Childproofing your home: 6 tips to help you get started

childproofingOnce you get over the initial overwhelming surge of feelings on becoming a first-time parent, it is time to assess the needs and wants of your young baby.

Many of us are apprehensive about the dangers our children will face when they step out of the safety of home. But studies prove that children are more prone to injuries and accidents at home rather than away. It helps to know that in the US more than 2,200 children die every year due to unintentional injuries suffered in their homes.

If you have a baby it is high time you evaluated the child-friendliness of your home. Experts say that it is best if you can start working on this before your little bundle of joy arrives, and when you have time and energy to plan out the details. With a newborn at home, you will be hard pressed for both.

Here are a few tips for you to make your home safe and snug for your little one, thereby avoiding the most common injuries and accidents that can happen in your home.

Get down to His Level

Do you know that a crawling baby reaches out for almost anything that catches his curious eye? He will unearth unimaginable stuff from beneath furniture and under carpets, almost all of which invariably ends up in his mouth. He will hold on to wobbly bookshelves to raise himself and will pull down the tablecloth with all that is resting on it down on himself. There is no limit to what he can accomplish when you take your eyes off him, so no precaution is going to be too much.

The first thing that you have to do is get down on your knees and have a close look at what your little one is going to see from his eye level. Removae every small thing that you find on the floor like beads, screws or marbles. Pieces of paper, small oval or round objects, and loose threads or lint from carpets all have chances of finding a way into your baby’s mouth.

This applies for your yard as well. If you have a synthetic lawn, ensure you clean it regularly so that your baby can crawl on it safely. Quality synthetic lawn products undergo stringent tests so that you do not have to worry when your baby is enjoying outdoors. A weekly rinse will be all that is required to remove dirt and debris from your lawn.

Pad the Corners

There will be objects that are sharp like edges and corners of tables and sofas that need to be secured with edge guards to avoid painful bumps. Glass tops of tables are dangerous and edges can easily hurt the forehead of a small child learning to walk. Use corner pads for safety and if the glass is easily breakable replace it with a safer glass top.

Objects kept at a lower level that can easily break like Chinese floor vases, photo frames, glassware and decorative pieces need to be attended to. Ensure you remove them and put them away at a safe height or remove them from the room altogether.

There will also be furniture that the baby will be able to tug at and topple over him or her, so they too need to be removed, or mounted and secured safely to the wall.

Be Mindful of the Fireplace

Fireplaces are a big safety hazard for small children bent on exploring the world around them.

Install fire-resistant gates that will keep your little one away from flames and direct heat.

Raised fireplaces have sharp or hard corners and edges. Do cover them up with soft pads to avoid injuries from falls. Also remove small rocks and stones that are usually found in artificial fireplaces. Ensure you keep fire stoking tools away from easy reach of your crawling or toddling baby.

Secure the Outlets

Power and electrical outlets are the source of a lot of accidents to babies and toddlers.

Exposed power strips pose a real danger to crawling children. Your little one could pull at a plug or put some metal object into one of the open holes, and risk electrocution. Power strip covers are safe and offer protection. At best ensure that power strips are hidden behind heavy furniture.

Power outlets must be covered with clear or sliding covers, or swing shut covers that will prevent little fingers from sticking in. Covers with cord shortening options provide additional safety to kids.

Keep Kitchen Hazard-Free

One of the most interesting rooms for your toddler or crawling baby is the kitchen. There are so many places he can peep or reach into, and a treasure trove of clanging pans and pots he can play with.

Do not keep kitchen entirely off limits for your baby. There is so much he can see and learn under mom’s safe watch in the kitchen.

Ensure that all drawers have safety latches or child lock that will prevent access to sharp utensils, home cleaning solutions, insect repellants, detergents and other household chemicals, or liquor. If possible keep them in higher shelves. In addition to drawers, latches should be used to secure lower oven doors, dishwashers, refrigerators and trash cans.

All dangerous objects like knives should be placed away from the kitchen countertop. Small appliances that are usually placed on countertops also will need to find a new home. You must be aware that a toddler can easily reach onto a countertop and pull things down.

Make sure that there are no runners or tablecloths in your dining area. There is nothing more tempting for a baby to yank on than hanging fabric. Also do not keep hot food on the edge of countertops or tables.

Bathroom Should Be a Safe Heaven

Babies love playing with water. As enjoyable as this may sound, there are also too many dangers lurking by.

Faucets and plumbing fixtures often result in painful bumps. Soft covers will protect your baby from the heat and sharp edges of bath spouts and other plumbing hardware.

Use a sturdy and breathable shower curtain instead of a glass door. Avoid using electrical outlets as much as possible in the bathroom. If you must, ensure they are tucked away out of sight in drawers or tough-to-reach places. Cover up all exposed outlets and keep gadgets like hair dryer out of reach.

Toiletries and medicines should be locked away. Ensure the toilet seat is always down and install child safety latches for complete safety.

Conclusion

Child-proofing is effective when it is complimented with parental supervision. Always keep a close watch over your child to avert any danger. There is no gadget or childproofing trick that can replace your loving watch.

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