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Remember when your child was a toddler and you put the covers on the outlets to keep them safe? Although it might not seem like it, suicide proofing your home is much the same. You’re keeping them safe. I know this seems very surreal but you need to suspend reality during this. The world as most know it is no longer the one you’re concerned with. You are now focused on keeping your child alive and that is much more important.

You have to look through the house and remove anything that could be used as a suicide attempt. We first started with the bathroom. All medications, both prescription and over the counter, need to be removed. Check the bathroom for any other sharp items, like scissors.

We had no guns in our home but obviously, those should be removed immediately.

In the kitchen, there are many possibilities. Knives are obvious but we also removed the shish kebob skewers, kitchen shears, scissors, steak knives, and meat thermometer. You need to be thorough and look in each utensil drawer.
Other rooms generally don’t have sharp items but you need to look for anything that could be used for strangulation. For us, this was scarves, belts, curtain tie backs, purses with straps, neckties and jewelry.  Don’t forget to check for belts on robes and other clothing, too, and remove them.

We found it helpful to put all of these things in tackle boxes with padlocks. I kept my scarves, belts and purses in the trunk of my car where I could get them as I needed.

You become pretty adept at this while you go through your house and develop methods of storage that work for your family.

Obviously, you need to make sure your suicidal child is never left alone.  We extended this to include the bathroom.  We had Amy keep all doors open when she was in a room.  At night, Hank and I took turns sleeping next to Amy’s bed at night. That way, she couldn’t get out of bed without us knowing it.

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  15. shaz on April 1, 2010 at 5:19 pm

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