Thursday, September 19, 2013
Posted by: Women's Healthcare Associates Staff
Maternal instinct manifests in many ways, but they all boil down protecting your kids. From the moment you discover you’re pregnant until they’re grown and on their own (and even beyond for most of us), moms try to guard their offspring from cuts and bruises, the cruelty of others and life’s disappointments. While you can’t protect your children from everything, you can make your home as safe as possible. How this looks in practice will change as your little one ages. To help our moms, we’ve outlined some of the steps you can take from the first day home to mobility and beyond.
Babies seem especially precious and fragile, and they can be, but baby-proofing your home doesn’t require an overhaul of your possessions. Infants are mostly stationary, so you can concentrate your safety efforts on where they’ll sleep.
- Nursery: If you’ve inherited or purchased a used crib, ensure its sides are sturdy, it has no broken or missing parts and the model adheres to current safety standards. Though stuffed animals are cute, keep them and pillows and blankets out of the crib to help prevent suffocation.
- Home: Install carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home and replace the batteries in smoke detectors. Because adrenaline can inhibit memory, pin sheets with emergency telephone numbers throughout your home, and replace your exterior house numbers if they’re faded or less visible from the street.
Once kids are mobile, home safety becomes more involved. Anything within reach will be found by little hands, so err on the side of caution.
- Cords: Anything attached to electronics or blinds can potentially cause choking. Tie up cords hanging from blinds to keep them away from babies’ hands, and secure everything else behind furniture or with ties, wherever possible.
- Edibles: Quite a few houseplants can be poisonous if eaten. Learn what’s safe in your home, and move everything that isn’t to a high shelf or to a friend’s house. Also look for figurines or small objects your baby could reach and choke on.
- Stairs: Install sturdy safety gates at the top and/or base of stairs—and in doorways to rooms unsafe for infants.
- Sockets and Cabinets: Buy outlet plugs for any unused outlets, and secure all cabinet doors with safety latches.
- Pets: Introduce pets slowly and constantly monitor them. Even the friendliest dogs can accidentally injure babies by playing too rough.
With walking comes hand-eye coordination, more dexterity and a surprising amount of strength. You may be able to start building an awareness of danger and safety in your kids, but it’s wise to protect them, also:
- Furniture: Toddlers often take to climbing, and even the heaviest bookshelves can topple over from the weight. Secure TVs and shelves to the wall according to the manufacturer’s instructions to keep them upright.
- Chemicals: Most household cleaners and medicines come with childproof lids, but take extra precaution and lock them out of reach of curious hands.
- Edges: Countertops, fireplace mantles and anything else with a hard or sharp edge should be covered with soft padding.
- Hot water: Set the maximum temperature on your hot water heater to 125° to prevent the risk of scalding.
Check out Safe Kids Worldwide for more safety tips for home and beyond for your infants—or teenagers! If you're planning to become pregnant and want to learn more about keeping your baby safety before they're born, contact Women's Healthcare Associates >