Babies as they grow although less helpless, become more vulnerable to lurking environmental dangers due to their increased mobility and an inability to judge or perceive danger. This makes their second half of their first year extremely hazardous.
A mobile baby who loves to crawl and explore can be inviting a disaster waiting to happen if the home is not adequately childproofed. They may choke, bang, fall and hurt themselves in their quest for exploration. To minimize the possibilities of an accident, it is vital for parents and caregivers to childproof their home.
AS A Parent
Be hyper vigilant. Do not let baby near any cleaning product or insect repellant as you are cleaning or spraying your house. If at all baby is close by, ensure that you put away all poisonous chemicals and cleaning products out of his reach. Do not use saws and power tools in baby’s presence without another adult babysitting.
Strap your baby into his chair or pram as you head for the kitchen to shut off the gas or attend to the telephone. Never have him out of your sight. Never leave baby alone in room, a bed or the car. Wear appropriate, flame resistant, well fitting clothing which he cannot latch on to, get trapped in between or strangle. Equip yourself with first aid kit and basic first aid care in case of emergencies.
Inside your home you need to carry out the following alterations
Keep all windows latched and locked. If at all they are open, make sure you have a wire mesh or a grill for ventilation. Repair broken glasses. Remove furniture away from windows so that baby cannot climb up.
Tie them up. Better still, tie them up at a height. Babies love to swing from them and it can cause the curtain rod to come crashing down on them.
Move them behind the furniture out of baby’s reach where he can’t pull or mouth them.
Cover all electrical sockets. Or have them at a height. You may also put furniture in front of them so that the baby cannot reach there. These are potentially dangerous and can shock the babies as babies love to finger them.
Rickety, Wobbly Furniture
Remove all old, broken rickety furniture. Baby may fall down from it or get hurt with the sharp edges. The furniture too may come crashing down on baby, grievously injuring him.
Empty all drawers of sharp, metallic things like knives, spoons, pins or anything potentially dangerous. It is still better to remove drawers as they may come crashing down on baby.
Crystal, Curios And Ashtrays
Put them out of his reach as the glass shards can cut him or bruise him. A hot butt from an ashtray may burn him so restrict smoking and the use of ashtrays. It is also wise to house train your child constantly and tell him what h can and cannot touch. Put barriers on stairs, railings and around radiators.
Protective grilles should be put around fireplaces and hot stoves to prevent the baby from touching a hot surface. Close all bathroom doors and empty buckets of water. Hanging table cloths should be pulled up. Remove glass topped centre tables. Corner guards are available for sharp edges and corners. Cot safety is important.
Do not leave baby unattended on the cot. It is better to leave him down on the floor. All sharp objects like knives, scissors, needles, thimbles, pens, pencils, tools etc should be kept away out of reach. Also keep away lipsticks, nil paints, perfumes, medicines, chemicals, sprays, mosquito repellants in a locked cabinet. All the above points can help towards childproofing your home and making your home safe for the baby.
Photo Credit: Treasures.co.nz