It’s a good idea to begin baby-proofing the home before your precious baby starts to be mobile. After all, time flies, and once your baby becomes a walking, climbing, little tot, you’ll be so caught up in every moment that you may not have time.
A recent study was done in Europe to determine where children were injured the most – home, playground, school or shopping mall. The location, "Home" came out top among the rest.
So how do you start baby-proofing your home to make it safer for your little ones?
Here’s some thoughts and ideas.
- Ensure that her mattress fits snugly in the cot; you should not be able to fit more than a finger between the mattress and the cot frame. For the first months, keep the cot free of heavy pillows, blankets and stuffed toys, all of which can be suffocation hazards.
- Keep the crib away from windows and curtains.
- The change table might be low for you, but a tumble off it can be severe for a fragile infant. Put a non-slip mat on top to prevent your mini-me from sliding off.
- If necessary latch the change table to the wall.
- Use a full-size infant bathtub and can also be folded away for travel or storage and make sure the foam pad in the tub is slip-resistant.
- Keep your hands and mind on it when you are bathing your baby
Stairs and clutters
- The danger of falling down the stairs is of course lost on the young ones. If your home has stairs, a baby gate is a must, this gate is ideal for use at the top or bottom of stairs
- Always remember to pick up all of junior’s toys (get him to help you when he’s older) and store them safely. Nobody wants to slip on a stray ball or bleed from stepping hard on a pointy plastic block.
- Try to remove clutter from floor or stairs to give your child a better view of what he is stepping on..
- Put safety plugs or outlet covers on unused wall sockets, so your baby won’t be tempted to stick their fingers in the tiny holes.
- To prevent loose and dangling wires from being a strangulation hazard, hide them behind furniture or use a cable-cord organiser to keep them in place.
Keep the kitchen out of bounds
- When you cook at the stove, never carry your cutie.
- Always turn the pot handles towards the back of the stove, so that junior won’t try reaching for them. Secure the oven door with an appliance latch and lock under-the-sink cabinets where the cleaning products are kept.
- Due to the many dangers involved during cooking, toddlers should be kept away from the kitchen
- Ensure all bottles containing harmful liquids such as bleach, medicine, and the likes are clearly labelled and keep them in a cupboard away from children.
- Store your medication in a save place.
- Even a toy ornament in a child’s hand can turn out to be a choking hazard that could unnecessarily claim a young life.
- Don’t give your baby small loose toys not save for their age.
- Repetitiously install common sense into your little precious heads, completely sanitising a place of irregular hazards may not work out well in adaptability for survival. Astute supervision is probably the best we can afford them.”
- Constantly lookout for choking hazards like buttons, coins and small toys with detachable parts.
- If you have a pet, make sure you clear the bowl the moment your pet is done eating.
- As the coroner on the case of poor 4-year-old Darien Riley Zabiq who fell from his Yishun flat reminded us all: Install grilles on every window before your active toddler figures out how to climb on a ledge.
- You can also install window latches that will prevent your little one from getting his fingers jammed or pinched.
- Avoid placing chairs or tables near window ledges as these might help your toddler climb onto window ledges.
Other important things
- Properly secure bookcases, cabinets and any tall furniture to the wall.
- When organizing your shelves, stash heavier items at the bottom, so that they will topple over with less impact when your tot tries to pull them down.
- Use corner guards on any sharp edges, such as on low tables, so baby won’t bang against the corners.
- Keep hairdryers and flattening hair irons unplugged and out of reach when they aren’t in use.
- Use door stoppers to prevent doors from slamming and jamming your child’s fingers.
- After meals, remove everything from your dining-table cloth, since your little fella may try to yank it off, along with anything on it. Never assume your child is not strong enough to yank a table cloth, open cabinet doors or unscrew the cap of a bottle!
- Keep houseplants out of the reach of young children, to be on the safe side, some plants are poisonous.
At the end of the day, nothing is better than hands-on monitoring by a parent or caregiver, supplemented with a good dose of common sense.