Wouldn’t you want a road construction crew to put up barricades to direct traffic away from a dangerous drop-off? Don’t you expect the power company to warn you of high voltage lines? We all appreciate “watch your step” signs and labels on products that contain toxic chemicals.
It’s the same for baby: we all want our children kept safe from hazardous situations. Thinking ahead can stop the harm that may come from increasingly curious bundles of joy who are starting to scoot or toddle to the unsafe items or places that they find so interesting. You’ve taken the steps to have a healthy pregnancy, now it’s time to baby proof your home. Consider these baby proofing basics as you get started.
Survey Your Home for Potential Hazards
Get on your hands and knees and crawl through your house or apartment to see things from your toddlers’ point of view. Place safety locks on all cupboards and drawers into which your child can get. You may want to leave a lower cabinet where you store plastic bowls or storage containers unlocked – children may enjoy exploring and playing with those unbreakable items. Also make sure to place safety covers in all unused electrical outlets, including extension cords and power strips. Bundle electrical cords tightly or hide them to keep out of reach. The same goes for cords on window blinds – not only can they be trouble if your child reaches for them, but they’re also choking hazards as well.
Know What’s Within Your Child’s Reach
Some children are climbers! Know that they can simply slide a chair over to counters and get into cupboards or on top of things that are out of their reach from ground level. Make sure there is nothing close to a window that would allow them to climb up and fall out. Window screens won’t stop a fall. Store all medicines and cleaning products well out of reach. Block stairs, both top and bottom, with safety gates. Even if they’re not climbing, you have to worry about your child’s reach as well. Move pots and pans to the back burner to prevent burns if a child were to reach up and grab the handle. Place hot cups or plates in the middle of the table without a tablecloth.
If possible, keep the door to the bathroom and laundry room closed. Little ones are very curious about toilets and clothes dryers. There are also safety locks available for toilet seats. Keep doors to the outside locked, too. Your little one may take off to explore outside when you are busy, and you may not hear him/her.
Keeping Your Child Safe in the Car and Crib
When putting your toddler down for a nap or bedtime, place him into his bassinet or crib without bumper pads, pillows, blankets or stuffed animals in the sleeping area. When using a car seat, check to be sure the seat is placed in the car correctly and the straps fit the child accordingly. If you are not sure, contact Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital for help with your car seat questions (253) 403-1417.
A safe baby equals a happy parent. Need someone to talk with on how you can best prepare for your child? Care Net offers parenting support, helping you get the resources you need to feel confident as you raise your child. Reach out to us today.
By Tracey, Office Manager