Baby proofing your home is one of the most important steps in parenthood. When your toddler is crawling and getting ready to walk, there is no telling what they may get into. The best way to fix this unnecessary situation is to baby proof your home.
Before you introduce your newborn to his new home, remove or fix possible household hazards. Start with the basic precautions and continually modify according to your baby’s development. Here’s what to do from day one:
Use a crib made since 1992 that meets safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Material (ASTM).
Be sure the crib mattress fits snugly. You should be able to slide just one finger between the mattress and the side rails and headboard, so your child can’t slip between the mattress and crib.
Do not use a crib that has elevated corner posts or decorative cutouts in the headboard since a baby’s head could become trapped there, or loose clothing could become snagged and cause strangulation.
The slats on the crib should be 2 3/8 inches apart or less so baby’s head doesn’t get trapped between them.
Make sure all screws, bolts, and other items are securely installed to prevent the crib from collapsing.
If you use a playpen with mesh sides, the mesh “holes” should be less than 3/4 inch across and free from tears or small holes to prevent an infant from becoming trapped. For the same reason, wooden playpens should have slats that are less than 2 3/8 inches apart.
Install and use a safety belt on your infant’s changing table.
Always use a safety belt when your baby is sitting in a bouncy seat or swing.
Place a rug under the changing table and crib, which will offer some cushion in case of a fall.
Nightlights should be at least three feet away from the crib, bedding, and draperies to prevent fire.
Once your baby is walking, it is important to make sure that he or she cannot get into anything near them. Small objects such as coins, dice, pills, and such should be put away. Anything smaller than a baby’s fist can be a choking hazard.
Chemicals are a huge hazard to a baby. Make sure that all chemicals are locked up so that baby cannot get into them. Inhaling a chemical can do so much harm to one’s insides.
Make sure electrical outlets are kept covered when not using them. If your baby or toddler is able to stick something in the electrical outlets, he or she may be electrocuted. There are plastic little covers that you can insert into the outlet plug ins which disables that individual plug in.
The best thing to do as far as baby proofing your house goes, is to do a walk thru. This way you can jot down things that may seem like they need to be baby proofed. If you are not sure on an item or area in your home jot it down anyways, and next time you see your health professional you can ask him or her.
It’s best to be safe than sorry. Baby proofing your home may seem tiring and time consuming. But seeing your baby or toddler safe is the best solution.