10 Safety Issues You Should be Aware of when Babyproofing Your Home

Babies get increasingly prone to injury as they become more mobile. While it’s not possible to protect your child from every possible injury, there are things you can do to minimize the risk of serious injury to your child. Parents of new babies need to recognize that things they’ve previously taken for granted are now possible child safety hazards and can be dangerous for the child.

Injuries cause the most deaths in kids under age 14 and up to a third of all injuries occur in the child’s home. Seventy percent of deaths from injuries at home occur in kids under four. Prepared parents can make all the difference.

You Need to Pay Attention

Even the most careful parent occasionally lets their baby get out of their sight and this can cause injuries and death. Think about those times you answer the phone or are cooking dinner with the baby around. Even that small distraction can cause serious problems with your child. If you are doing things that can bring your attention away from the child, put the child inside a playpen or other enclosure until you can give him your full attention.

Hazards with Water

Babies and small children drown all the time in things like toilets, buckets of water and swimming pools. It only takes a few inches of water to drown a young one. They can fall into a bucket because they are top heavy and won’t be able to get out. Keep buckets of cleaning products or even just water up and out of the way of a child. Install a door knob cover on the bathroom door and make sure the door is closed at all times. Use toilet locks to keep baby from getting into or near the toilet water.

Scalding Injuries

Hot water can scald a baby so set your hot water heater to 120 degrees or less. Don’t leave a small child alone in the bathtub and, when cooking, turn the pot handles toward the back of the stove.

Suffocation and Choking

Children are often apt to put things inside their mouths and some of those things can cause them to choke. Some choking hazards include deflated latex balloons, plastic bags and toys or objects less than 1 ½ inches around. You should keep fluffy toys, pillows and fluffy comforters out of the baby’s crib as they can suffocate on them. Teach your older children to pick up all their smaller toys so that the baby or toddler cannot get into them.

Electrical Items

Keep all unused outlets covered, and tape down or hide all electrical cords. Move furniture so as much furniture covers electrical outlets and cords.

Heavy Furniture Hazards

Bolt all bookcases, dressers or armoires to the wall so baby cannot pull them down on top of them. Keep the TV on an appropriate TV stand so baby doesn’t reach up and tip over the television.

Poisons Around The Home

Latch all kitchen cupboards and drawers and remove any chemicals, poisons, paints and pesticides away from the reach of baby. Such items should be put up or stored in the garage. Medication should be in latched or locked cabinets. Keep the carpets cleaned and vacuumed and take your shoes off when entering the house as they can track in hazards from outdoors. Make sure your houseplants are up and out of the way or remove them altogether until baby is older.

Child Safety Gates

You should put in child safety gates on all staircases—on the top and bottom of the stairs. Never use infant walkers if your home has an open stairwell.

Pad the Edges

Take out the coffee table altogether or pad the edges so baby doesn’t get injured on sharp corners. Keep your fireplace hearth away from baby at all times.

Used Baby Products

Things you buy or get from a friend or relative can save money but could also be a recalled item or an item with lead based paint. Make sure there are no loosened snaps or buttons on baby clothing and make sure any crib you get is up to code with slats no further apart than 2 3/8 inches.

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