Are you doing enough to protect your baby from household hazards? Bring your home up to code with these baby-proofing strategies.
Each year, more children die in home accidents than from all childhood diseases combined. The number-one safety precaution is obvious: Never leave a baby alone on a changing table, bed, highchair or in the bath—not even for an instant.
Use these 15 tips to protect your baby from avoidable accidents and injuries at home:
1. Always check bath water temperature with your wrist or elbow before bathing your baby.
2. Use toilet lid locks to prevent children from falling in and drowning in the bowl.
3. Make sure diapering accessories are out of your baby’s reach, and buy a tamper-proof diaper pail.
4. Don’t place a baby on any surface next to an open window – each year approximately 70 babies and children in the United Statesdie in falls from windows.
5. Put plants, large cleaning buckets and supplies, medicines, hot drinks and choking hazards out of children’s reach.
6.Keep your baby away from blinds or drapery cords.
7.Install baby-proof plugs in electrical outlets and keep your baby away from electrical cords.
8.Dispose of plastic bags, such as those used by dry cleaners, to protect your baby from suffocation.
9.Check for unsafe toys – avoid ones that have lead paint, sharp edges, brittle plastic parts, strings or chains.
10.Childproof your home by getting down on your hands and knees and looking around each room from your baby’s perspective before he or she begins crawling, standing and walking.
11. Old cribs may not meet today’s minimum safety standards. Make sure the space between crib slats is no more than 2-3/8 inches.
12. If you are using shelves and bookcases to store baby things, make sure they are anchored to the wall to prevent your baby from pulling them over.
13. Keep soft quilts, sheepskins and pillows out of your baby’s crib and play area. Soft bedding can lead to suffocation.
14. Get rid of walkers. As many as 20,000 injuries per year are directly attributed to walkers.
15. Install baby gates at the top and bottom of stairs. At the top of stairs, mount safety gates into the wall because a toddler’s weight is enough to push over a “pressure-mounted” gate.