A baby’s first six months of life may bring sleepless nights for new parents, but at least during this period babies aren’t very mobile. You can leave babies in the middle of the living room floor and know they’ll stay in the area. After eight months, most babies are crawling and exploring the house, and you’ll be surprised at how fast they can move and how clever they are.
Hazards lurk in many areas of your home, so take some time before your baby is mobile to start securing dangerous spots.
Stairs and Windows
An alarming number of injuries occur from falls on stairs or out windows. Be sure to install sliding gates at both ends of stairs. Inspect your window openings for child access. Consider installing window guards, or using window stops so that sliding windows can’t open more than a few inches.
Hot Foods in the Kitchen
Burns are some of the most common childhood injuries, often from hot water and liquids. Try not to use the front burners of the stove. Use the back burners when you can. If you have to use a front burner, keep the pot handle turned to the back.
Keep an eye on other hot items as well. Keep hot foods and drinks away from the edges of counters and move back all appliances.
Living Room/Bedroom Dangers
Strangulation from curtain and blind cords within an infant or toddler’s reach is a very real hazard. You can buy inexpensive wall mounts to wrap extra cord length around, and you can keep cords tight by attaching them to mounts.
Be sure to mount heavy furniture to the wall or the floor. Televisions should be placed on sturdy, low bases and anchored to the wall or the base.
Put all household cleaners out of reach. Don’t forget medicines and vitamins in the kitchen. In the bathroom, put away not only medicines but health products with dangerous ingredients. Scout your yard and garage for any plant chemicals within reach.
It’s best to put things out of reach, since babies can outwit safety locks. If you do use child-safety locks, experts say they are most beneficial for children from 6 to 25 months.
As a precaution, put the poison control number on your refrigerator. If your child does get into something, you can instantly get expert advice on what to do.
The recent tragic deaths from infants eating laundry pods are a sad reminder that babies want to and will put things in their mouths. The pods only came on the US market last year, and already there are many reports of hospitalizations. The pods are not only very attractive to a little one, but they are highly concentrated, and once they take the first bite detergent squirts out into their body.
Parents may want to consider switching to less toxic cleaning products while their children are young, for extra peace of mind.