A child is a parent’s most prized possession. We, as parents, give them unconditional love no matter what they look like, how they act or who they are attached to. As parents, we want to keep our children safe at all times. Knowing this is why it is so mind-boggling that so many parents do not make the effort to go through their house and take the necessary steps to make the home a safer place for the kids. This is especially true if you have a baby that is just starting to crawl, pull themselves up on furniture or ready to take those first steps.
If you have carpet, crawl around on the floor yourself. You will be amazed at how many spots you will find that have carpet staples that protrude through the carpet. These will puncture your baby’s skin or worse. You will also be surprised at how many things you may find in the carpet like straight pins or other pointy things. Clean them up, hammer down those carpet staples so baby has a smooth ride.
Young infants and toddlers are very curious about the world around them. There is nothing more inviting to satisfy this curiosity than a wall outlet, especially if it is painted or has a cover on it that gets the kids attention. A finger in the socket can be deadly. The simple, cheap solution is so easy there is no reason for any parent to ignore this. Buy yourself those little plastic covers that go into the slots of the outlet. This will prevent the child from getting the second shock of their life. The first being brought into this world. They are so cheap and easy to install. They are hard to remove, but that means the child won’t be able to do it.
The kitchen is one of the most dangerous places for a curious young child, so spend a great deal of time baby proofing this room in your home. Be sure, if your child can get into lower cabinets, there is nothing in them that can pose a danger. A few pots and pans and plastic storage containers pose little risk to tiny exploring bodies. Once your child is older, or while they are elevated in a high chair, be sure they are not within reach of pots on the stove. Turn the handles backward so grabbing hands will not be able to reach. Also, remember that the oven may be an inviting handle on which to pull oneself up when trying to stand. Do not leave your child sitting on the kitchen floor unattended if your oven is on.
If you have stairs in your home, you will need to find a way of blocking these to prevent unfortunate tumbles. Gates placed at the top and bottom of the staircase should be enough to prevent curious climbers from trying to navigate the dangerous pathways. Make sure the gates are installed securely. While they may be a nuisance to the adults in the home, they will make a world of difference in protecting your child from dangerous falls.
A tumble down the steps can end up with a broken neck. This, of course, leads to death or a life of rehabilitation and woe. Get yourself an approved baby gate to put at both the top and bottom of the steps. Makeshift baby gates can be easily dislodged, have sharp edges and are just not that safe.
Keep the baby out of the bathroom if you are not in there. You may have heard of kids drowning in the tub. Kids can also go for a look to see what is in the toilet. If they manage to lean over too far, there is nothing to keep them from submerging their little heads in there and drowning. They will panic and instead of pushing themselves out of the toilet, they may do just the opposite — they may push themselves into it even deeper.
Be sure that any shelving or cabinets you have in your home are fastened to the walls which they stand up against. If you have shelves standing freely in rooms, you may want to consider rearranging the furniture until your child is old enough. Little kids may pull on the shelves in an effort to stand when learning to walk or they may attempt to climb on the shelving as they grow. Both of these actions can create a situation in which the shelf is pulled forward, creating an extremely dangerous situation. Another reason to fasten shelves to the walls regardless of the ages of your children is to prevent collapse during earthquakes. If the furniture is fastened to the wall, it will not be jostled during natural disasters.
Finally, be sure to lock up cabinets, pantries, and drawers that contain dangerous substances. Anything that houses medication or cleaning materials should be locked and secured from prying hands.
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