28 General Safety Concerns Around The House And Beyond
All is joy and fun when your baby is born. But once your baby gets older, they become so active and curious about everything around them. Obviously at this very early age, they are unable to distinguish what is right and wrong, what is dangerous or not. As parents, we have been entitled as guardians to keep them safe and guide them until such time they are able to familiarize themselves. And doing such responsibility is not as crazy as you think it is. All you need is to get down on your knees and look things in their level. Or you can simply start following the tips below:
Secure all area rugs or throw rugs with foam carpet backing or double-sided tape. To protect children who are just learning to walk from stumbling, be sure no edges or corners curl up.
Don’t let your children play with an inflated or deflated toy balloon. The material poses a choking hazard. Put packages of unused balloons safely out of reach.
Bucket and sinks
To avoid a drowning hazard, never leave a bucket, such as a five-gallon paint bucket, or a sinkful of water or other liquid unattended when small children are around. It’s possible for toddlers to fall in head first.
Avoid using bug sprays in areas where baby spends a lot of time crawling around.
Consider buying doorknob covers, which can squeezed open only by an adult hand.
Block unused electrical outlets with safety covers that screw into the outlet. Small outlet plugs can be dangerous because exploring babies can remove them and put them in their mouths. Check that all outlets in places where moisture may be present, such as bathrooms, basements, or outdoors have a ground fault interrupter, which senses imbalances trips the circuit.
Anything that raises your baby up off the ground – a changing table, a framed carrier, or a high chair, for example – has injury potential. Make sure these items have safety belts and use them. Avoid placing a car seat on a counter or table when your baby is in it.
Gather emergency telephone numbers, including those of your baby’s doctor-to-be and the toll-free poison-control center, as well as all contact numbers for family members. Post an easy-to-read copy next to each telephone, and be sure to go over emergency procedures with the baby sitter and other caregivers before you leave the house.
Purchase extension cords equipped with locking plug covers. If your house is overloaded with extension cords, talk to an electrician about having additional outlets installed.
Fire and carbon monoxide protection
Install a smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide detector in key locations on each floor of your home. Change the batteries when you set your clocks to standard time each October. Check the detectors every other week to make sure batteries are good. Place large street address numbers at the entrance to your driveway or on the front door for the fire department to see easily. Formulate an escape plan. Place all matches and lighters on a high surface or in a locking drawer or cabinet.
Beware of gaps in which babies can get stuck if they slip through, such as the leg openings of strollers or baby carriers, the space between the seat and tray of a high chairs, the area between the slats of a crib or cradle, or that between a gate and the floor.
Bolt or bracket bookcases and other heavy furniture, such as wall units or armories, to the wall to prevent tipping if a toddler decides to climb on one of them.
When your baby gets to be toddler and preschool age, get him or her onto the habit of wearing a helmet when riding a tricycle or bicycle. Choose a helmet that carries a certification sticker. Have your child try on different sizes to make sure your child should be able to see and hear well; the chin strap should be easy to fasten and release, and it should fit comfortably under the chin without chafing.
Household cleaners and deodorizers
Assess household cleaning products. Cleaning ingredients such as ammonia can irritate a baby’s nose and throat. Fragrances can irritate a baby’s sensitive skin and respiratory passages and can even trigger allergic reactions. So you may want to skip floral or citrus scents once baby arrives. You’ll probably want to avoid using plug-in or aerosol room deodorizers as well.
Lead in tap water and furniture finishes
Have your home’s tap water tested for lead and, if needed, purchase an effective water-purification system. Heirloom furniture, such as cribs and chests, may have been coated with lead-containing paints, lacquers, or varnishes. Old cribs, especially, besides having possibly malfunctioning parts, may have paint that contains high levels of lead, while all new cribs have very low and, therefore, safe levels. You can check antique finishes with a lead-testing kit. If you detect lead in a piece of furniture, put it in storage until your baby gets older.
New clothes and bedding
Launder all new baby clothes and bedding in a fragrance-free detergent once or twice to remove chemicals. Don’t use liquid fabric softener or dryer sheets. The fragrance may irritate baby’s skin and respiratory system. Liquid softener may also reduce absorbency.
Night-lights at floor level attract crawling babies and toddlers to sockets. Instead, place a night-light in a socket out of baby’s reach, install a dimmer switch for the room’s lighting fixture, or use a lamp with low-wattage bulb.
If you are discarding an old refrigerator, always remove the doors and store the unit facedown while awaiting trash pickup.
Add safety padding to the sharp corners of coffee tables or consider storing them during baby’s first few years.
Never leave a little one alone in a parked car. Lock parked cars so children can’t play in them. Kids who accidentally lock themselves in won’t be able to unlock the doors.
Consider obedience training for your pet to ensure safe, controlled behavior around baby. Talk to a trainer about easy ways to introduce your baby into a home with pets. Buy a tall gate or a special pet gate to keep your dog in the kitchen or other safe area when appropriate. Move your cat’s litter box to a spot that you know your toddler won’t be able to reach.
Plastic bags pose suffocation hazards. Keep plastic garbage bags, laundry bags, food storage or grocery bags, and bags used in packaging everything from dry cleaning to electronics on a high shelf or in a locked cupboard. Tie a plastic bag in knots before throwing it out.
Mail in registration cards that come with baby products so you can be notified about recalls. Follow manufacturers’ age or weight guidelines for use of products. Keep product instruction manuals in an easy-to-find location.
If railings on staircases and balconies are spaced more than 2 3/8 inches apart (the diameter of a soda can), install railing guards made of mesh or clear plastic to prevent your child from falling through or getting stuck.
Small parts, edges, and hinges
Inspect your home for dangerously small objects. Check toys, pick up clutter, keep purses out of reach, and stash an older sibling’s toys with small parts away from baby. Anything small enough to fit through the tube of a toilet-paper roll (about 1 ¾ inches in diameter) could pose a choking hazard. Keep small objects out of baby’s reach. Also, thoroughly check toys, doorway jumper, high chairs, play yards, gates, etc. to see that they’re free of sharp edges or points and potentially dangerous hinges.
Ban smoking indoors or anywhere around an infant such as in the car. Secondhand smoke has been associated with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and baby respiratory ailments.
Install a secure, hardware-mounted baby gate at the top of each staircase. For more information, see Gates chapter.
Keep baby way form open windows. Window screens aren’t strong enough to stop a child from falling out. Install window guards if you live in a high rise. Purchase window locks or guards from a hardware or home-supple store and install them according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Also keep in mind that cords from draperies or blind can entangle a baby. Cut looped cords in half to form two strings. You can also roll cords up and ties or mount a cleat (hook) high out of the child’s reach to secure the excess cord. The ties of crib bumper guards should be no longer than 7 inches. Avoid small cord shorteners, which can be ingested.