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Baby in the House - Childproofing

Randy DeVaul

Posted on September 26, 2019 15:01

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Whether parent or grandparent, take a look at your home from the baby's view - floor level - to ensure you have secured anything he or she can reach, drink, eat, dump, cut, or otherwise get hurt by or even killed. The following tips and reminders will help you think of things you may have missed or help you prepare for the visit.

Ever been on your hands and knees in front of the toilet? Well, I was referring to seeing it from your infant or toddler’s perspective, but, of course, you knew that. When was the last time you looked under your kitchen sink for scouring pads, drain cleaner, or bug killer? 

As a new parent or grandparent, you need to look at your house from floor level. You don’t want to create a sterile or non-living environment but you don’t want to leave the drain cleaner, ant traps, and ‘sharp objects’ where a small child could find them during exploration. Also, consider what your child may want to see and touch as you carry him or her around the house at hip level. Something that appears fascinating may pique the child’s interest to take a closer look from a chair or countertop.

Experienced parents know it doesn’t take long for that young’un to get from crawl stage to toddler stage. Look around now to fix or remove items while you are thinking about it rather than waiting until the child can access them – they will always be able to access them far sooner than you think they can or should.

Many changes can be made inexpensively just by visiting a local home improvement store and asking for help. Some stores even offer free weekend workshops or seminars on how to childproof your home. 

So – here are some of the more obvious, yet overlooked areas: Front-load washers and dryers and low-level cabinets with cleaners, glass bakeware, and other breakables.

Latch locks for cabinets, toilet lids, and other ‘doors’ may stop your child’s intrusion into these areas until they are at least old enough to know they shouldn’t be in them. Gates and barriers work well to restrict movement from room to room and to guard stairs and exterior doors.

Look for items that can fall on your child: televisions and game systems; hot-filled pans from handles sticking out over the stove; slide-out drawers that don’t have stops, or even a fully-loaded table (such as during the holidays) with almost-to-the-floor table cloths These can easily be grabbed, pulled, and dropped on top of your curious child.

Get plastic plugs or rotating electrical outlets to prevent inserting objects into them. Check your floor lamps (usually not the most stable if tugged on or used to help a child stand up) and floor-level extension cords for pulling and, yes, biting! Don’t just lock your sink cabinets – move the poisons and steel wool from the floor level to a higher place in the bathroom or kitchen. Many older homes have low- or floor-level windows.

These are a few real-world hazards to address until your child or grandchild has discovered them. Take a moment and go from room to room and see what you can move out of the way now – it’ll be a good head start to your child being safe at home. 

Randy DeVaul

Posted on September 26, 2019 15:01

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Source: WBRZ

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