Have you ever crawled around your home on the floor on your hands and knees? Even though this may sound strange, you should try this experiment. Your child explores his or her environment every day, so it is important to view the world in the same manner your child does. This will give insight as to how safe your home is and a few tips to childproof your home.
Although most parents think of babies and young children when they hear the phrase “baby-proofing,” accidental injury in the home is the main cause of death among children up to 13 years of age. In fact, over one-third of accidental injuries that occur with children occur in the home.
Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to reduce and prevent your child from injuries at home.
Controlling Choking Hazards
Make sure that all items that could potentially choke your child are placed out of their reach. Even small toys that belong to older brothers and sisters should be positioned in areas of the home where the baby or toddler cannot access.
The kitchen can be a tricky space. When feeding your child, you should never feed him or her hard pieces of food or pieces of food that are small enough to become lodged in your child’s throat. Examples of the foods that can cause a choking hazard are:
- Fish with bones
- Cut up hot dogs
- Pretzel nuggets
Never purchase toys that have cords for your infant or toddler. Also, avoid placing your child’s pacifier on a string or cord.
Crib Safety Tips
If you have a newborn or a small infant, it is crucial that you create a safe and happy sleeping environment for your child. Newborns spend the majority of their time sleeping, and your nursery should be the safest, most comforting room in your home. Here are some crib safety tips from crib mattress manufacturer Newton Baby:
- Never place heavy quilts or pillows around your baby while they are sleeping
- Do not place the crib near a window that has cords or blinds installed on it. As previously discussed, cords are choking hazards
- The crib should not have any improperly installed or missing hardware such as bolts, screws or brackets
- Do not use lead based paint on baby furniture
Smoke and Fire
You should never drink liquids such as hot tea or coffee when you are carrying your baby, or around your baby. Also, avoid smoking tobacco products while around your child.
Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in every room and hallway in the home. The detectors should be in working condition, and batteries should be changed periodically. You can also test the alarms regularly to ensure they are working correctly.
Safe public healthy caps should be placed on every electrical outlet in the home, and electrical cords should not be within your child’s reach.
After you have taken all of the precautions you can to keep your child safe and prevent accidents in the home, do not let the fear of an accidental injury prevent you from experiencing the joy of being a new parent. Taking steps to childproof your home and staying vigilant is your child’s best defense against injury.