Baby proofing 101

September 29, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Simple steps to keep your baby safe in your home. Dana Lynn Wiltsek, Home Safety Council and Babies 'R Us spokesperson, shares this advice.

Key statistic:

In a recent study conducted by the Home Safety Council, 95% of parents said they took measures to baby-proof their homes, but an alarming 50% waited until their children were already crawling, putting these little ones at risk to dangers around the house.

Baby-Proofing Tips and Safety Products:

Kitchen

Some of the most common dangers in the kitchen are fires and burns, and parents should never leave the kitchen while cooking. Food or drinks that can cause burns, like coffee or hot containers, should never be close to the edge of a counter or table.

Teach children from an early age to remain at least three feet away from the stove. Apply masking tape around the stove to mark the do-not-enter area.

When using the stove, be sure to use the back burners and turn pot and pan handles away from the edge toward the back.

Also installing a heat-resistant stove guard will create a plastic barrier between children's fingers and possible stovetop hazards and installing knob covers by installing knob covers that prevent children from turning on the stove.

Product: Stove Guard
To make sure that the baby is the only one who can't turn on the stove, the hinged lid allows parents to easily access to the stove knobs without having to remove the covers

Product: Stove Knob Covers
Many households keeps dangerous items like cleaning supplies, pet food, medicine, vitamins, beer, wine, liquor and matches and lighters in the kitchen. Parents should use latches for cabinets and drawers to keep these potential dangers out of children's reach.

Product: Cabinet Lock s

Bathroom

Excessively hot water from the tap causes thousands of burns every year, some of which can be fatal. To prevent burns, keep the water heater set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or just below the medium setting. Parents should always test the temperature of the water with a thermometer before giving a child a bath and stay with the child at all times so they don't touch the hot water faucet.

Product: Water Thermometer
Babies can drown in as little as one inch of water. Keep them from toilet germs and drowning by locking the toilet lid.

Product: Toilet Lock
The best way to prevent children from the many hazards in the bathroom is to keep them out altogether. Installing knob locks on all bathroom doors.

Product: Door Knob/Level Locks

Nursery

When putting babies to sleep in a crib, they should always be on their backs facing up.

Parents should remove all items from the crib, including pillows, comforters, pillow-like bumper pads, stuffed toys and other soft products.

Instead of loose blankets in the crib, parents should use zip-up sleep sacks to keep babies warm and safe during sleep, and to prevent suffocation.

Product: SleepSacks
Furniture in the nursery, especially the crib, should never be near a window since babies can grab a hold of window blind cords that pose a strangulation hazard. Parents should use wind-ups the cords to keep them out of baby's reach.

Product: Blind Cord Wind-Ups

Living Room

Prevent children from sticking objects into electrical outlets/electrical shock by protecting outlets with wall outlet plugs

Product: Electrical outlet cover
Accidental falls are one of the most common injuries in the home. Parents should use cushiony corner guards on all table corners and edges, as well as fireplace corners to prevent cuts, bumps and scrapes

Product: Cushiony Table Edge, Corner and Fire Place Guards
Safety gates should be installed at the top and bottom of stairs and across entryways to help prevent falls. Use pressure mounted gates for entryways and wall mounted gates for top and bottom of stairs.

Product: Gates
Children like to climb. Keep furniture like dressers and bookshelves adhered to walls with straps that attach to the furniture and wall so it doesn't tip onto little climbers.

Product: Anti-Tip Furniture Straps

About Dana Lynn Wiltsek, MA, ASW, LCSW
Home Safety Services, Foster City, CA

Community Relations Manager, April 2008 Identifies, develops and sustains community relationships, including sales and marketing, in order to create safe home environments across the life span. Home Safety Services is a professional Safetyfitting company which conducts in-home safety assessments and installation of safety products for child and senior safety. Provides education to health care professionals, home care providers, seniors, and parents about child safety and senior safety. Maintains database and create and contribute to monthly safety series for professionals and the public.


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