Baby Proofing your home
Your baby can become a handful quickly the minute he or she begins crawling or walking. Babies and toddlers have a natural curiosity and the ability to move more quickly than most parents expect, often putting them in harm’s way at home. Although there is no way to protect your child from every possibility, here are a few tips on how to make your home safe for your young child.
Protection from water dangers
A child can drown in inches of water, in a heartbeat! This puts them at risk near baths, sinks, toilet bowls and even buckets of water.
- Purchase a toilet latch or keep the bathroom door closed. Install a latch or deadbolt at the top of the door, out of your toddler’s reach if necessary.
- Gather all soaps, toys and gadgets needed for a bath BEFORE putting your child in the water. Once your child is in the bath, NEVER look away or leave him or her alone.
- When running bathtub water, turn off the hot water first so that if your baby accidentally turns on the water, he or she is not burned by water left in the faucet.
Protection from Chemical & Electrical dangers
Though chemical poisoning by everyday household products is preventable, it is very common and carries deadly consequences. Also preventable is electrical shock.
- Ensure that all chemicals, detergents and other cleaning products are securely stored in a cabinet with childproof lock or one that is too high for a child to reach.
- Keep all medicines locked away. Toddlers and young children can climb on stools and unto bathroom counters to reach standard medicine cabinets.
- Secure button batteries found in watches, small toys etc. They can cause intoxication with mercury and acid.
- Place garbage in secure containers with tight lids and out of reach
- Keep unused electrical outlets covered with safety plugs, or replace them with childproof cover plates
- Make sure all major electrical appliances are grounded and hide cords behind heavy furniture
Other common dangers
Simple dangers lurk in every room of your house.
- Clear table tops and secure small furniture. Babies can pull small furniture and table top displays down on themselves causing injury.
- Shorten cords from blinds and drapery. They can cause strangulation
- Refrigerator magnets can fall on the floor where they can be picked up, placed in the mouth and cause choking.
- Install safety gates to close off high risk areas BUT note that safety gates are NOT 100% foolproof. Many toddlers can dislodge them and some have small pieces that can pose a choking hazard.
Every year hundreds of children drown in backyard swimming pools. Here are a few tips to make your backyard pool enjoyable AND safe.
- Supervise chlidren at all times. Never alone a child, especially a young child, to swim alone or without an adult who can swim within arms reach.
- Use floating and life-saving devices with children who cannot swim, even if they are wading in the shallow end.
- Secure your pool with a 4-feet high fence or barrier with a self-closing, self-latching gate. Consider a pool alarm that goes off whenever someone enters the pool.
- Be sure everyone in the family knows how to swim. Swimming lessons are readily available.
- Maintain your pool with proper chemical levels, circulation and filtration to ensure the water remains clear and safe for swimming.
- Make and enforce pool rules such as “no diving,” “no horseplay around the pool.”
- Learn CPR and ensure your family knows what to do in the event of a water emergency.