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Health and Fitness News

Welcoming Baby to a Safe Home

Room by room suggestions to keep your baby safe throughout your home.

Life will never be the same after the arrival of a baby. Your home will never be the same either. As soon as baby becomes mobile, it’s time to make some big changes, so it’s best to get started early. Toddlers are curious and like to get into everything they can reach, and a house is likely filled with potential dangers before a little one arrives. Sharp edges, dangerous chemicals, unstable furniture, and breakable objects are a few hazards new parents must address before their child starts to crawl.

Protect your child by baby-proofing each room in your home. To really protect baby, you may want to get down on the child’s level and have a peek around. What dangers do you see? If you’re struggling to find potential hazards, here are a few baby-proofing suggestions to get you started.

Living Room

The biggest concerns in the living room are sharp edges and unstable furniture. Secure cushioned corner edges to hearths, coffee tables, and side tables. If furniture is near windows, make sure a child can’t climb on the furniture and fall out of a window.

You’ll also want to attach heavy furniture, bookcases, and television sets to the wall so they can’t fall on top of a child. Have something you’d rather baby not touch? Move it out of arm’s reach.

Kitchen

To keep your kitchen a safe place for children, make sure all sharp knives and breakable items are out of reach. Install latches on all cabinets or doors you don’t want children exploring, and always place your pots on the back burners with the handles pointed towards the back of the stove. Despite how much baby may be crying, never hold him or her while cooking. At the dinner table, don’t use tablecloths or place mats, since babies can pull on them. Despite how you did things growing up, don’t put household cleaning products or laundry detergents under the sink. Put them where children can’t access them—in an upper cabinet, out of reach.

Bathroom

The bathroom can be a dangerous place for babies. Drowning, electrical shock, slips, falls, and burns are all possible without the proper precautions. Therefore, never leave a child unattended in the bath, not even for a few seconds. For extra protection, fill the bath with no more than two to three inches of warm (no more than 100 degrees) water, and be extra cautious by setting your water heater no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Prior to setting a child in a bath, always test the water to ensure the water is not excessively hot. Nonslip bath mats and a water faucet cover are also helpful to prevent slipping and injury.

Beyond the bath, don’t leave blow dryers or styling tools plugged in and accessible to children. Install safety latches on the toilet lid and bathroom cabinets and make sure medications and cleaning supplies are stored in an upper cabinet, out of reach.

Nursery

Make your child’s bedroom a safe place to play and sleep. Current safety recommendations advise against bumper pads in the crib; cribs with sides that lower; and fluffy blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals in the crib. It’s also a good idea to remove mobiles once a baby can pull up to prevent strangulation. Also, even if you have a particularly calm baby, never leave him or her unattended on the changing table.

To make sure baby’s room is safe all the time, inspect your child’s toys to make sure they’re safe for playing. Toys shouldn’t have small parts, buttons, or eyes that can detach and become choking hazards. Toys that have cords or strings longer than 12 inches or that can hang around a child’s neck should be tossed or hidden until baby grows older.

Around the House

Throughout your home, secure all window blind cords to get them out of reach. Install gates at the top and bottom of stairs. Make sure all railings are no wider than four inches apart. Cover all unused electrical outlets. Get rid of all poisonous plants in your house. And just in case your little one ingest something poisonous, keep the Poison Control Center’s phone number posted for quick reference.