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 get free. There are a lot of things that could have happened as a result, however we’re thankful he was able to get out and we hope there are no internal injuries.
This is just one example out of many. Take the case of little girl named Bronwyn Taylor into consideration. She strangled herself in a window blind cord while playing with a toy vacuum cleaner at her grandparents’ home.
We pray that our children will always be safe. In addition, as parents, we have to do our parts. 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 are safe for you but a potential hazard for your child who does not see danger the way you do.
Of course we pray that our children are safe but we also do our part to keep them safe in the home. It is useful to discuss with the other caregivers especially nannies. This is a distracted generation, always on smart devices, watching a quick you tube, texting or on social media.
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.
Disconnect curling irons, electrical irons, boiling rings when not in use and when in use keep baby or toddler away.
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 baby on there even 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.
Have furniture 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 baby might try to climb up, there have been cases where such bookcases could fall on baby.
Do not keep cribs close to windows. As baby grows she can stand and try to climb. If crib is close to windows, curtains or blinds baby can climb on these and fall.
Install a gate to protect 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.
It is safer to watch 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 play pen can also keep baby secure.
As always remember this phase will pass and you will be able to go to the bathroom without baby in tow.
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