Keeping your baby safe at all times is one of your greatest concerns and responsibilities. There is so much to consider and it is very easy to overlook something that might be fairly obvious to some but escape others. Things like covering electrical outlets, putting up baby gates and turning pot handles to the rear of the stove are presented in a question and answer format.
Q. What is the best way to approach baby-proofing our home?
The best way is to see your home from the eyes of your child. It is recommended that you get down on your hands and knees and crawl around your home. This will enable you to see hazards you may not have recognized at your full height. Are electrical outlets in baby's reach or are there electric cords hanging down that your baby can pull on or get tangled in? Does your furniture have sharp corners? Are there precious items at your baby's level that should be put up out of reach?
Q. What is the most hazardous situation for my baby?
Any situation that places your baby in harm's way is the worst situation for your baby. The most hazardous situation for your baby is choking or anything that might cause him to stop breathing. The most hazardous situation for you baby is one that caused an injury that could have been prevented.
Q. What are some things I need to consider when I am baby-proofing our home?
There are many things to consider. Your baby is a quick mover so it is never really safe to leave him unattended if at all possible. Consider putting up all valuables and broken items out of reach of your baby's. Anything that is small enough to fit in his mouth should be removed. If in doubt as to whether any one item is small enough to fit in your baby's mouth and pose a choking hazard take an empty toilet paper roll. If it fits inside the tube it go in his mouth and possibly harm him.
Q. Why do I need baby safety gates?
Baby safety gates can be placed in doorways or at the top and bottom of staircases. The gates can prevent your baby from getting into the kitchen or bathroom. They can also prevent your baby from tumbling down the stairs or climbing the stairs and falling. The mesh or the holes in the gate should not be large enough for your baby to put his toes through to climb the gate. Gates now are being made to operate hands-free or one handed. There are gates being made with the bars going vertical instead of horizontal reducing the chances of your baby being able to climb the gate.
Q. What are electric outlet covers or locks?
Electric outlet covers look like plastic plugs when they are inserted andvents your baby from sticking his fingers or something else in the outlet and getting a serious shock.
Electric outlet lock plates can replace typical envelopes and in order to insert anything into the outlet the plug has to be inserted and turned.
Q. It was suggested to me that I have motion alerts on our doors and windows, why would I need them?
Some kids are very active and able to do things you would be very surprise about. Children have been known to open windows and fall through screens and become seriously injured. There are many news stories where toddlers have gotten up in the night and unbeknownst to their parents open the door and go outside. Some are found wandering around and others are not so lucky. Some windows now come with a mechanism to prevent the window from being opened more than an inch or two. The alerts will alert you to the door opening and you can intervene before something tragic happen.
Q. What kind of baby-proofing products are available?
There are all kinds of baby products available and most are reasonably priced. There are motion sensors, corner cushions for sharp corners on furniture. There are electric outlet covers, cabinet and drawer locks of different types and cord retractors for window blinds.
Q. Is there anything available to protect my baby from getting in between banister posts?
There is netting available that can be attached with screws that will prevent your baby from getting between the banister posts. This product is similar to the deck netting available for outdoor decks.
Q. Are there baby proofing checklists available?
Yes there are baby-proofing checklists available. You can locate them online and they are printable. Specialty stores, hospitals, and pediatricians are all possible sources for such checklists.
Q. How can I baby proof my nursery?
You can baby proof your nursery by keeping your baby's crib away from windows and blinds cords. Put outlet protectors on all envelopes. Make sure to dress your baby in sleepers rather than using blankets. When your baby begins sitting up place the mattress in the lowest position. Do not put stuffed animals or pillows in the crib with your little one, they could nestle up to them and suffocate.
Q. How can I baby proof my kitchen?
Put all cleaners or chemicals up out of reach of your baby. Make sure all drawers and cabinet doors. While cooking put all pot handles toward the rear of the stove. Do not allow electric cords to hang over counters where your baby can pull on them. Better still, if possible without you are feeding your baby keep him out of the kitchen.
Q. How can I baby proof my car?
You can baby proof your car by making sure the car seat your baby will ride in is installed correctly and that it is the correct one for your baby. Remove all loose items that could become missiles in a crash or quick stop, and place them in the trunk.
The bottom line of baby proofing your home and your car is to be mindful that the most common things can be hazardous to a baby or small child. You can obtain a checklist of things to look for when baby-proofing your home. Window blinds cords should be shortened and outlets should be covered. Look at your home and car through your baby's eyes, you might be surprised at hazards you miss when you are looking from adult height.