Baby Proofing Your Home
By: James Hirtenstein, Owner of Baby Safe
Every time I walk into the home of new parents I am asked the same question “What are the most dangerous areas?” Well, if each apartment, home, loft or dwelling was exactly the same I would have an easy answer. Unfortunately, each home is different and each home brings different safety issues. Working in the child safety business for 15 years has given me the knowledge to help parents protect their toddlers. Please use the guide below as a great starting point to make your home safer.
1 . Anchor any piece of furniture that seems even a little unstable or can be tipped. The items we like to anchor include lamps, bookshelves, tables, changing tables, TVs and water coolers.
2. Secure any loose wires such as blind cords, old school curly phone wires, baby monitors and anything else that can be wrapped around a child’s neck.
3. Latch any cabinet that is below a sink or counter top that might contain any dangerous materials. Kitchen and bathroom are first on the list as they have the most concentrated areas of danger. But it is important to look through each drawer and cabinet in your home as any one particular door could contain the one item that your baby/toddler finds and decides to swallow.
4. Secure all doors in and around your apartment. Children are curious about doors but little fingers can be pinched in or even severed in a door jamb if left to play unchecked. Use a child-proofing cushion that rests in the door frame to prevent it from slamming shut. You should also child-proof your door knobs with special locks that allow parents easy access but not curious toddlers.
5. Change all outlet plates to spring-loaded ones. Push in plugs are no longer reliable and are outdated. If a child pulls a plug out of a socket then the outlet is now exposed, with a spring-loaded outlet, the plate snaps shut automatically when the plug is removed. Changing to these plates ensures your live outlets will never be exposed.
6. Always have multiple fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Fire is the leading cause of emergency room visits and death for children under 5 years old.
7 Safety Gates It is important to have gates at the top and bottom of all stairs, install window guards after birth of baby and make sure that all railings/balconies are secure with Plexiglass or similar material that will prevent the child from slipping through the vertical slats
8. Always be vigilant A baby-proofed home doesn’t mean you can leave your children alone. Always be proofing. You must always be prepared for your child to become more active and increasingly smarter than the day before. What looked safe and sound yesterday could be tomorrow’s danger du jour.