Babyproof Your Home
When considering how and what you will do to babyproof your home, it’s important to create a “Yes” environment. “It can be frustrating and exhausting to constantly say “no” to your baby.” says Mike Bost, owner of Palmetto Childproofing in Charlotte. “As you begin to develop a strategy for babyproofing your home, strive to create a “yes” environment where there are minimal reasons for saying “no”. Both you and your baby will be happier.” Here are some tips to get you started:
1) Beware of cords: Window blind cords are a strangulation hazard. Keep these cords out of a toddler’s reach by wrapping them around wall cleats. In addition, ensure electrical cords from monitors and lamps cannot be reached from the crib. If pulled into the crib, these cords pose a strangulation hazard.
2) Baby gates: Use durable baby gates to prevent access to stairs and other off-limits areas of the home. Never use a pressure gate at the top of the stairs.
3) Prevent drowning inside the home: A baby can drown in just a few inches of water. Install a lid lock on all toilets. Never leave standing water in a tub, sink, or bucket. NEVER leave your baby unattended in the bath. If you must leave the room for any reason, wrap your child in a towel and leave the room together.
4) Cover electrical outlets: On average, seven children per day in the U.S. are treated in emergency rooms due to injuries caused by electrical outlets. Hairpins and keys are the most commonly inserted items. Consider installing self-closing outlet covers instead of plastic outlet plugs. If dislodged, outlet plugs pose a choking hazard and leave outlets unprotected as well.
5) Crib safety: The Consumer Product Safety Commission has documented 153 crib deaths since 2007. Avoid this tragedy by taking precautions. Cribs should be free of blankets, pillows, bumper pads, and stuffed animals. These items can block the airway of a sleeping baby and cause suffocation. In addition, more than 9 million cribs have been recalled in the last five years. Check www.cpsc.gov to ensure your crib has not been recalled.
6) Cabinet latches: Install safety latches on cabinets and drawers within your baby’s reach.
7) Choking hazards: Check the floor daily to ensure food, debris, or other dropped items do not pose a choking hazard, especially in the kitchen and bathrooms.
8) Prevent furniture tip-overs: Approximately 19,000 children each year are treated in emergency rooms for tip-over related injuries. Secure bookcases, dressers, televisions, and television stands with brackets or furniture straps
Finally, consider hiring a professional to help. If you’re experiencing delays or frustration in babyproofing your home, a professional babyproofer can evaluate your home, identify potential hazards, and help you develop a sensible plan for childproofing your home. In addition, professional childproofers have extensive experience installing baby gates, cabinet latches, furniture brackets, and other child safety products that parents sometimes find difficult to install on their own.
Mike Bost is owner of Palmetto Childproofing which helps parents create a safe home environment for their baby or toddler to live, explore, develop, and grow. Find them at www.palmettochildproofing.com.