Homeowners: Make Your Home Safe for Baby by Ed Kirkland
So you’ve moved into a new home, or you’ve been in your home for sometime and you’re expecting a child. There’s no need to fret that your home is inadequate and or that you may need to move into something that is safer for your new baby. Of course, if you have you’re mind set on a new home, than by all means go for it. But- there are many things you can do to improve the safety and functionality of your home so as to provide a safe and happy haven for your new child.
Here are some general ideas, that will provide safety for you child in their first 12 months. Of course not everything has to be done right away- but, whatever you can get done before baby’s arrival will benefit you in the long run- as you’re apt to be pretty busy once your child arrives.
- On your infant’s changing table install a safety belt and always make you use it. Likewise, ensure there are safety belt on swings or bouncy seats.
- A plush rug under a changing table or crib is a good idea as a cushion, in the case of a fall.
- Keep nigh lights at a safe distance from bedding, draperies or crib so as to prevent any potentials fires.
- It’s a good idea to eventually shorten draperies and blind cords- so that your child cannot grab them.
- Lock any and all potentially dangerous substances in a high cabinet.
- Bookshelves, entertainment centers and large desks should ideally be secured to the walls, to prevent them toppling when your child begins to use such things anchors to stand up.
- Eventually you’ll want to install hardware-mounted baby gates at the tops and bottoms of stairways.
- Keep household plants out of reach of children. Know the names of the plants you have, and what their effects are, if consumed.
- Electrical outlets should be covered with child proof outlet covers.
- Screened barriers should eventually be placed around fireplaces, radiators and portable space heaters.
- Turn down your hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cupboard doors within reach of your child, should be secured with childproof locks. Test them repeatedly as some locks work better than others.
- Assess where all the sharp edges are on your furniture or fireplace. Try to cover these with throw pillows, blankets or by attaching some foam rubber to the edges.
- Another general note, is to scamper through your house on your hands and knees and just check out any potential dangers from this level. You’d be surprised what you find from a child’s perspective.
- Use a toilet lid lock or alternately ensure that your bathroom is locked at all time. Toilets can be dangerous drowning zones, for curious toddlers.
- Install window guards and remove all furniture that might allow for a child to climb and open a window.
- Cover doorknobs with safety covers and purchase finger protectors to prevent the finger pinch hazard.
- Check and make sure all electrical cords are free of breaks, holes end kinks. Cord bundlers can be purchased and then you can secure cords to furniture so they cannot be pulled.
- Ensure that every area of your home is equipped with “to-code” smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Remove fridge magnets as they can fall and may be small enough to pose a choking risk, if ingested by your toddler.
- If you own pool, it should be properly gated and with a gate lock.
These are all simple measures you can follow to create a safe, child-proof home. Again, there’s no need to panic, or assume that your home is not up to “family” snuff. Just make sure it is, by sussing out any potential dangers and remedying them sooner, rather than later.
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