The need to baby proof your home cannot be overemphasized. In this video, two toddlers are harmlessly playing with their drawer and it topples over on one of them. They clearly do not know what to do and the other child is in distress. It is disheartening to watch how he struggles to free himself. There are a lot of things that could have happened as a result of this incident. However, we are thankful he was able to get out and there were no internal injuries.
This is just one example out of many. In another case, a little girl strangled herself by getting entangled with a window blind cord while playing at her grandparents’ home.
We pray that our children will always be safe. However baby proofing our houses should be a top priority for parents with crawling babies and toddler. Asides from being aware of the dangers, what can we do to prevent them? Read how to baby proof your home below
Baby proofing your home is necessary to ensure a safe home free from hazards for your baby. Babies are curious as they take in their environment and are constantly watching you. They will very evolve from staying in one place to being eager to get around.
As parents, there are things you might overlook that might be safe for you but a potential hazard for your child who does not see the danger the way you do. It is useful to discuss with the other caregivers especially nannies. This is a distracted generation, always-on smart devices, watching a quick youtube, texting or on social media. All it takes is a split second or not watching for a child to get into trouble.
Objects should have their place
Put all sharp objects in a place where the child cannot reach. Look at things from a child’s level, close to the ground. Screwdrivers, shaving sticks, keep them in top drawers and away from curious hands.
Keep all electrical fittings covered. They watch you everyday charging your phone and laptop so they might want to try it as well by sticking something into the plug. In Nigeria with fluctuating light, this could be even more dangerous. Keep loose wires and cables away.
Store chemicals up and away
Commonly used household substances like detergent, insecticides can be toxic to the baby. It is best to create a shelf up away from baby’s reach. A child crawled to the kitchen, opened the storage under the kitchen sink, spilled insecticide on the floor and inhaled the dangerous fumes. The baby became lethargic and had to be rushed to the hospital.
Another critical way to baby proof your home requires hot things. Disconnect curling irons, electrical irons, boiling rings etc when not in use and when in use keep baby or toddler away. Keep all pot handles turned in when on the cooker and keep baby out of the kitchen as much as possible.
Store all the nylon bags, dry cleaning bags away from the children. They are a common cause of suffocation when children put them over their heads or noses.
Keep baby secure
A diaper changing table can be dangerous if you leave the baby there for a moment to get a change of clothes or diapers. Baby can roll off and fall. Get everything you need before changing baby, add some drawers to it so that you can keep baby’s items inside and close by.
Be sure to buy furniture that is flame resistant especially furniture in baby room. Install smoke detectors in all rooms and have working fire extinguishers in the home. Read how to fire proof your home here
Furniture plays a big part when it comes to how you baby proof your house. Furniture needs to be purchased with safety in mind and be safely installed in the house. Remove or replace furniture with sharp edges or glass. Ensure that furniture will not easily fall as kids like to climb on things. For example, do not have a bookshelf that is unstable in a high traffic area where the baby might try to climb up, there have been cases where such bookcases fell on a curious toddler.
Do not keep cribs close to windows. As a baby grows she can stand and try to climb. If the crib is close to windows, curtains or blinds baby can climb on these and fall or worse get entangled in the ropes and risk suffocation.
Install a gate to protect the baby from attempting to climb the stairs by themselves and risk falling and getting injured.
Children while crawling can pull table cloths and spill items on themselves. Use tools such as clips for table cloths to protect.
Keep knives out of reach, keep matches away. Cooker handles can look attractive to baby so do not let her into the kitchen unsupervised.
Whether you have a swimming pool or not, anywhere you have water be careful. Do not leave a baby or toddler unsupervised in the bathtub or around a basin of water.
Lastly, just be aware, babies are meant to explore their environment. So do not be more concerned about having a picture-perfect house that could be potentially unsafe for your baby.
Make sure an adult is watching your baby and toddler at all times. There are many distractions these days and a caregiver might be there but not there.
[Read: Expectant Mums Quick Guide]
It is safer to watch the baby and carry her around with you even when you want to do something that takes a quick moment. A moment is all it takes for them to decide to explore. There are many tools and products to make it easier to keep baby safe – baby carriers, good old backing your baby, baby jumper and a playpen can also keep baby secure.
As you go through the extra steps to baby proof your house, remember this phase will pass. A day will soon come when you can go to the bathroom without the baby in tow.
Photo Source: dadforbeginners.com, webmd.boots.com, thebump.com