Babies are naturally curious. And I’m sure you’ve already observed such tendencies with your little one. They love to touch, play or even put in the mouth almost anything that they come across with.
Unfortunately, some of these items and objects may leave to serious accidents. And that’s why it’s extremely important to pay close attention to your child.
You also need to come up with measures of making your home safe for your baby, to minimize these safety issues and mitigate the hazards. Here are some baby safety tips that will help to keep your little one safe in and around the house.
Baby Bedroom and Sleeping Safety
Your child’s room also poses various health and safety hazards. Here are some of the things to look out for:
- Remove all cords, strings or any object that could get around your child’s neck. You need to tie up electric cords, curtain rods, drape cords and other similar objects, to ensure they are out of your baby’s reach. Also, it’s highly advisable to remove strings on pacifiers and crib toys.
- Secure all furniture: Every piece of furniture in your baby’s room should be unmovable, secured and sturdy. Dressers, shelving units and every freestanding object should be anchored and secured to the wall.
- Cover sharp edges: Corners and sharp edges can seriously injure your baby, especially if they trip and fall on them. And that’s why they should all be covered. You can use specially designed baby proofing corner guards to help prevent injuries.
- Ensure dresser knobs are safe: All dresser knobs in the child’s room should be securely attached to ensure they don’t come off when your baby pulls them. Also, they should be too large to swallow, in case they come off. Furthermore, they should be designed in a way that the child cannot use them as a climbing foothold.
- Lock all cabinets, drawers and doors. Drawers can fall on the baby and injure them on the spot. Also, they may gain access to small items stored in the cabinets and drawers, which may present choking hazards. And that’s why you should install baby proofing latches on all the storage spaces in the child’s room.
Crib Safety Tips
Your little one will be spending most of their time in their crib. So, you need to ensure that this environment is 100% safe for your baby. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has laid out strict standards and guidelines, to ensure all the cribs sold on the market, are safe, secure, strong and durable. Apart from making sure the crib is safe and secure, you should also inspect it carefully to check and eliminate any potential hazards.
- The bars or slats shouldn’t be more than 6 cm or 2 3/8 inches apart. If the slats are too widely spaced, the baby’s head can get trapped between them, leading to strangulation and death. In case they are too wide, you should weave a piece of cloth in between them to cover the space.
- The crib’s corner posts should not be sticking out or up. If they are sticking up, they can catch on clothing or material worn by the child, leading to strangulation.
- All components and accessories should be present and original. Never substitute the crib’s original parts like nuts, bolts and screws with components sourced from the hardware store. In case you have to replace something, you should only source it directly from the manufacturer. Also, every part of the crib should be secured and tightened, to ensure the crib doesn’t come apart when the child is playing.
- Assess the crib carefully at least once per week, to check for any sign of damage, missing parts, sharp edges or missing parts. Don’t use the crib in case there is any form of damage, regardless of how small it may appear.
- The crib’s mattress should fit snugly on all sides. If the mattress doesn’t fit snugly, the baby’s body or head can get wedged in that space, leading to suffocation or other serious injuries. Generally, you should not be able to fit more than two fingers between the sides of the crib and the mattress. If more than two fingers can fit, then you should not use that mattress and crib combination.
- Don’t place stuffed animals, comforters, quilts or pillows in the crib, since they may lead to suffocation.
- If possible, you should only purchase a crib made after June 2011, since they have been designed and manufactured in line with the current safety standards and guidelines.
Baby Toy Safety
Toys are an important part of your child’s development. They are designed to help your child learn, interact with others and explore their surroundings.
However, as much as most toys are designed to be safe, they can also lead to various injuries and accidents.
The accidents and injuries can be caused by a flaw in the toy’s design or if the child fails to use the toy in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Here are some toy safety tips that can help to prevent accidents and injuries.
- Ensure you purchase age-appropriate toys: Different toys are designed for different age groups. So, before you buy a toy, make sure you read its label to check whether it’s appropriate for your child’s age group.
- Check the toy’s size and diameter: If your child is below 6 years, then they should not be playing with toys like marbles, balls or toys with ball-shaped pieces. Any toy or toy part that is smaller than 1.75 inches in diameter present a choking risk for your baby. You should also avoid toys stuffed with pellets, beans or similar objects since your baby can suffocate or choke on those pellets if they spill out. Also, it’s highly advisable to stay away from any toy that has loose ribbons, strings, or cords, since they can cause strangulation.
- Avoid toys with sharp edges and points. Also, make sure you choose sturdy toys. In case your child pulls them apart, the moving parts will not come off easily.
- When buying toys, make sure you search for those that are indicated non-toxic or washable on the label. In case the toy ends up in the baby’s mouth, they will not end up with health complications.
- Check for toy recalls: Every year, thousands of toys are recalled from the market, if they pose a health hazard or a safety risk to the child. Check online resources for recalls such as recalls.gov to see whether the toys that you have already purchased have been recalled.
Baby Kitchen Safety
The kitchen is probably one of the most dangerous places for children at home. There are sharp knives, dangerous cleaning detergents, stoves and ovens as well as heavy objects that may fall on your child.
Kitchen floors can also be wet and slippery, and this may lead to slips and falls. While keeping your children away from the kitchen may seem like the most logical thing to do, it’s not always possible.
