One of the tallest orders facing new parents is making sure their home doesn’t hold one of the many common hazards that we tend to overlook as adults. A growing child has no idea that this small item poses a choking hazard, that this hanging cord creates a strangulation hazard, that this set of shelves should not be climbed. If you fall into the category of first-time parents getting ready to welcome a child into the world, or if you already have a few kids but feel that you’ve let safety around the home grow lax in recent years, it’s important to review some of the home childproofing advice provided in a new report.
We’ve already hinted at some of the threats that face children learning about the world for the first time, and it’s up to you to mitigate the risks. Put yourself in the baby’s shoes (or little booties, as it were) and think about typical hazards a child would be confronted with. Loose cords used to open and shut blinds and drapes should be tied up out of the reach of a child, as should electrical cords. And the outlets that those cords lead to should be covered up when not in use, lest a child make the mistake of sticking his or her tiny fingers inside.
Children are climbers. There’s no getting around that. But there are things you can do to eliminate danger from their expedition. Heavy furniture should be anchored to the wall. That includes chairs, couches, and shelves, as well as televisions. The latter should be kept on a suitable stand that won’t pose a toppling threat. Falling televisions account for a surprising amount of tragedies every year. You should also limit your child’s ability to climb the steps by installing safety gates. These should be kept at both the bottom and the top of the stairs.
Even when you take the necessary precautions, accidents can still happen, and it’s thus advisable that you learn what steps to take in an emergency. Emergency phone numbers should be readily available, but you too can protect your child before assistance even arrives. Take a first aid course or a CPR course so that you can help your child prior to emergency responders making it to the scene.
Finally, make sure that the attention you pay to safety at home extends to your vehicle. Not only should you pick out a suitable car seat that meets the latest federal safety mandates for newborns, but you should get it installed properly by a certified technician. Such a person can educate you on the correct procedures and help you correct any rookie mistakes. That way, you know your child is as safe in the car as he or she is in the home.