Being a parent, especially a new parent, comes with many challenges. One of those challenges is keeping your baby or small child safe in a new, potentially hazardous environment. As they grow, babies become more mobile and will begin to crawl, scoot, roll, and eventually walk and run as they learn to grab, hold, and move things. Children, especially babies, are naturally curious, which is providing an environment for them to explore safely is so important. Once your little one is on the move, you may discover that your home is full of more safety issues than you previously realized. Hot stoves, sharp objects and corners, electrical outlets, unstable furniture, and unsecured cleaners can all pose a threat to your child. Identifying possible safety hazards and creating a safe environment for your child is the key to successfully childproofing your home.
Childproofing begins sooner rather than later. Once a baby can crawl and move on his own, you need to take extra special care around dangerous objects and hazardous locations. To your child, your whole home is a playground to explore. A good game plan includes getting on the floor to see what your baby sees and what could pose hazardous. As your little one gets older and more active, do your best to anticipate where her curiosity might lead her.
Some childproofing applies to all rooms within the house. The most important installation applies not only to your child, but everyone in your home. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors help to alert and protect your family from fire and carbon monoxide. These devices, typically installed in the ceiling, should be checked monthly with the batteries changed when needed. Electrical outlets are dangerous as they can provide electrical shocks that can start fires. Plastic outlet covers are the cheapest and easiest way to secure electrical sockets from children’s hands or toys. Baby gates are also necessary to keep children in or out of a certain location, especially staircases. All furniture should be secured or anchored to a wall. Slippery floors also pose threat, especially to fragile bodies. If your floors or stairs are slippery, consider carpeting them.
Batteries, medicines, cleaners, and detergents should be kept out of children’s reach or behind locked cabinets at all times. Not only can they be hazardous, but they can also be deadly. When batteries come in contact with saliva, they can generate electrical currents that can burn body tissue. Swallowing a battery can cause damage to the lining of the organs. Medicines, cleaners, and detergents can all cause children to become sick due to chemical poisoning or worse. Children are attracted to the fun, colorful liquids of certain cleaners and detergents, which makes them more dangerous.
Storing sharp objects, using door covers or latches, cabinet locks, and unplugging appliances that do not need to constantly plugged in are good secondary measures to keep your child safe. Covering sharp corners on tables and chairs, screening fireplaces, and using cordless window coverings are all ways to childproof your living room. For the nursery, Keep the crib free of soft materials like bumpers, pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals, as these increase the risk of suffocation, as well as any eliminating cords or decorations that your little one might get caught in. Ensure the crib meets all current safety standards, such as crib slats being no more than 2 3/8 inches apart, and use a firm, flat, tight-fitting mattress. You must be extra vigilant to prevent falls when using a changing table. Look for a table that’s sturdy and has a two-inch guardrail on all sides, and find a changing pad with a concave middle. You can use the safety strap during changes, but even if you do, keep one hand on your baby at all times. Never leave your baby unattended on the table, even for a second. Store diapers and diapering supplies close by but out of your little one's reach. Put diapers on the table before you place your baby on the changing pad so you will not have to turn your attention away from the baby on the table to reach for them.
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