As a parent, you will be spending a significant amount of your time in the kitchen, and your child wants to be there with you. So, how do you keep your child safe in the kitchen? Here are some kitchen safety tips for babies to consider:
- Install safety locks: Children are naturally curious. They will want to open cabinets, drawers, ovens, and refrigerators, to check what is inside. So, it’s wise to install safety locks, to prevent your children from opening doors or drawers and accessing things they are not supposed to. Safety locks and hatches are readily available in various parenting and hardware stores across the county. These safety locks are available in different styles and designs, so you just need to choose what works best for you.
- Use baby gates: When you are using the stove, oven or any other cooking appliance, you need to keep your baby away from it, to prevent burns. And since it’s almost impossible to monitor your baby’s every move, you can instead their access to the hot cooking appliances using baby safety gates. You just need to position the gate in a place where you can easily see the baby at all times, as you do your chores.
- Store knives, forks and other sharp objects away: With time, your child will soon learn how to open doors, drawers and cabinets. And you may sometimes forget to secure these areas with safety locks, thus giving your toddler easy access to sharp knives. For this reason, you should always store them in upper cupboards, where your baby will not reach them.
- Keep cleaning detergents and chemicals securely locked: Every year, approximately 30,000 children are treated for various poisoning accidents. And cleaning detergents are among the leading cause. So, instead of keeping them under the sink where the child can access them easily, you should relocate them to the store or another area that is out of bounds for the child.
- Keep electrical cables and wires out of reach: Toddlers love pulling on things such as wires and cables. It’s usually the first thing that comes to mind, whenever they come across something hanging or dangling. And if that cable is connected to an appliance like a microwave placed on the countertop, it may fall and injure them. So, don’t leave any wires or cables hanging loosely in the kitchen. You can also prevent this issue by putting the appliance away whenever you are not using it. Also, you should cover all electric sockets with baby proofing socket covers, since your child may insert a finger, fork or even the tongue, leading to electrocution.
- Keep the kitchen floor dry always: Make sure you clean up spills immediately, to avoid slips and falls. Also, if you break a glass or small sharp objects on the floor, you should pick them right away to prevent cuts.
By observing some of the above simple precautions, you will significantly eliminate the risks, dangers and hazards present in your kitchen, thus preventing injuries and accidents. And as you do so, you will be protecting your child against these dangers and hazards, while allowing them to spend some quality time with you in the kitchen.
Baby Bathroom Safety
The bathroom, just like the kitchen, also presents various safety and health hazards for your toddler.
The most effective means of minimizing or preventing bathroom hazards for babies and toddlers is simply by preventing them from accessing the bathroom if they are not accompanied by an adult.
And you can achieve this by installing a door lock or hatch well above the child’s height. Here are some additional bathroom safety tips for babies to consider:
- Drowning hazards: Children can easily drown in basins and bathtubs. To prevent this hazard, you should never leave your toddler unsupervised alone in the bathtub. It doesn’t matter whether there are only a few inches of water in the bathtub or the baby is seated on a bathing chair. As long as the baby is inside the bathtub and there is some water, then you are exposing the baby to unnecessary drowning hazards. Also, make sure you cover the toilet lid with a toilet proofing safety latch, to ensure it’s fully locked and covered at all times.
- Scalding hazards: Babies have extremely soft and tender skin, thus making them prone to scalding hazards. To prevent these hazards, you should only use warm but not hot water. In fact, you should never bathe your child in water whose temperature is more than 1200F. You can easily test the water temperature using your elbow. If it feels hot, then you should add some cold water until you attain the desired temperature.
- Slips and falls: If you will be bathing your baby inside the bathtub, then you should first install a non-skid mat on the bottom to prevent slipping.
- Electrical appliances and devices: If you have some electrical devices in your bathroom like shavers and hair dryers, you should ensure you unplug them when you are not using them and store them away from the baby’s reach. It’s also advisable to install baby proofing electrical socket covers to minimize the risk of electricity-related injuries and hazards.
Medicine Safety for Children
According to the CDC, at least 50,000 infants and toddlers end up in emergency rooms every year, as a result of medicine-related accidents.
The good news is that this issue is completely unavoidable if you keep all medicine in your home out of your child’s reach and access.
Also, ensure that the safety caps of all the medicine bottles in your house are securely locked. However, you should always remember that your child can open the medicine bottles every time, even when you have closed the safety cap tightly.
As long as the child can have access to the medicine, then the risk will always be there. So, the only sure way of preventing medicine-related hazards in your home is to keep the medicines and vitamins out of your child’s sight. And once your child comes of age, you should teach them about medicine safety.
Baby Outdoor Safety
Playing with your child outside on a warm, bright sunny day is a wonderful experience that your little one will enjoy.
Also, the great outdoors is filled with lots of sights and sounds, as well as plenty of things to touch, smell, feel and explore.
So, it can help in the baby’s development while helping them to learn more about nature – from a young age. But as much as the outdoors is thrilling and fun, they also present several safety risks and hazards.
So, you need to adhere to certain safety precautions, to ensure everyone is safe, healthy and happy. Here are some baby outdoor safety tips that will help to keep your baby safe:
- Avoid over-exposure to the sun
- Keep garages, barns, stores, and such areas that present hazards securely locked at all times. Also, make sure the hazardous items stores in these areas are out of children’s reach.
- Your child should not be outside when you are mowing the lawn, since they may be injured by flying debris.
- Never your baby unsupervised or unmonitored when they are outside. They may start playing with dangerous animals, tools, items or plants, leading to injuries or poisoning.
As you can see, keeping your baby safe at home and outdoors is not as hard as it appears. You just need to monitor them round the clock and prevent access to all areas that present safety and health hazards. And with the help of the above safety tips, you will reduce the number of trips that you make to the emergency room while spending more time with your little one. Happy parenting!