That loose step on the staircase or that loose hanging nail might not be a big deal up until your baby arrives. Babies are precious and naturally we want to protect them. It all starts with ensuring that your home is safe for your baby.
Home accidents are quite rampant than you might think and they are often caused by things that could have been prevented.
Don’t wait for disaster to strike, here is a safety guide on how to make your home safe for your baby.
No matter how secure your house is with high-end security systems and round-the clock security video coverage; you’ll need to look at things differently when a baby is involved.
To secure your house means that you have to make sure anything that your baby will play with, the environment and things within your house cannot harm him. This means carrying out a safety assessment on your house to make sure that it is baby friendly.
Check for fire hazards and install carbon-monoxide and smoke detectors or make sure that they are working if you already have them. Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen at all times. Post emergency numbers within sight of all your home phones.
Re-organize your home and remove medicine, detergents and other cleaning supplies from easily accessible cabinets.
Have your home exterminated to get rid of bugs. Also have your home checked for mildew and other toxins well before you bring your baby home.
Whether or not you will have a designated bedroom for your little one or you will accommodate them within your bedroom; the area designated as the nursery should be safe for your baby.
If you are getting hand me down bassinets or cribs, you should give it a safety once-over to make sure that it meets current safety standards. Generally, if hand-me downs are more than 5 years old you are better off getting new baby furniture that meets current safety standards. For instance, crib bars are not meant to have more than 2 ⅜ inches spaces between them.
Keep blankets, pillows and stuffed animals away from the cribs of newborn babies because they pose a suffocation risk.
Have a thick carpet in the baby’s room. This will minimize on noise when walking in to check up on the baby and later when the baby is a toddler it will help to cushion falls.
Baby monitors and nanny cams are also important to have in the baby room so that you can keep an eye and ear on your baby at all times.
The Stairs, Basement and Kitchen
Once your baby becomes a toddler and starts crawling and walking the stairs often pose a risk of possible falls. You can install baby gates at the foot and head of your stairs to avoid your child accessing them without supervision.
Safety gates are effective safety tools to install not only on stairs but at the entrance of rooms you don’t want your baby accessing. This includes the basement which is often riddled with potential safety hazards for babies.
Check whether wall hangings along the staircase are well secured to avoid accidental falls.
In the kitchen, keep fridge magnets up high from your toddler’s reach, because they are potential choking hazards. Keep your small appliances such as toasters, electric kettles e.t.c out of reach and unplugged when not in use.
Install drawer and cabinet latches to prevent your little one from accessing them. Get stove knob covers so that your baby can’t turn on cooker burners.
The Living Room
Get and place nonskid pads on rugs. Also get corner guards for side tables and coffee table edges, because furniture collisions are often quite common with babies.
Move furniture away from windows to avoid your toddler climbing over furniture and accessing them.
Have bookshelves, TVs and other free-standing furniture secured to avoid accidental falls. Use electrical tape to store away electric cords from the baby. Also get electrical outlet plastic caps to keep them covered and inaccessible to the prying toddler.
If you are intending to get blinds, make sure that they are the cordless type, because the cords tend to be a strangling hazard.
It is important never to leave a child alone in the bathroom. However, you still need to proof your bathroom to prevent the over curious toddler from coming to harm when in there.
Get a toilet lock to avoid having your toddler get into it.
As with all other cabinets around the house, move medicine and cleaning supplies from easily accessible cabinets in the bathroom. Remove electrical appliances from the bathroom.
Have a thermostat to always make sure that the baby’s bathwater is at a safe temperature before baths.
Last but not least, keep reassessing the safety measures you have implemented in your house and check for potential hazards that you might have missed out on. Remember that it is always best to be prepared than caught unawares when it comes to raising babies.