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Baby proofing your home

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Keeping your child from harm is a parent’s number one priority and baby proofing your home is essential. We may buy the safest cars, pushchairs, car seats and teach them about the dangers in the big wide world, but many parents don’t realise that some of the biggest dangers facing babies and children are actually within the home.

How to baby proof

There are various ways to help your home become a safer environment before your baby arrives, if they’re crawling and when they’re toddling and walking. You’ll also be able to buy various gadgets and technology in your quest for safety which can provide peace of mind, but do remember they’re not a substitute for your own eyes and ears. Get down on your hands and knees and see the world from a baby’s point of view. What might look tempting? What is in reach? Look out for spaces, cupboards or drawers they might want to get into and keep an eye out for small objects or ornaments on the floor or low shelves that they might choke on.

It’s also good to remember to move handbags or coats out of the way when you have visitors too. They might say it’s ok for your child to rifle through their belongings but medicines, lipsticks and perfumes can be dangerous to children.

Cover dangers

Make sure outlets or plug sockets are covered and loose wires and covered and tied securely. As well as small objects, be wary of large furniture such as drawers, bookcases, TV or appliances. Secure heavy objects to the wall where possible, keep TVs away from the edge of stands and keep heavy items to the bottom of shelves or drawers so they don’t become top heavy and more likely to topple over. Babies will soon begin crawling and will use what they can to pull themselves up. Close any drawers that aren’t being used, especially filing cabinet draws which can easily fall over if more than one drawer is out.baby proofing your home

Watch out for corners

The corners of furniture are often the main culprit for cuts and bruises so cover them with padding to soften the impact if your child falls against them. They may look harmless, but there are an increasing amount of deaths and injuries caused by curtain or blind cords. Babies and children can quickly become tangled up in cords so avoid placing beds or cots near a window which has them and use cordless blinds wherever possible. If you do have window cords, use a cord shortener or tie them up well out of reach.

Safety gates

Safety gates are a necessity in most homes, keeping children away from stairs or out of rooms with potential dangers, but an ill fitted or unsuitable baby gate can in itself be hazardous. Never use a pressure gate at the top of the stairs, opt for one which screws to the wall. If you can buy brand new gates, do, and look for those which children can’t open, dislodge and that are easy for adults to use in a hurry.

Poisons in the home

Be aware of poisons within your home. Keep bleaches, cleaning products, sprays, oven cleaners etc. well out of the way and either in a locked or secure cupboard. You should also make sure your keep any medicines well out of reach, disposing of any that are unused or out of date. Safety locks are cheap and easy to install so well worth the effort.

Lock doors

You should check your doors are always locked as children have a great ability to escape when you’re not paying attention. Make sure lower windows are locked and upper windows don’t open more than 4 inches. It may be more difficult in older house with old windows which open fully and are at a tempting height for children, so do pay extra attention if you can’t keep them locked at all times.

Smoke alarms

Installing a smoke alarm can reduce the risk of death or injury caused by fire by around 50%. Install them around the home and check them every month. Your local fire service can advise on smoke alarm installation and many will offer to come to your home and fit them for free. When your child is old enough to understand, speak to them about the dangers of fire and make sure you don’t leave matches or lighters lying around.

Water danger

Water is another risk in the home. Toilets, buckets, ponds and even shallow baths can cause death by drowning. Never leave your child unsupervised near water, even just 2 inches of water is enough to drown in. Put a safety latch on the loo and discard unused water from buckets as soon as you’re finished.

Accidents are bound to happen at some point and you’ll need to asses your home as your child grows, but some careful adjustment will reduce the risks posed to your baby.

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About Rebecca Robinson

About Rebecca Robinson

After spending the last 8 years juggling life as a mum of two, wife and working full time as a Project Manager for a global telecommunications company, Rebecca Robinson made the decision to follow her love of writing and took the plunge; turning her passion into a full time career. Since becoming a full time writer, Rebecca has worked with various media and copy-writing companies and with the ability to make any topic relevant and interesting to the reader, now contributes to The Working Parent on articles ranging from credit cards to teenage relationships. Ever the optimist, Rebecca's dreams for the future include a house in the country filled with children, dogs and horses in the field!

Website: Rebecca Robinson

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