There are a few things which children love to do in the house: doing things that could potentially send their parents into cardiac arrest, ingesting anything and everything (so long as it is not proper food), touching and playing with shiny things and lights (fire, we’re talking about you), and stuffing themselves into THE STRANGEST of places and positions. Then again, this is what fascinates us with children; and in all this fascination, the main goal is to protect them in their endeavors. Here are five ways your child can send you to Rhode Island Hospital for high blood pressure, and five ways you can childproof your house!
- Suffocation Hazards. As many parents know, plastic bags and blankets can be suffocation hazards and should be kept away from children; Very young babies can suffocate from blankets and they are linked to possible SIDS related deaths. Do not keep blankets, crib bumpers or stuffed animals in or around infant cribs to avoid this hazard. Plastic bags, on the other hand, are a hazard to children of all ages and somehow children are attracted to them like magnets. Unfortunately, an approximate 1,000 children have died from the inability to breathe due to something blocking their nose/mouth when in their crib and when playing.
- Fire and Light Bulbs. Babies are new to the world (obviously) and they don’t know as much about certain risks, such as fire. To them their thought process is different; a bright moving light could cause them to think “Ooh! Shiny! Mine!” Be sure to keep them away from any burning fires. In fact, refrain from using flame candles or the fireplace. In addition to burns being a risk, the smoke produced could affect their developing lungs.
- Cutlery. Cutlery is definitely a danger to babies. Knives and forks can not only puncture the skin, but if the child is mobile while this is in his mouth, anything could happen.
- Water. Do not under any circumstance leave a child unattended in water! It’s always the same story: “I only left him for a second…I had to get the phone…That was too quick…” Don’t do it. Child drowning deaths account for an approximate ten deaths a day (that’s 3,650 deaths a year); although the RI drowning stats are amongst the lowest in the country, they are still existent. Accidents can not only occur in a pool, but also the bathtub, a bathing bucket, and the sink. If you must go else where, take the child with you. Be cautious of leaving buckets outside right-side-up. They can accumulate rain or melted snow and lead to a child accidentally landing head first into the bucket.
- Medication and Chemicals. There is a reason medicine bottles and chemicals have a childproof cap on them. Kids just have a way of getting into things when parents aren’t there! However, what of those chemicals which don’t have a childproof cap? What if little Suzie or
Joey gets into that? What then? Chemicals are not limited to cleaning supplies and rubbing alcohol; laundry detergent, bug spray, hair products, oral hygiene products, and makeup are all unsafe if ingested.
The Childproofing Chronicles
- First of all, you will want to attach safety latches on all cabinets and drawers. And we do mean all. From top to bottom, attach safety latches on everything. You may anticipate that your child won’t be able to reach the top cabinet, in which case we have proof: A mother left her daughter on the floor next to the kitchen counter to play while she answered the phone in another room. By the time she got back, her daughter was on top of the counter. She was six months old at the time. By locking the cabinets in your household, you are preventing access to dangerous cleaning supplies, hair products, tools, and sharp or breakable objects. Anything you don’t want your child to get their hands on, put in a safe, locked place. If they can’t see it, they won’t have a need to want it.
- Wires, string, curtain tie backs, and even blankets can pose as strangulation devices. Try to keep wires off of the floor and out of the baby’s reach. If possible, run wires which are constantly in use behind furniture where your child can’t get to them as easily. Store extension cords and wires in a secure cabinet. String can get caught up in anything; babies can swallow them, get them tied around their fingers or toes, and have them wrap around their neck. Having even something as thin as a hair wrap around your child’s phalanges could cause a hair tourniquet which can lead to lost circulation and a possible amputation. Position curtain tie backs higher up and if they have any low-hanging tassels attached to them, tuck them into the knot. When not in use, blankets should be folded and put into a drawer. Sometimes children can get caught up in them leading to a covered head and obstructed airway.
- Naturally, it is easy to forget the small stuff. If you find pins, pills, insects, detergent pods, coins, or anything else that is bite-sized, remove it from the floor. Guess where it
- ends up if you don’t pick it up? In their stomach. Guess where you end up if they ingest it? Yep! In the emergency room. However, we’ve heard that certain insects are quite nutritious, so we anticipate you’ll end up with a healthier child in that case… Sorry for the visual.
- Be wary of furniture corners and furniture in general. Buy furniture corner guards from your local home improvement store or Amazon. Ensure that large furniture, televisions, and stereo sets sit properly and securely–wall restraints can assist in holding them against the wall.
- Get gates! Babies love to wander, and their ventures can cause them to go down the stairs or into unsafe areas. Place them at the top and bottom of stairs, the doorway of laundry rooms and bathrooms, and the entry way of the heating room. Avoid models which close themselves, these are susceptible to pressure and make an easy getaway. In addition, position the gate low enough to the ground to prevent slippery babies from getting away.
Many times, parents see childproofing as a trivial task. They understand the need to keep their child safe, but they feel it can be done without installing CIA certified security (infant edition). Although this may be true for some, would you rather be safe or sorry? In no way are we saying that childproofing your home will secure and protect your baby from every single hazard which may be posed, but by taking these precautions, you can help to make play times and their learning area a little safer. Naturally, you may be overwhelmed by the choices, but that’s okay, there are several Rhode Island childproofing services to help you with installations and information. These cost more because you are not doing it yourself, but they are worth the price!