Baby’s Almost Mobile: How to Baby-Proof Your Home
If your little one is on the move and close to her first steps, it might be time to baby-proof your home. You may already have basic precautionary measures in place, but now that your child is becoming mobile, there is a whole new set of things to consider.
As noted by KidsHealth.Org, one of the top reasons children under 3 years old go to the emergency room is household injuries. Kids Health says the best way to keep children from getting injured is to always be aware of what they are doing so you can step in when necessary. If something does happen, however, make sure there are always emergency numbers by the phone, a first-aid kit is readily available, and the caregiver knows CPR and the Heimlich maneuver.
When children start walking, sometimes they can be gone before you know it. They are ready to explore and have a new means of getting around on their own, so they may get into things they aren’t supposed to. To make your house safer for a new toddler, try the following tips for childproofing your home.
Just because the baby is up and moving, it doesn’t mean she is ready to have run of the whole house. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), safety gates can keep your baby from falling down stairs, climbing up them and entering areas with potential safety risks. When purchasing gates for childproofing your home, be sure to choose ones that meet all up-to-date safety standards.
Cover Door Knobs
Now that your baby is on her feet, she may be in reach of door handles she couldn’t touch before. While it may seem exciting to be able to find out what’s behind the door, some rooms may not be safe for babies. If this is the case, the CPSC suggests buying door knob covers, which make it difficult for most children to turn the handle.
Limit Hot Water
With the added height from being on their feet, babies may be able to reach bathtub knobs or get their hands under faucets. The National Safety Council suggests using a mixer faucet in the shower or tub. This protects you from unexpected changes in water supply by mixing the hot and cold water to keep a consistent temperature. The Council also recommends setting your hot water temperature to no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit to help prevent burns and scalding on little fingers.
Get Baby-Safe Window Coverings
Blinds or curtains with long cords or strings may pose a hazard for little ones who can reach them. The CPSC advises parents to purchase cordless window coverings, as a child could get stuck in the cord or be strangled if a loop gets wrapped around his or her neck. If you already have window coverings with cords, the Window Covering Safety Council can provide you with free retrofit safety kits to adjust your current ones.
Babies beginning to walk may be just about the height of various sharp edges in your home when on their feet. This means their heads could bump into tables or shelf corners if they are a little unsteady. To prevent cuts and bruises, the CPSC suggests parents get corner bumpers to soften the hard edges throughout the home.
Your baby taking her first steps can be an exciting and memorable occasion. Prepare for that special day so when your baby wants to explore, she can do it safely.