The new year is almost upon us! The year 2020 had many challenges for the majority of people, especially parents, so it’s understandable if baby proofing went to the bottom of the to do list. Sadly, each year thousands of children under the age of four are seriously injured according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even though it’s a good idea to start baby proofing as soon as possible, even from the time the pregnancy test comes back positive, the new year is a great time to start, too.
Where to start?
Where to start? Dan Kaiser, Vice President/General Manager at KidCo says to start by going room by room, and create a checklist of tasks for each. Keep in mind that there will be more to do with each new stage of a child’s development. So when your baby reaches that exciting milestone of crawling or walking, it’s also time to look around and see what baby proofing is needed next. Get on a baby’s eye level to find the dangers you might otherwise miss.
Understanding the hazards
Make a list and prioritize it based on the most common causes of injury. These include suffocation, burns, choking, falling, and poisoning. Depending on how many children you have, the hazards and safety measures you have to take may vary. For example, if this is your first child, the coffee table might be the biggest problem. But if you have older children, then small pieces from toys and batteries from electronic items are dangers.
Top tips include:
Latch cabinets and drawers with household chemicals and medicines
Know which toys are choking hazards with a small object tester
Put window guards on any windows. A child can fall through a screen
Secure furniture and TVs to the walls with straps
Cover electrical outlets
Protect little ones from reaching stove knobs
A special note about baby gates
Experts agree, that parents should put baby gates at the tops and bottoms of staircases. This will keep babies from falling from the top and from climbing up from the bottom and then falling. Top of the stair gates should attach to the walls. Bottom of the stair gates can use pressure. KidCo has a baby gate finder that helps parents find the perfect gate for every size area including around fire places, wide openings, and even Christmas Trees!