Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Childproofing 101

   Today is our third day of Safety Week here on my blog. If you missed the other posts you can click here for Safety Devices and click here for Home Security Tips.  When you have a baby it is now pretty common knowledge that you need to "babyproof" your house. Truth is you really have to worry about it when your child starts crawling. The idea is to let them get into things that cannot hurt them such as your pots and pans and perhaps book collection, but not get into things that can harm them such as your medicine cabinet, etc.
   Childproofing was not used much in older times because it was not as necessary. Many of the furniture that we consider antiques today are very heavy duty. A child cannot open a dresser drawer or cabinet because they were made with such heavy materials it took some muscle to get things opened. However, now furniture is made of lighter woods and materials making things easy to swing open. Also, we have lighter and more electronics that come with wires and go into sockets so it is important to make sure you childproof your home when they start crawling to be sure to keep your little one safe. Here are a few basic childproofing tips to be sure your house is ready for your little one's mobility.

Basic Childproofing
- Be sure to use door knob locks on all important doors that your child can open. These are especially good on doors that do NOT lock. Doors to consider using this on, food pantry, cellar way doors, doors to a garage or attic, closet doors, other rooms, such as older siblings or office doors.

- Be sure to tie up all dangling strings, such as from blinds, clothing and wires.
- Use cabinet locks on cabinets in kitchen, bathrooms and garage or storage areas. There are different types of cabinet locks choose which ones work best for you and your family. Some cabinet locks double as drawer locks as well.

- If you have guns in your house be sure to keep them unloaded, with the safety on, and in a locked cupboard or drawer. By the time your child is three years old you should review with them what to do if they encounter a gun. Tell them if they find one lying around to leave the area, and find and adult at once to notify. They are never to touch the gun.
- Secure big items and appliances. Many appliances have their own locks, such as dishwashers and stoves. Be sure to check yours, some large refrigerators do not need locks but your standard refrigerator does.
- Secure your television. Since the invention of the flat screen television, televisions are now much lighter and easier to fall now. Be sure to get a childproofing kit to secure your television to the stand or to the wall. Some televisions even come with some when you buy them.

- Be sure you secure your toilet seat. Not only can your child drown while playing in there but you will find that their favorite thing is to throw things in the toilet and see if it flushes down. You can save yourself a plumbing headache by using a toilet seat lock.

- Use baby gates when necessary. You can buy gates to secure your child in a safe area or you can buy just specific gates to gate off an area. Try a mixture of both as your gating needs may change as your child gets more and more mobile.

- Cover all outlets and keep wires tied and out of your child's reach.

The best way to child proof your home is to get on their level. Crawl around on your hands and knees and see all the things they can encounter. When your child first starts crawling and walking watch them very closely and see if they get into anything that you may have missed proofing. Also, if you are a caretaker for a child either babysitter, nanny or grandparent be sure your home is safe and childproof as well! It is inevitable that sooner or later your child will have an accident but be sure to prevent as many as you can. Check back tomorrow for more on Safety Week!

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