Home Safe Home: A Child Proofing Checklist
Believe it or not, your home may not be the safest place for your baby, especially for the infants who have become more mobile. Seemingly innocuous household items such as coffee tables, television sets or dangling cords are hazardous for crawling, curious babies.
According to a recent study of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading cause of death among children in the United States is unintentional injuries due to accidents. Among kids less than one year old, two-thirds died due to suffocation while 1 to 4-year-olds were highly susceptible to drowning. The CDC also pointed out that for nonfatal injuries, about 9.2 million children were brought to the emergency room every year due to unintentional injuries. These were mostly caused by:
Fall – 2.8 million children under the age of 15, with more than half of them younger than one years old.
Stuck by or against an object – usually involving kids ages 0 to 9 years old.
If you’re a parent with a young child, these numbers can be alarming. Especially if you have a baby on the way, I’m sure you’re looking around every inch of your house to find any possible danger. Either way, you don’t need to feel paranoid because the best solution is really simple: child proof your home.
What does child proofing your home prevent? Those unintentional injuries—bumps, scratches, falls, etc. - that, while a natural part of growing up, should not be serious enough to force you to take your kid to the hospital.
Your child’s health and safety are your top priorities, so effectively childproofing your home can seem overwhelming. But, your child’s health and safety are our top priorities too! Suddenly, those sharp corners, open bathroom doors, or loose cabinets are a real threat to your child’s well-being unless you baby proof them to render them harmless.
Cabinets, cupboards and drawers are particularly enticing to young kids as they often see their parents regularly opening and closing them. So, make sure you always have them locked and never underestimate what lengths kids will go to. Curiosity isn’t a bad thing, but children get creative when trying to explore what’s right in front of them. And the unfortunate reality is that most cabinets and drawers contain harmful items such as sharp utensils or heavy kitchenware that can injure your small child quite seriously.
Make sure you place your baby’s crib away from a window. You can’t watch them sleep all hours of the night and you never know when they may wake up. So don’t put them at risk for climbing out of the crib or opening a window and injuring themselves from a fall. It is important to keep in mind that blinds or curtains can also be a major hazard if the baby somehow gets tangled or even strangled from the various strings and rods.
So when do you need to start childproofing your home? Experts at webmd.com suggest baby proofing your house even before the baby comes! Therefore, it’s crucial to prepare a baby proofing checklist a couple months before the baby’s expected delivery date.
What baby proofing products should you get then? Here are a few must-haves:
1. Electric outlet covers – these electrical outlet protectors are easy to install and they ensure no fingers or even tongues getting stuck inside.
2. Childproofing white locks – anything from doors to toilet bowls should have a lock. These locks can secure furniture, appliances and doors so you don’t have to worry about the little one roaming into an area he or she shouldn’t be.
3. Magnetic cabinet locks and latches – these also help secure cabinets and drawers from the curious little fella. The magnets are strong enough to keep those prying hands from opening up doors they are not supposed to open.
4. Cushioned baby bumpers – make sure to add the extra dense corner protectors to your baby proofing checklist. These attach to the sharp corners of furniture and other household items such as coffee tables, fish tanks, countertops, dining tables and coffee tables. They also can attach to stairs, shelves, and cabinets. Just stick them in place and those accidental bumps will be pain-free for your baby.
5. Safety straps for TV and other furniture – these straps secure televisions and other heavy furniture in the house such as shelves from toppling over onto your little one.
Get peace of mind before the baby arrives. Go out and childproof your house today!