10 Tips for Better Baby Safety
26 September 2011 No Comment
by Kristen Oliveri
Before you became a parent, you thought baby safety was as simple as keeping sharp objects out the babies reach. Your point of view changes once you actually bring your baby home and you realize there are so many ways for a baby to get into trouble. Keeping your baby safe is a daunting task, and the world fills with sharp edges, standing water and electrical hazards.
There are many things that adults take for granted that could be dangerous to a baby. Seeing the world from a baby’s perspective and following a few simple rules will help you baby proof your home.
- Anything the baby can pick up, the baby will put in his mouth. Start by looking at all the small things around your home that are low to the ground.Pick them up. Check for pet toys, cat litter pet food, dust bunnies and those screws, tacks, pushpins, paper clips and pennies that always accumulate in out-of-the-way spaces.
- Anything the baby can grab onto, the baby will grab onto. This includes table clothes, blind cords, speaker wires, electrical cords and trailing plants. Anything that hangs over an edge has the potential to wind up on the baby. Pay attention to where visitors put their purses. Little ones frequently root around in purses that are left unattended on the floor.
- Lock it up. This goes for drawers, cabinets and doors to stairways. Basically, if it opens or closes, get a safety latch. Consider securing your television and bookcases to the wall so they can’t tip over and crush your child.
- Cover it and secure it. All electrical outlets within a baby’s reach should be covered. Make sure all screens are secure. You can install special screen guards to keep babies from falling out. Make sure all batteries, especially small batteries, are secured inside of remotes or other electronic items.
- Check outdoor spaces. If you have a raised deck, it should have a gate at the top of the stairs. Measure the spaces between the rails on the deck. If there’s more than 2 3/8 inches of space between them, cover them from the inside with sturdy screening material or canvas. Babies can wriggle between the rails and fall, or get their heads stuck between the rails and suffocate.
- Know your plants. Plants both inside and outside can be a poisoning danger. Indoor plants should be kept out of your baby’s reach. Find out if there are dangerous plants outside and remove them or fence them. Watch out for berries and fruits that could cause choking or poisoning. Keep all fertilizers and insect killers locked up and out of baby’s reach.
- Cover sharp edges. Install bumpers on the sharp edges of coffee tables and TV stands. Use bumpers on the fireplace, if you have one.
- Keep track of chemicals and prescriptions. Household chemicals, especially antifreeze, can be lethal. Always keep them locked up and never remove their labels. Prescription pills look like candy to young children. If there are babies in the house, a locked medicine cabinet is a must.
- Use sun protection. Sunscreen and protective clothing is a must to prevent sunburns that can lead to problems in adult life. Remember that a baby’s skin is much more sensitive to sun exposure than adult skin.
- Use the car seat. It can never be said enough, properly strap your child into all car seats, strollers, baby swings and high chairs. A five-point harness that secures the shoulders and the legs is the safest choice.