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More than one-third of deaths in children 14 and under are due to accidents in the home. Are you expecting? Do you have small children in the home?
Even grandparents, aunts and uncles, and babysitters benefit from a baby-proofed home. If you’re expecting a child or already have little ones, baby proofing is a must.
Read on to learn the top 10 tips for baby proofing your home.
Drawers and Cabinets
Many dangers lurk in drawers and inside cabinets. It’s essential to put baby locks on all cabinets and drawers. It’ll take a few hours to install these locks, but it’s time well spent.
Baby locks also help keep young children from smashing their fingers in the doors or drawers.
It’s amazing how well little fingers learn how to open doors! Doors are great for keeping children out of rooms they shouldn’t be in. But doors only work if the children can’t get them open.
Be sure and put doorknob safety covers on all doors. Sometimes these covers make it hard for adults to get through the door. But they’re essential for protecting children.
Hook and eye latches also work well, especially for doors that lead outside. Place the hook and latch up high, well out of baby’s reach.
Bathrooms are unsafe places for babies and infants. Kids love to play in toilets, but disease lurks in the toilet bowl. You don’t want the baby drinking out of the toilet so invest in a lid lock for the toilet.
There’s enough water in a toilet for a baby to drown. If a baby is playing and falls head first into the toilet, you might not hear him, and drowning occurs fast.
Bathtubs are another obvious danger for two reasons. The obvious reason is drowning. Never leave a baby unattended in the tub. The less obvious reason is scalding. While the kids are little, turn your water heater down to 48 degrees or less. Many children have been badly burned by hot water coming out of the faucet.
Coffee tables with sharp edges are dangerous to toddlers learning to walk. A child can be severely injured by falling into a sharp corner on a piece of furniture.
Children have been crushed by falling dressers, bookshelves, and televisions. Children open drawers and climb up the front of the furniture. If a piece of furniture might fall, make sure to anchor it to the wall.
Stairs are a common cause of falls for both adults and children. Baby gates at the top and bottom of the staircase work well. If you have a staircase, don’t let your baby use a wheeled walker, even if you have baby gates.
Beware of small throw rugs at the top of the staircase. It’s easy for adults and children to trip on a rug and fall down the stairs.
Children have died from food products that are considered harmless. Did you know that a child can choke and die from inhaling cinnamon? The cinnamon goes into the lungs and can kill from choking and asphyxiation.
Popcorn, candies, and nuts are all foods that baby can choke on. Marshmallows, peanut butter, and honey are also dangerous foods.
Many people store toxic cleaning products under the kitchen sink. If you’ve been thinking of going green now’s a good time to make the switch to non-toxic products.
Children love electrical outlets. They also like sticking things into the outlets. Most people don’t understand how dangerous household electricity is. An electric shock can instantly stop your heart from beating.
Cover all electrical outlets within your child’s reach with child safety plug socket covers. These are inexpensive and easy to use. Beware that some children figure out how to remove them at an early age!
Most window coverings are now required by law to be child safe. It is best to make sure all your blinds are cordless, or at least have child safe cords. Window blind cords are especially dangerous for children 3 and under.
Most of these deaths are silent and can occur with a parent in the other room. Children playing in a crib near a window are the most common victims of cord strangulation.
If you have old-style window blinds with cords, dispose of them in an appropriate manner. Replace them with cordless window blinds. Don’t try tying them up and out of the way. Children are mini-magicians when it comes to getting into things. It’s not worth the risk.
It’s obvious that fire is dangerous to children. But even a cold fireplace without a fire is a danger. If you have a gas fireplace, put the gas key up high and out of the way.
Move dangerous fireplace tools into the garage or other protected space when not in use. Even if you have sturdy glass doors covering the fire when it’s lit, infants shouldn’t be anywhere near the fireplace.
Some fireplaces are raised up off the floor with a bench-like seat in front of them. If the edges of the seat are stone or other hard material, cover them with bumpers. That way the baby can’t hit her head if she falls near the fireplace.
Use a crib with fixed sides. Drop-side cribs have killed babies. Don’t use baby bumpers. A child’s head can get caught under them. Make sure the slats on the crib are 6 cm or less apart. This way the baby can’t get its head stuck between slats.
Keep the crib away from the windows. Don’t put wall hangings of any kind close to the crib. As your baby learns to stand, take down the mobiles hanging over the crib.
Pillows are a suffocation hazard, and children don’t need them. Don’t use pillows of any kind. Don’t use heavy blankets either, since they’re also a suffocation hazard. If it’s cold, dress the baby in the appropriate clothing so it doesn’t need covers.
Having a child is a wonderful and amazing experience! Keep it joyful by baby proofing your home to avoid accidents.
Keep baby away from water, food, electricity, and furniture hazards. Always store medications in a safe and locked place that’s up high. Take advantage of outlet covers, drawer locks, and handle locks.
Keep the house clean and free of anything that could harm your baby. Need some help with the cleaning? Book a cleaning today.