Baby Proofing Guide
It is important to go through your home when you have a baby and see what can be made safer. Adults leave things in places all over the house not realizing the dangers it poses for a baby. This article is a guide to help you try and make a baby’s world a little safer.
For younger babies:
Never leave your child unattended. Accidents can happen within seconds. Do not leave them alone to run and do laundry in a basement apartment building, it only takes a few seconds for a fire to spark. Simple things like checking the mail while your baby sleeps can result in things like forgetting your keys and your baby is locked inside. Never leave a baby in an automobile, anything could happen. The brake could slip sending the baby towards traffic. It only takes seconds for a baby snatcher to get into your car and be gone with your baby in the car seat in the back. The temperature in a closed-up vehicle can rise rapidly. It is always better to wake a baby up and bring him/ her inside then to leave them unattended for even a minute in a vehicle. The window left open does not provide enough ventilation for the baby.
Never take your eyes off the baby when you place him/her on a changing table, chair, couch, or bed. You should always use the straps on a changing table. Keep one hand loosely on the baby at all times, especially if you need to bend over to pick something up. You should never leave the baby in a bathtub alone. Even a small amount of water can drown a baby that has fallen and can’t roll over or get out of the water. You should place a towel at the bottom of a bathtub to prevent slipping.
Never leave a young child alone with your baby. An affectionate hug could even suffocate your baby. Another child might not realize the danger of squeezing too tight or shaking a baby. They might even try and play with the baby and give your baby toys that are not age-appropriate, which could potentially make the baby choke.
Never shake your baby or throw him/her into the air. You shouldn’t hold your baby’s arms and swing him around. Do not play with a baby near strings or cords such as telephone cords. Make sure all plastic bags are placed out of the baby’s reach. They can cause suffocation within seconds.
Never leave your baby unattended while shopping. Never ask a stranger to watch him/her for even a minute. Have the baby in view at all times. When you need to turn and get an item from the shelf, face the cart with the baby closest to you. This will deter a baby snatcher. Strollers can block your view of your baby. A stranger could appear to be bending over to pick up an item off the bottom shelf. You should move the baby stroller back out of the stranger’s reach. After the stranger has gotten his item and is walking off then resume shopping. You can never be too cautious with strangers. You do not know these individuals and unfortunately, there are some people out there that you need to be cautious of.
For Older Babies:
Baby proofing your home will be a little harder at this stage of the game. You have to plan. Your baby is now more mobile. A baby must be never left alone. This article is to help you make your baby’s world a little safer.
You should walk through your home and fix the things that are obvious like any peeling paint or broken tiles. Walkthrough with pen and paper in hand and make a list for every room. Things too look for:
- Loose knobs on cabinet doors or furniture
- Peeling paint on walls or furniture
- Unstable furniture
- Loose tiles on walls or floors
- Splinters in wood flooring
- Windows on higher levels
- Make sure all screens in windows are secure
- Cords on blinds or drapes
- Electrical outlets
- Poisonous plants
- The lid on the toy box
- Throw rugs
- Cleaning solutions under cabinets
After you make your list, go shopping. Get the supplies that will make these household changes easier. For example… electrical outlet plugs, cabinet locks, and baby gates. Do one complete room at a time so you don’t leave anything out. It is smart to start with simple changes. You can start by putting corner guards on all sharp table corners. They also make protective pads that you can place around a fireplace. Use electrical outlet plugs in every electrical outlet. You need to secure your chemicals in your lower cabinets by using cabinet locks. They also have toilet and stove locks. A baby can flush things down a toilet causing an expensive plumbing bill. Be sure to check the garage area as well. You might want to put a lock on the freezer, so your baby can’t get inside. You will want to place gates at the top of any stairs that your baby has access to. You should make sure all second-story windows do not open enough for your baby to climb out. Place all plants out of your baby’s reach. If your baby samples a plant you should call poison control immediately. Replace all loose wall or floor tiles. Sand down any splintering areas of a wood floor. You may want to do this to an outside deck as well. You should also make sure all nails are hammered in and check for loose boards on a deck. Repair and repaint any old furniture. Remove toy box lids completely if necessary. Finally, place things like scissors and marbles out of your baby’s reach. Remember, even though some of these home adjustments can be annoying, they are only temporary and its things that you can live with. More importantly, it is things your baby can live with.