Keeping your baby safe at all times is a parent’s greatest concern and responsibility. There is so much to consider and it is very easy to overlook something that might be fairly obvious to some but escapes others.
When it is time for you to alter your home into a baby zone, all you need to do is take a look at your house from a baby’s point of view by being literally down on the floor. This way you can see all the easy to reach objects and hazards that your baby may come across.
What to look out for
If the layout of your kitchen allows it, use child safety gates on the kitchen’s doorway to prevent your child entering while you cook.
Secure cupboard doors with childproof locks. Put dangerous items (e.g. knives and scissors) in high cupboards, far out of reach of children.
Ensure that all pot handles and cords don’t hang over the counter and stove avoiding the possibility of your child pulling something down on top of her.
Use a stove/hot plate guard.
Don’t use a table cloth with young children – one tug and the entire contents of the table can be on the floor and all over them.
Cleaning Items – Use as many natural products as you can for cleaning but still keep them behind locked cabinets or high enough so that baby cannot reach them.
Keep plastic bags out of reach. A baby can put her face inside the bag and suffocate.
Remove refrigerator magnets. They frequently fall off the refrigerator when the door is slammed, and they are small enough to pose a choking risk.
The bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in the house, so never let your child -play in there alone or unsupervised.
Install toilet seat locks and shatterproof glass shower doors.
Keep all electrical appliances out of the bathroom to avoid possible electrocution.
Always store medications in a locked child-proof cupboard that is out of reach.
Set your hot water to no higher than 49 ° Celsius to avoid scalding.
Never ever leave your baby unattended in the bath or bath seat.
See that larger toys or objects don’t have smaller, removable parts that could be chewed or pulled off and swallowed.
Keep pillows, large stuffed animals and other objects that could cover your baby’s face and interfere with her breathing, out of your infant’s cot. Mobiles should also be removed once the baby can push up on their hands and knees, usually at about 5 months.
If you use a changing table, be sure that it has sturdy rails and a safety strap. Keep all supplies within reach and never leave your baby unattended on the table, even for a moment.
Place the baby’s cot away from any windows and be sure that no cords are hanging from the window treatments.
Lounge and dining room:
Cover all electrical sockets with plastic plugs. Put furniture in front of as many outlets as you can.
Fasten the cords to the blinds. Nothing that could be climbed upon should be placed near the window.
Place a safety guard around any heaters or open fireplaces you may have.
Make sure that all shelving is secured to a wall or is stable.
Protect sharp corners on coffee tables with corner guards and keep any other sharp objects locked away.
Ensure that any equipment – TV, DVD player is stored in a safe and appropriate manner; all cords are tucked away, remote controls are stored out of reach and the cabinet is stable.
Identify and remove any objects that can be reached or pulled/ knocked over such as ornaments, vases etc.
Stairs, balconies and verandas:
You must have a railing on stairs, balconies or verandas.
Place lockable gates at the top and bottom of staircases to avoid the possibility of your child falling on the stairs unsupervised.
Fit door guards in relevant areas to help prevent painful and serious finger injuries when the wind slams a door shut.
Stairs should have a non-slip surface.
Program your phone’s speed dial with the numbers of your paediatrician, the poison control centre, your spouse at work, and your ambulance service. Let your caregiver know where the numbers are.
Always keep a first-aid kit in your home. You must know what to do with its contents.
Always keep in mind that childproofing is not a 100% guarantee that your child will be safe from injury and as your baby grows new dangers arise. So at each stage of development you should reassess the risks.
– Sharon Atkins