Your home may feel like a safe sanctuary to you, but to your baby, it could be a mine field. Get your house ready for baby by taking these precautions:
- Keep potentially toxic items (such as cleaning agents, medicines, vitamins, toiletries, mothballs, poisons, paint, oil, gas, harmful plants, and other potentially hazardous items) out of your child’s reach and utilize locks/latches on cabinet doors for added protection. Special note: Keep purses and bags out of your baby's reach also, since these hold potentially hazardous items.
- Post the number for Poison Control (800) 222-1222 near your phone.
- Ensure all smoke and carbon dioxide detectors are functioning properly and check the batteries every week.
- Cover all electrical outlets with appropriate covers or block with furniture. Special note: Some commonly used outlet covers are potential choking hazards. Look for outlet covers that cover the entire outlet or require an additional step to remove. You may even want to consider changing the entire outlet to a tamper resistant one.
Baby Safety and First Aid
- Secure any loose cords (electrical and blinds/drapes) to prevent accidental strangulation.
- Block passages to unsafe areas (stairs, bathrooms, laundry room, fireplaces, etc) by using gates, door knob covers, and by keeping doors closed and locked (if able).
- Secure toilet seats with appropriate safety latches/locks.
- Secure furnishings (dressers, TV, book case, etc) to the wall to prevent toppling.
- Make sure table cloths are secured or removed to prevent your child from pulling the table cloth and potentially injuring him/her from falling objects on the table.
- Place guards on the corners of your tables and other sharp edges throughout your home.
- Utilize door stoppers to protect your baby’s fingers.
- Keep windows locked and never leave a child unattended near an open window.
- Never leave your baby unattended on any elevated surface (i.e. sofa, changing table, high chair, beds, etc.). Be sure to use your safety harnesses.
- Utilize safety belts/harnesses whenever possible (i.e. high chairs, swings, changing table, strollers, etc.).
- Keep plastic bags, balloons, string, and rope out of your baby’s reach to prevent suffocation and/or strangulation.
- Ensure stair and porch railings are no wider than 4 inches apart. If the railings are wider, then cover with banister guards to prevent falls and/or entrapment.
- Never leave pets unattended around your baby.
Get down on the floor and look at each room through your baby’s eyes. It will be easier to see the potential dangers. Be sure to download our Emergency Contacts sheet and keep accessible in the event of an emergency. Watching your baby become aware of their surroundings and begin exploring their environment will be a magical experience. Make sure it's a safe one too!
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Author : Diba Tillery RN, BSN, IBCLC, CPST
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