Babyproofing Fundamentals: How to Make Your Home Safe
Accidental injuries are the leading cause of death of children in the United States, and most injuries happen in and around the home. Fortunately, many mishaps are preventable if you properly babyproof your home. Following several simple steps can keep your baby safe from the bassinet to the bathtub and beyond.
Good news is that most injuries are anticipated and can be prevented by properly babyproofing your residence, you can create a safe and secure environment where your baby can explore and learn.
It’s good to have your house baby proofed before your child begins crawling for your peace of mind.
Every 30 minutes, a child is injured when a TV or furniture collapses onto them. And approximately every 10 days, a child dies from a tip-over injury.
These injuries often happen when a curious tot attempts to scale a set of shelves or bedroom dresser by pulling out the drawers to create a makeshift stepladder. This shifts the center of gravity of the furniture, causing it to fall over and crush the child against the floor.
Approximately 5,200 children fall out of windows each year, according to a 19-year study published in the journal Pediatrics. Children under the age of 4 are more likely to sustain head injuries, be hospitalized and die than older children, the study found.
Window locks are small mechanisms or wedges that keep windows shut or prevent a window from opening more than a couple of inches. Window guards, on the other hand, allow you to still open your window for airflow but prevent your child from falling out of it.
Once they start to crawl, babies seem unintentionally drawn to electrical outlets, and that can be a disaster. In fact, most electric shocks in young children are caused by them sticking metal objects into unprotected electrical outlets and appliances or biting into electrical cords. Its always advised to cover all electric outlets and have your peace of mind.
That said, even tamper-resistant outlets aren’t completely tamper proof, so be sure to keep a close eye on your baby when they begin to crawl and explore.
Other steps that can minimize electrical hazards include:
- Putting furniture in front of outlets to make them harder to get to and hiding power strips so your baby can’t see them
- Having an electrician uninstall outlets you aren’t using
- Talking to your child as they grow and teaching them about electrical dangers
You never realize how many sharp edges your home has until you become a parent. Then suddenly, you see all the ways your little one can poke an eye (or at least get an ugly bruise or head injury) on the corners of glass tables, wooden desks and metal fireplace hearths. Its best to cover them appropriately and use shock absorbing corner protectors to protect you and your kids.