When you found out you were expecting your baby, you may have hit up the hardware store for safety devices; outlet covers, cabinet locks and baby gates. You might have even installed everything before your newborn even moved off their play blanket.
Now that your baby is growing up, have you taken a minute lately to double check your home’s safety?
Tragically, more than 33% of all childhood injuries and deaths occur in the home, where your child should really be safest and most protected. As your child grows and changes, Bay Street Pediatrics is here to remind you that your safety measures should change too.
Start by getting down to your child’s level, on hands and knees, and observe you’re your kids can get into or reach. Store sharp objects like knives and scissors in upper cabinets. When cooking, get into the habit of turning pan handles to the back to avoid your child pulling hot foods on top of themselves. Install covers on oven and stove burner dials to prevent your child from turning on the gas or heat.
Store toxic substances, household cleaners, detergents, and medicines in cabinets with child-proof safety latches. If cabinet latches aren’t realistic, store dangerous materials up high and well out of reach.
If your kids are different ages, playing with different stages of toys, go through playthings often to keep any choking hazards out of reach of younger kids.
Provide soft, stable and sturdy furnishings to cruise around when babies are learning to walk. Keep electric outlets covered to conceal the tiny openings that attract fingers and small toys. Anchor furniture your child is capable of climbing on or around to the wall with safety brackets, such as bookshelves, entertainment stands or dressers. Cover sharp edges of your furniture, fireplaces and wall corners with foam such as split pool noodles to protect your child from injury if they fall.
Firearms require special care; guns should be unloaded, locked and stored in a securely locked box or cabinet far out of reach of children.
Windows can be a serious, deadly danger. Window screens will not support your child if they lean on them, so prevent accessible windows from being opened more than a few inches by installing window safety bars. Blinds, curtains, or shades with hanging cords can entangle and asphyxiate a child. Cords should be secured up and away from the child and, where possible, replaced with window treatments without hanging cords.
Remember that home safety checks shouldn’t stop as your children grow older. Check your home’s safety every few months to keep your whole family safe for years to come.