Home is where we feel safe, an environment that protects us from the dangers outdoors. But it is sad to know that accidents do occur indoors too. Because these hazards are avoidable, dealing with scars from some of these accidents often lead to lifelong feelings of shame. Home safety needs are dynamic, and making it safe becomes a priority when you have a baby.
How do you keep a baby safe inside the house? The first step to home safety is awareness. You have to identify these hazards, then make a conscious effort to reduce or remove them in your home. Provide a safe setting in which your baby can mature and blossom.
These tips will help parents recognize and do away with hazards that could be dangerous to a baby.
Babies and children are naturally squeamish and curious, which could lead to falls.
- Install baby gates as a barrier to the stairs.
- Make sure your crib slats are not wider than 2 to 3/8 inches so that the baby does not fit through it.
- Always remove toys, shoes, and clothes from doorways.
- Make use of a baby carrier. Do not put it on the counter or tabletop. It should be on the floor at all times.
- Buy a changing table that has straps.
- Never leave your baby alone on a chair, settee, bed where they can roll-off.
Suffocation or Choking Hazards
Anything can be a choking hazard for a baby, including food.
- Make sure everything you feed your baby can go through its throat easily.
- Remove all small objects that can cause choking if swallowed.
- Do not use strings or cords around the baby’s neck or to stabilize a pacifier. Instead, use a clip attached to a ribbon.
- Try to clean the floors often to remove dirt, screws, coin, small pieces of plastic that they might want to put in their mouth.
Fire and Burn Dangers
- Fix a smoke alarm and have a fire extinguisher in every possible area of your house.
- Do not smoke and do not allow smoking around the baby.
- If you have a fireplace, install a soft border, or put them in a fenced-in play yard.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector if you use gas heat in your home.
- Make sure you are not holding hot liquids at the same time you are carrying your baby.
- Do not use a microwave to warm your baby’s food/bottle. Dip it in a bowl of warm water to heat it.
Guns and children are a dangerous mix. According to the American Association of Pediatricians (AAP), firearm injuries are the leading cause of death in children, and most of these accidental shootings take place inside a home. If you have to keep a gun inside, consider the following tips.
- Prevent your child from associating with the gun by keeping it protected from their view and out of reach with a gun safe.
- Keep your guns unloaded and store ammunition separately.
- Never leave your gun unattended when you are cleaning it.
Bathing/ Bathroom and Drowning Dangers
Babies can drown in water that is two-inch deep. Designers came up with a solution such as baby seats, but these were dangers on their own. They can trap babies underwater if the suction cups disengage.
- Never leave your baby alone or unattended in the bathtub with water. Make sure you have everything you need before you start bathing the baby.
- Close toilet lids and consider fixing a safety latch for the toilet.
- Buy a rubber mat and baby proof your tub.
- Lock up harmful chemicals or anything that would be toxic if ingested by the baby. Examples include soap, detergents, alcohol, disinfectant, medicine, paint, cleaners, drugs, etc.
- Make sure your basement or garage is locked when it’s not in use. Keep oils, lubricants, and other car liquids out of reach.
Other Tips to Keep Your Baby Safe
- Consider taking a public health class or course in baby first aid, including CPR.
- Write out or print out and post-emergency, healthcare providers, and ambulance numbers near your phone. You can save them as speed dial numbers on your cell phones.
- Keep magnets, marbles, batteries in containers, and out of reach.
- Do not jiggle or throw your baby in the air. It could lead to blindness or brain damage.
- Keep sharp items such as forks, razors, knives, pins, scissors locked away
- Don’t leave your baby alone with a pet. Pets can bite them and lead to severe injuries.
- Boil water and let it cool before adding formula to it.
- Baby toys should be soft, tender, washable, and non-lethal. Make sure they are more extensive than your baby’s mouth.
- Furniture like stands, bookshelves, and dressers should be attached to the wall to prevent it from falling over.
- Fix covers on all electrical outlets.
- Fix safety locks on cabinets, refrigerators, doors, windows,
- Make sure you are always clean and take care of your health.
Ensure you’re doing everything you can to keep your baby safe. Be alert to all possible dangers. Supervise when you have others around your baby.
If and when you employ a babysitter, ensure that they understand and follow these guidelines and tips. If you are getting a friend or relative who just had a baby to help you look after yours while you’re away, give them these tips you’ve learned and got them personalized baby gifts to appreciate their baby. They’ll feel all the more motivated to look after your baby properly.