Sunday, October 01, 2006

Guide to Baby-Proofing Your House

No pleasure exceeds that of seeing your baby grow up from the little cute mass of swaddling clothes to a smiling toddler and then an adventurous little person who can walk up and reach at things that are curious to his newly developed senses. But wait! Here is where the parents' pains kick off. With all the careful supervision you practice, there is always this Damocles' Sword of having your kid get him/herself hurt while exploring the house independently. So why not use your brains to make your home a really safe place for your baby.

One rather silly but really important way to ensure the safety of your baby is to kneel down to your baby's level (this might even require crawling on all fours) in different places within the house, especially those which are your kid's favorite resort. The point of this seemingly clownish act is that you will be able to see those little threatening items like lost coins, needles, buttons etc. that are hard to spot from your level of height but that lay on the ground, lurking to find their way into your baby's mouth. This kneeling/bending/crawling will also reveal to you the otherwise obscure sharp edges and corners. You can remedy these threatening edges and corners by using plastic corner covers.

Kitchen is one of the most potentially hazardous places in the house. With knives, forks, matches, all kinds of spices and pungent liquids, kitchen is almost a slaughterhouse for your wee lamb. Even a loose pea can cause a lot of trouble if it ends up stuck in the kid's nose or ear. The best way to keep the child safe is not to let him/her in the kitchen, especially when cooking is underway there. If the kid is a brat and cannot be kept outside, take care to use rear hotplates or gas rings, and keep panhandles turned away so that they are out of the child's reach. Be very careful about the cooker and hob guards. Keep the matches, sharp objects, chemicals, and cleaners locked away in child-resistant containers. Never put chemicals in the same container that has the edibles like drinks; the child may mistakenly devour it for their favorite drink. Cupboards, cabinets, and fridges should be fitted with safety catches.

Bathroom too is a dangerous place for kids since it is stuffed with a number of colorful liquids and bottles. Safety demands that all medication and chemicals be kept locked in a child-resistant container in a cupboard. Do the same to shampoos and soaps. When it is time to give your little one a bath, always run the cold water first. Add hot water later until you get the right temperature. Many of you already know how to test the water temperature: with your elbow. If nothing feels on it, the temperature is the ideal one for giving a bath. And always remember never ever to leave a young kid alone in the bath, not even for a jiffy.

Since your kid is always crazy about following the hyperactive poodle up the stairs, safety demands that the stairs should be fitted with safety gates at both the top and the bottom of each flight. Nothing should be left to trip over. Repair or just remove your worn or damaged carpet. Take time to select such railings that are narrowly spaced so that the kid's little head may not get stuck inside them.

Select the right cot according to the kid's size and needs. Do not position it anywhere near ledges or appliances (lamps etc.) that the child may easily grab.

You also need to look out for certain things in rooms. Dangling curtains and electric wires at once attract kids. Always unplug unused items and use socket covers to keep the kids from any possible electric shock. If you use door slam stoppers, you cut the risk of your child's fingers getting trapped in doors. If a window needs to be replaced, remember to use safety glass, especially in low-lying windows. You can also pit stickers on glass doors to make them more easily visible to the child.

Quick Tips for Safety

Playpens and dens are both fun for kids and these offer ideal protection.

Fireguards must be used for every fire.

Try not to carry a hot drink at the same time as you carry a child. Many accidents of the sort happen and children get scalds.

Broken glass (and pottery) should at once be cleaned and safely disposed. Also, do not let young children carry glassware.

No comments: