Child safety in the home
Child safety in the home means having to pay attention to the safety around you when having a baby or toddler at home. As parents, we have to take steps to ensure that our home is safe for our little one to live in. Even you have a newborn at home, you can start thinking of home safety as he will not stay immobile for long. After 5 months or so, he will start to roll over, crawl and move about curiously as much as he can.
Babyproofing your home is important and get it done before the baby starts become mobile. Child safety in the home will help you with ideas on home safety. In case you might miss out something, in this article, we will cover as much as we can.
Child safety in the home
Child safety in the home is important. In one case study based on region specific- Oman during Jan – June 2017, home accident that involved children less than 18 years old are mainly due to fall, open wound and poisoning. Children who are less than 6 years old contribute half of the percentage of total home injuries, and fall is the most common cause of injuries especially infants.
Therefore, home injuries have causing major health problem to our young children. Childproofing your home is important as some of the home accidents are preventable. Let us look at what we need to do to prevent home accidents.
No 1 safety rule- never step away from your baby at any time, not even step away to grab a towel, soap or shampoo. Always keep them at your arm’s reach and easy to access without stepping away to let go of your baby.
During bath time. your baby can be too slippery for your hand to hold firmly. Use of a baby bath support products such as mats or seats which can help to support baby’s weight. It can be helpful to ease some burden off our hands and prevent your baby slip and fall into the water.
It is also good if you can ignore all the distractions that come to your way at this time such as phone ringing, doorbell, or even attending to your older child. Make sure your baby is safe out of the bath tub before you do that. Beware, accidental drowning is known to happen really fast (less than 30 seconds) and even in an inch of water!
Electrical outlets and cords
We know that let your baby contact with electricity is dangerous. So, how do you babyproof all the electrical outlets and cords?
Once your baby start crawling and exploring his surrounding, he may feel curious about anything in the house that he can reach. Electrical outlets and cords that are hanging or laying on the floor, can be potential hazards to your little one. Here are why electrical outlets and cords are dangerous to kids:
- He will likely go and touch the outlet, poke his little finger or use anything to poke inside a vacant outlet.
- Pull out the cord and gain access to the outlet
- Pull the cord and get hit by the electrical appliance that is connected to it.
- Grab the cord and place around his neck and cause strangulation hazards
- Chew on the cord and get shocked
- Play with the cords
- Trip over long cords
Look for socket cover or seal all the vacant outlets. You may also use a table or other furniture to block it. Remember to anchor your furniture to prevent it from tipping over and falling onto the child.
Crib or bed
According to American Academy of Pediatric, a safe sleep environment can reduce all the risk of sleep-related infant deaths. Co-sleeping with your baby on the same bed is dangerous if you can’t avoid these 7 hazardous situations.
- co sleep with parents who are after drinking alcohol or taking drugs or overtired
- co sleep with baby on a sofa or chair or waterbed
- parents smoke on the bed or have smoked during pregnancy
- co sleep with premature or low birth weight baby at their early infancy
- co sleep with parents who are obese
- baby sleep position, side or tummy which the baby’s face may get obstructed by object such as soft quality mattresses or comforter
- co sleep with baby with stuffed toys, blanket and pillow
AAP suggest the best sleep environment for babies is room-sharing but not bed-sharing- baby sleeps in his own crib close to the parent’s bed. Therefore, crib safety is important. Here are some tips to ensure the safety of the crib.
Most modern cribs are designed according to the international safety standards. If you are using a second-hand crib, make sure it is not the traditional drop-side crib, as it is banned due to cases have been reported that it causes danger to the baby.
Experts advise us not to place pillow, blanket and soft toys in the crib as they can be suffocation hazards. Make sure no string or cords attached to the crib as they pose serious choking and strangulation risks. If you place the crib close to the wall, make sure no frame picture on the top or window with blinds or curtain which the little hands can reach and cause them to fall off from the wall and injure the baby in the crib.
Things that open and close
Babies and toddlers are fascinated with things that can be opened and closed. Cabinet, window, doors, and drawers. You do not want your baby little fingers to get pinched and injured.
Get a safety latches on all drawers and cabinets. Install finger pinch protector guards on all door hinges to protect your baby’s little hands from getting slammed on.
For those who are living in a condominium or apartment, lock your window or place a window guard to prevent accidental fall.
In the US, about 5000 kids fall from window on average each year and they are preventable by implementing some safety measures. Experts say blocking the access of the window by removing the furniture away from the window, or placing window guards or locks to prevent the access to the window. Another step is to place bushes or plant beds underneath window can create a cushion landing surface and reduce the impact of fall.
Chemical and medicine storage
Usually under-sink cabinets are a typical place to store cleaning detergents. Keep it closed and locked at all time. If possible, remove them and keep them out of children’s reach. Similarly to medicine, invest in a lockable medicine safe to keep them out of reach.
When you have a mobile baby at home, it is best to place safety gates at top and bottom of the staircase. It is to stop the baby from climbing up and down the staircase and injure himself if accidental fall happen. Certain homes may need more safety gates to stop the baby from the access of certain rooms including kitchen and laundry area.
A safety gate is good to be placed at a spot where you can keep the door open but you do not want your baby to wander into it. It comes with different styles, height and mechanism options. It must be in appropriate height and have to be mounted sturdily, to prevent it from getting dislodged by baby’s body weight.
Edge and corner
Keep bumps and bruises at bay with cushioned corner guards and edging for all the protruding edges and corners. Get plenty of them to attach to the end of the tables, corners of the hallway etc. It is to prevent babies from getting serious injury after hitting themselves on sharp corners and edges when they have accidental fall.
All the heavy furniture shall be anchored securely on the wall to prevent them from falling or toppling over. It includes large electrical appliances such as television. Surprisingly, In the US from year 2010-2013, there are 279 children were killed by falling TVs and furniture. Take safety measures seriously and these accidents can be prevented.
Here are the basic needs for baby proofing your home. Constant supervision and attentiveness are the key to keep your child safe in the home.
Read more ” Baby’s first year essentials (part 1)“
Baby-led weaning (BLW) food ideas is a guide for parents who are looking for ideas to introduce starter solid food to your little ones who are going to be 6 months old soon. This guide is not only giving examples of food ideas but also covers safety tips when introducing baby-led weaning and how it...
Baby potty training is a must-learn lesson for all the new parents. Parents will eventually anticipate the date of their little one to be potty trained when the time comes. In this article, we will share about how most mothers potty trained their little ones and some handy tips to make the process easier and...