Baby-Proof Your Home
By the time your tiny newborn grows into a baby on the crawl, you will start to find out about a whole world of fear!
Welcome to the world of "Ways babies can hurt themselves" where you have to think like a toddler and pretty much become a helicopter parent.
There are three things you can do to maintain child safety:
1. Create a suitable environment
2. Engage them in suitable, age and skill appropriate activities
3. Maintain supervision
In this blog, we are focusing on some of the steps you can take in your own home to create a suitable environment for your little one. Make sure you read to the end to find out where to get more tips on safety in the car, the farm, the water and more, from Australia's leader in child safety.
Bookshelf and TV
If you are really unlucky, your child will be a climber. In this case, there is only one solution. Bolt everything to the wall. I am not kidding! You won't be able to stop them from climbing so it is a case of make your furniture as sturdy as the local kids playground equipment.
Serious injury and death have occurred from kids pulling TV's onto themselves or climbing up a chest of drawers or cupboard to get to the top shelf only to have it fall on them. You can buy brackets from your local hardware store.
Coffee Table Corners
Many a child has a scar on their forehead from a head clash with a piece of furniture. One main culprit is the coffee table. Maybe ditch the coffee table for a while, or switch it out for a nice soft ottoman. There are also stick-on rubber corner cushions you can get too which can be great for those things you just can't move.
Baby Gates on Stairs
Buying that high-set house on a steep block with great views seemed like a good idea when you were 33 and kid free but now that bub has arrived you realise that you may as well be living on the side of a cliff. But don't fear, there are a wide range of baby gates on the market that can protect your crawler/walker from a tumble down the stairs. These gates and fencing solutions are also fabulous from keeping kids out of places you don't want them in, like their big brother's room (see Lego reference below) the kitchen or the laundry.
Electricity Plug Things
Some kids never pay any attention to electricity outlets, while others are drawn to them like a moth to a flame. An investment in those plastic electricity plug things (if you go into any Bunnings and say this they will know exactly what you are talking about) can give you some peace of mind. Until they learn to pull them out of course. #facepalm
Under sink cupboard
This probably goes without saying, but bottles of bleach or disinfectant should not be in the reach of children. In my experience it is easier to put them up high than to put a child proof lock on the cupboard under the sink that is going to drive you nuts every time you want to get in there. But hey, it's your choice.
Small Things in Kids Rooms
Something you realise when you have your second child is just how much of a hazard living with siblings can be. When you have a crawling baby in the house, Lego is your worst nightmare. Not mention those Coles Little Shop collectibles. Thanks Coles! My top tip here is to have a "small things must stay in your bedroom rule" and use a baby gate to keep the little one out of their older siblings space.
This one is less obvious but the consequences can be fatal. Small button batteries once ingested, can cause serious injury and ultimately death. Keep all batteries out of reach and ensure that the battery compartment on electronic toys is secured with a screw so they (or an older sibling) can't open it.
Have you noticed that many blind manufacturers now use rods rather than cords to adjust blinds? Or that the cords they do have are short, are not looped and have big ugly warning tags hanging off them? That is because sadly, these cords can become a strangulation hazard for curious kids that get them caught around their neck. Replace them, shorten them and just plain get them out of the way to remove the risk.
Buckets of water/ baths
Pools and safety may seem obvious but did you know that children can drown in just a couple of inches of water. Our smallest toddlers don't have the coordination or strength to get themselves out of a bucket if they have overbalanced and toppled in. And while it is tempting to go to the loo while the kids are in the bath it can only take a few seconds for them to topple over and take in water.
Fortunately, this hazard only comes around once a year, but for many kids, the allure of a sparkly Christmas tree is too much to resist. Here are my favourite tips for reducing the choking risk from tree ornaments:
Only decorate the lower half of the tree
Put up a baby fence around the tree
Hang the tree from the roof so they can't reach it
Create an alternative kid safe tree like a poster you can hang on the wall
Decorate a real tree outside where they can't reach it
If you have any other ideas for solving this festive conundrum, let me know.
From the obvious dangers of poisons or sharp and heavy objects to the chance that your little one might swallow something like a screw, make the shed off limits. Thankfully this little one passed the screw safely and didn't require surgery but it was a harrowing experience for their parents.
The List Goes On
If you have gotten to the end of this list and are wondering how any children survive until adulthood, you are not alone. It is a jungle of child safety risks out there however we can be grateful that we no longer have to protect our children against wild predators like lions and tigers. #brightside
Of course, it's important to remember that as parents we can only do so much to protect our children and accidents will still happen. We can do everything in our power to protect them from the big things and then they will trip over their own feet and scrape their nose.
My own girls have so many bruises on their shins most days that we call them dalmations. Its childhood.
However there are great resources out there for preparing for all kinds of scenarios in all kinds of environments. I recommend visiting the Kidsafe website in your state to find excellent information and resources focused on keeping your family safe and well.
For a safe and fun photo session for your little one, contact Natarsha.