having to search for them down the street.
This information may seem redundant, but the reality is that your child may have different motives than what you perceive. With the lack of communication skills and the lack of social behavior, the child can put themselves into a lot of danger very easily. Just use common sense and make supervision a number one priority.