How to babyproof your home for the newest family member
02/01/2014 7:48 AM
02/01/2014 8:13 AM
Written by JT Ripton
More children die of preventable injuries than any other cause in the United States. Babies and toddlers are especially vulnerable as they lack the logic skills and physical development of their big brothers and sisters. However, baby-proofing measures can reduce the chance of these injuries by 70 percent. Read on to discover five great ways to make your home safer for your little one.
Lock Up Dangerous Items
It won't be too long before your baby becomes a curious toddler keen to get into anything and everything.
Installing locks to keep them out of hazards will make sure you're prepared when that time comes. Put child-proof locks on cabinets that contain cleaning supplies and medications. Elastic bands, hair ties, and cable ties are good budget solutions which work just as well as child-proof locks.
Babies can also drown in any amount of water that covers their mouth and nose. That might be the water that's in the bucket you used to wash your car or what's left in the tub after their evening soak.
You can drain this water, but what about what's in the toilet? A toilet lid lock can keep inquisitive tots out of this potential hazard. Also make sure you only soak cloth diapers in buckets with securely fastened lids.
Get Rid of Sharp Edges and Corners
Cast an eye over your room. What do you see?
Stylish furniture and objects lovingly collected over your years as a couple? Perhaps, but look harder and you’ll likely see something else: sharp corners. Once you start looking for them, it's hard to stop!
You could replace the pieces with sharp edges, or move them to a place your baby won't enter, such as your guest bedroom. Commercial foam corners are also available to soften edges. Alternatively, you could make your own soft edges using old tennis balls if you're more concerned with function than fashion.
Fragile items can also become sharp ones quite quickly. Make sure you store anything breakable up high to avoid an accident.
Protect Your Baby from Power
Nearly seven American children are rushed to hospital emergency rooms every day for electrical shock and burns sustained through tampering with wall power outlets.
Cut the risks by hiring an electrician to replace your traditional outlets with safety ones. These have special internal devices which stop little ones sticking items into the holes. Alternatively, buy push-in socket protectors for any outlets not in use.
Duct tape is a budget solution to commercial socket protectors.
You can also prevent an electrical emergency by tying up or taping down long cords. Also consider carefully what you keep plugged in. Many of us become complacent and leave appliances ready for use, but hair dryers, power tools, irons, and heaters are all best unplugged and stored behind closed doors.
Add Security Measures to Swimming Pool
One of the biggest home hazards may be hiding in your back yard.
Your swimming pool might offer hours of summer fun, but that fun could come at a high cost if it's not adequately secured. More one to four-year-olds die from drowning than any other accidental injury. Most of these incidents occur in home swimming pools. Some states, including Florida and Arizona, have pool fence laws, but the rest of America would do well to heed these guidelines.
You can further protect your family by covering your pool's water. A pool cover can stop small children, leaves, and other debris from falling into the water when it's not in use. Many home insurance firms will also reduce your premiums if you add this extra security feature.
Get Gates for Around Your Home
Gates aren't just for your home's pool and perimeter. Inside gates can stop babies getting into trouble once they learn how to crawl.
Every six minutes, an American child under five falls down a set of stairs. You can ensure yours doesn't become a statistic by installing safety gates at the top and bottom of your staircase. Baby gates can also prevent babies accessing rooms full of potential hazards.
Open-plan houses can benefit from gates at the entrances of kitchens and laundries, for example.
Now step back and breathe easier, knowing that you've taken important steps towards keeping your precious baby safe.
JT is a parent of 2 amazing kids and a occasionally writes for homeinsurance.com. JT loves to write to inform and intrigue those who are also trying to raise their kids correctly in this ever more connected world, you can follow JT on twitter @JTRipton
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