According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 2.3 million children are accidentally injured and more than 2,500 are killed each year in home-related accidents or incidents. Of course the best way to prevent accidents at home is to keep your eyes on your child at all times, but in a world of distractions, we all know that that’s not completely possible. So the second best way to protect your child is to ensure that your home is sufficiently childproofed for his or her age and range of abilities. Keep reading to learn more about childproofing your home for the first time:
– It may sound silly, but get down on your hands and knees to see what’s at your child’s eye level. You’ll be able to see tempting and hazardous areas that you would have never seen from your typical “bird’s eye view.”
– Be sure that medicines, vitamins, knives and cleaning products are all out of reach. You may also have to change your childproofing for different stages. For example, medicine kept up high may be fine with just a crawler in the house, but when a child starts climbing you may need to put things behind a lock.
– Protect stairs adequately by setting up the right kind of baby gate. A pressure-mounted gate may be sufficient at the bottom of the stairs but always use a wall-mounted gate at the top of stairs so it can’t be pushed down.
– Secure bookcases, dressers and flat-screen TVs to a wall stud. Seemingly stable pieces of furniture can be pulled over by a curious and climbing toddler.
– Plug all outlets with outlet covers but if they’re easy for you to remove, they’re probably easy for your child to remove as well. If this is the case, replace the outlet covers with sliding safety latch ones.
– Go cordless on blinds and curtains if you can or place cords high up and out of the way. Never place your child’s crib or bed near windows and never open windows on the second floor as screens can create a false sense of security, leading to falls.
– Make sure bug sprays and cleaning supplies are kept behind locked cabinets and keep the poison control number (1-800-222-1222) handy in case you ever suspect ingestion of something potentially harmful.
– Never ever leave children unattended in the bathtub as accidental drowning can occur in just inches of water. Secure toilet seats if you have a curious child who finds the toilet water enticing.
– If you have a pool or hot tub in your backyard, place alarms on both your house doors and on gates around the water source. You’ll also want to be sure your child is trained in an infant survival course.
Childproofing can feel overwhelming to a new parent, but pay attention to your child’s tendencies and developmental stages and do it as they grow!