Childproof Your Home!
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Childproof Your Home!
Home is traditionally a safe place where you can relax and feel secure, but once your family includes a toddler, you may start to feel your home’s a lot less safe than you thought it was.
It’s not always easy to predict what might be a cause of danger for your child. One way of making sure that you haven’t overlooked hazards in your home is to get down on your hands and knees and look at every room for a small child’s perspective. It’s amazing how different the world can seem from this position!
Remember that toddlers have an immense curiosity about things which are commonplace to adults. They want to touch and taste everything that comes their way. You would never think of eating the washing powder. Your child doesn’t have the same inhibitions.
Toddlers’ powers of co-ordination and instinctive reflexes also differ greatly from those of adults. For example, small children don’t understand about holding their breath (their automatic reflex is to breathe in) and this is why they can drown so easily. Just-mobile toddlers can sometimes move surprisingly fast but hey cant judge distance, don’t understand the concept of stairs and can mistake sheer stretches of glass for open space.
The sort of danger that your toddler is exposed to depends greatly on her age and capabilities. You will quickly learn about your child, just as she learns about the world. If you stay one step ahead of your child’s abilities, you will be able to anticipate the things that will interest her and predict any possible problems.
The best way to prevent accidents is to always take your child around the house with you, rather than leaving her alone, even when you are just answering the door or the telephone. But you cant always be everywhere at once and your chores will require some of your attention too. So play it safe with your list of Do’s and Dont’s.
• Ensure that crib slats are no more than 6 cm apart. Once the baby can stand, lower the crib mattress to prevent falls over the sides of the crib.
• Check if any of your water pipes get very hot to the touch and box them in if they do.
• Cover all unused electrical outlets (especially those near the floor) with safety caps or tape.
• Keep electrical wires out of the baby’s reach. Unplug lamps or other appliances when your child is in the room so the cords can’t be pulled or tripped over.
• Secure rugs and mats so that they don’t slip and slide. Try putting rug corners under heavy furniture. Use a non-slip rubber bathmat in the bathtub.
• Remove matches, ashtrays and cigarette butts from your child’s reach. Eating one cigarette butt can make a child violently ill.
• Bolt bookcases and similar, unsteady, items of furniture to the wall top prevent your child pulling them over on top of himself.
• Keep small objects capable of being swallowed, sharp objects and breakables away from where your child might be playing.
• Always fasten the safety harness on the baby’s chair (and also on strollers and your child’s car seat.
• Keep the high chair and playpen well away from the stove, kitchen counters, heaters, or air conditioners.
• Keep garbage in a bin with a lid. Apart from the hygiene, aspect, your child could cut himself on tin cans or swallow a bottle cap.
• Make sure house or balcony plants do not have poisonous leaves or flowers.
• Put stickers or tape a picture on large expanses of glass to show that they’re solid.
• Teach your child to use stairs, whether you’ve got them or not, as soon as he can move independently. If you have got stairs inside your house, install gates at the top and the bottom.
• Install baby-proof catches on all drawers, doors and windows, even if you think your child cant reach them. Check inside closets and drawers and move anything that could harm your child.
• Block off balcony railings which are wide enough apart for your child to squeeze through.
• Be careful where you store exercise machines, bicycles, ironing, boards or anything with moveable parts that could trap fingers.
• Don’t leave your child unattended around swimming pools, in the bathtub or bear any other water, such as fountains or toilets. Take care that she doesn’t go into the bathroom on her own. She can drown in seconds, even in very shallow water.
• Don’t add hot water directly to the bathtub when your child is in it. Use a jug filled with water mixed to the right temperature.
• Don’t leave your child unattended while changing her diaper. She could wriggle and fall from the changing table.
• Don’t put large stuffed animals in the crib. They are a suffocation hazard for babies, and toddlers can stand on them and fall out of the crib.
• Don’t leave your child alone with a bottle or any food. Don’t give her small bits of food, like peanuts, that could easily be inhaled. Never allow her to eat while lying on her back, because she could coke.
• Don’t keep cans, bottles, sprays or packets of detergents, pesticides, cleanings fluids, laundry bleaches, medicine, perfumes or cosmetics, in low cupboards (such as under the kitchen sink) or anywhere your child might find them.
• Don’t leave your child unsupervised when playing with your pet. There is a risk of bites or scratches, even if the pet is normally very docile.
• Don’t leave plastic bags around. Kids love to play with them, and there’s a real risk of suffocation.
• Don’t leave chests, low tables or chairs near windows.