10 Tips to Babyproof Your Home
Written by Baby Safe Homes Denver
Bringing a child into your home is a beautiful experience, and just as you can expect your lifestyle to change as a result, so should your home. As your baby develops and becomes more mobile and curious, they explore, discover and test every corner of your home
Babyproofing or childproofing, refers to the process of altering your home to make it a safer environment for infants and small children. It’s easy to underestimate the importance of this process, so we spoke with an expert about the best way new parents can prepare.
Staci Baker, Owner of Baby Safe Homes Denver, is a Certified Child Safety Expert, trained in evaluating the safety and layout of homes as well as installing babyproofing products. In addition to her formal qualifications from the IAFCS (International Association for Child Safety), Staci is also a mother to four grown children, which has provided her with years of hands-on childproofing experience in several different homes.
Recently, according to the Center for Disease Control, over 16,000 children ages 0-19 die each year and 9.2 million visit the ER from some controllable reason like poisoning, drowning, suffocation and other fatal injuring from being struck from falling objects. “Accidental injury is the leading cause of death in kids up to 14 years old — and more than a third of these injuries happen at home,” Staci explains why she became a childproofing professional with Baby Safe Homes Denver. A professional babyproofer is trained and can help you identify potential hazards in your home you may overlook and reduce the risk of accidents.
The following TEN tips Baby Safe Homes Denver recommend first for new parents who want to ensure their home is as safe as possible prior to the arrival of their child.
1 Install Baby Gates
The first thing many parents do to babyproof their home is to install a child safety gates. For maximum safety, Baby Safe Homes Denver recommends installing a gate at both the top and the bottom and doing proper research to ensure the gate model is safe and appropriate for your specific staircase. Never install a pressure mounted gate at the top of your stairs. Installation by a babyproofing professional like Baby Safe Homes Denver is recommended.
2 Safe Storage
“Nine out of ten poison incidents in children occur in the home,” warns the Child Safety Council, highlighting the importance of her next tip.
Baby Safe Homes Denver recommends installing door and drawer safety latches in the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry rooms and utility rooms where chemicals, cosmetics and unsafe or small gadgets are stored. Remove live and artificial plants from childrens, reach. Store chemicals, medicines, and cosmetics in a high and/or locked cabinet to avoid instances where children may touch or consume them. In many cases, it only takes a microscopic amount of a common household liquid to severely harm a child, which is why this tip is so important. Program the Poison Control number into your phone today 1-800-222-1222.
3 Avoid Choking Hazards
While avoiding choking hazards may seem obvious, Baby Safe Homes Denver points out that not all hazards are immediately recognized for the risk they can pose to a child.
“Common choking hazards that parents may not think of include button batteries, small stones, marbles, coins, plants, dirt, artificial grasses and balloons.”
Staci also warns of magnets, small toys, and sticky or round foods such as dried fruit, popcorn, and hot dogs.
4 Secure Furniture
While it’s no surprise that most furniture poses a risk to small children, many parents are unsure what they can do about it. Baby Safe Homes Denver recommends hiring a qualified professional, to install furniture and TV straps that can help secure the furniture in your home and reduce the risk of a tip-over accident.
5 Tie-Up Blind Cords
Blind cords may not be the first thing you think of in your home that could be life-threatening to children, but approximately two children per day are treated in an emergency department for injuries caused by window blinds. Tying the cords in your home up and keeping them out of reach is critical for ensuring the safety of your children.
6 Install Electrical Safety Products
While some of the risks in your home may only pose a threat while your child is in infancy, electrical safety is important for children of all ages. Thankfully, there are products available that make this tip easy to follow. For example, outlet covers are an easy to way to reduce risk, especially when you consider there are usually several outlets per room in the average home, each one of them posing a risk to your child.
7 Install Smoke and CO Detectors
While it’s clear why having fully functional smoke detectors installed in your home is recommended, the importance of having Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors are less well known.
“Carbon Monoxide is odorless and can be present in any home with a heat source,” Staci says. “CO detectors will alarm in the presence of the gas before more dangerous warning signs are present like headaches, dizziness and fatigue.”
High concentrations of carbon monoxide has been known to kill adults in less than five minutes It is wise and economical to invest in a CO detector for each level of you home.
8 Practice Water Safety
“Drowning is the leading cause of death in children ages 1-4 and can be preventable,” Baby Safe Homes Denver says, introducing her next tip: safety around water.
Staci explains that children can drown in less than 2 inches of water and lists several easy tips for parents to ensure their children stay safe around water.
“Watch your children undistracted when in or around water. Empty buckets and kiddie pools and turn them upside down when not in use. Close toilet lids and use toilet locks in the bathrooms. Install fences around pools and ponds.”
And Staci’s most important tip for water safety?
“Know what to do in an emergency, call 911 and learn CPR.”
9 Keep the Water Temperature at 120 Degrees
Another hazard associated with water is the temperature.
“Water temperatures is recommended to be 120 degrees to prevent significant injury due to burns,” Staci says. “Water heater temperatures that are set at 140 degrees can cause scalding burns to children within 5 seconds.”
Staci says the easiest way to prevent this is to manually set the temperature at the source – the hot water heater. Secondly, you should always test bath water with your hand before placing your child in the tub.
10 In Baby’s Bedroom
When using a changing table, Baby Safe Homes Denver recommends always using the safety strap. Additionally, lower the crib mattress sooner than later as your child begins to roll from back to tummy.
By following these tips, new parents can make a proactive effort to reduce the risk of harm to their children while at home. A professional baby proofer can install child safety products guaranteed correctly the first time and in most cases same day installation. On average a homeowner will spend 8-12 hours and several trips to a variety of stores only to end up frustrated because the products do not fit or are too difficult to install. Save time and money, hire a professional babyproofer such as Baby Safe Homes Denver. Contact her directly for an in-home safety consultation 720-504-4838-home consultation 720-504-4838.