Childproofing Your Home

Babies and young children seem to get into anything and everything – even when you think your home is baby proof! A recent article published in Men’s Health, ‘6 Things You Forgot to Childproof’, provides a pretty good check list for things parents might not always think about right off the bat. And with accidents in the home injuring 2.5 million children in America each year, there’s no harm in double checking(CPSC)!

Before you read the list, remember that accidents do happen. Of course, no parent wants to see their children get hurt, but don’t drive yourself crazy over every little cut, scrape and bruise. No matter how safe you make your home, there will be little bumps along the way.

Double check your home – often! Things get loose and move out of place, and children grow bigger and stronger! Make a routine of checking the home from the bird eye view of your child once or twice a month to see if anything new needs tending to.

Here is the list!

1. The floor.

“Taking a trip around your home on your hands and knees is the only way to see it like a child,” says Susan Baril, cofounder of Safe Beginnings, a child-safety company. Check for paper clips hiding along the baseboards, blind cords hanging at neck level, splinters in the hardwood, exposed electrical outlets, and tacks in carpet seams.

2. The baby gate.

Never use pressure gates at the top of stairs. They’ll hold back a crawling baby, but not a pushy toddler. Wall-mounted gates are a must.

3. The fireplace.

Don’t just block the fireplace; the hard, sharp hearthstone in front poses as much danger, especially as kids transition from crawling to walking to running, Baril says. A hearth gate can keep children away from the entire area.

4. The television.

More than 15,000 kids are injured each year by falling furniture, according to the Center for Injury Research and Policy. And most of those are caused by falling television sets. Secure yours—especially flat-panels, which tip easily—to the wall or the back of your entertainment center.

5. The cat.

Scampering felines can step on toddlers while they sleep, Baril says. If you own a cat, invest in a crib tent.

6. Yourself.

“Toddlers love to imitate,” Baril says. Don’t let a child see you operate the baby gate, or they’ll try it. Likewise, if they see you step over the gate, they’ll try to scale it, too. Above all, remember: “A well-childproofed house is not a baby-sitter. Constant adult supervision is the best way to prevent injury.”

For the full Men’s Health article, click here.

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