Pregnancy week by week

Baby

Toddler

Safety tips


Even though you may think that your little one is still tiny, it won’t be long before he starts to roll, crawl and stand. So start to baby proof your home to keep your little one safe and sound. Children are curious by nature and like to explore. They like to put things in their mouth and stick their fingers in unusual places, play with hanging cords, and push or pull over furniture. There are risks everywhere, when you start looking for them. Take these sensible steps to protect your family and keep your house safe.

                                           Around the house

                         

  • Windows: fit locks or catches to any windows a child could reach.

  • Cupboards: fit catches to any cupboards that contain anything you would not want your baby to have; that cupboard under the sink for example. Keep heavy, poisonous, breakable, and sharp objects locked away in a cupboard or up out of reach.

  • Empty nightstand of medications, sewing materials, cosmetics, jewellery, buttons, manicure tools, and other typically dangerous items.

  • Plug sockets: you can buy socket covers that will prevent your baby putting anything else in the socket.

  • Electrical flexes: secure any trailing cords which a crawling baby could get entangled in. Electrical outlets, cords and appliances should be adequately sealed and hidden.

  •  Invest in slam protectors so as to stop their fingers from getting trapped in doors.

  •  Sharp, pointed or jagged objects, woodwork tools, and other items should be inaccessible to children.

  •  Keep the crib away from lamps or other electrical appliances. Lamp cords should be wrapped so as not to leave excess length available for a baby to chew or pose a strangulation hazard.

  •  Do not place furniture under windows. Children love to climb and furniture can serve as a ladder.

  • When a window is open, a screen is not enough to prevent a child from falling out and sustaining a serious injury. Furniture should be child friendly with stable base and of suitable height.

  •  Keep cot mobiles out of the reach of the baby. Babies love to watch them, but when your baby is old enough to reach the mobile and pull it down, it could become a strangulation hazard.
A child's closet should be free of wire hangers, mothballs, dry cleaning bags, and any object with small parts that could pose a choking hazard.
 

                                                         In the kitchen  
      
                                  

A kitchen is a dangerous place for a baby. Get in the habit of working safely to reduce the risks of accidents.
  • Do not carry hot dishes, pans or kettles when your baby is close by.
     
  • Avoid tablecloths that a baby could pull on, bringing everything on the table down on his head.

  • Install safety latches on drawers and cabinets that are within a child’s reach.

  • Appliance cords should not dangle from the counter-top. A curious child could pull on that cord and bring a heavy appliance on to his head or body.

  • Cook using the back burners of your stove and turn pot handles towards the rear of the stove so your child can’t pull hot food on himself.

  • Keep all sharp utensils, wastebaskets, and household cleaning products in a latched drawer or cabinet.

  • Post emergency phone numbers by the phone or on your refrigerator. Include police, fire, poison control, hospital, family doctor, and ambulance service.

                                            In the bathroom                        

  • Put medicines out of reach. As an extra precaution, buy products with child resistant lids. Put safety latches on kitchen and bathroom cupboards or drawers. Even the caretakers should not have access to medicines as they can be misused.
     
  • Poisonous material like cleansers and toilet cleaners must be stored in an area which is secured and inaccessible to children.

  • Never leave your baby alone if you have run a bath; a child can drown in just a few inches of water. Never leave your child unattended in the bath. A good rule of thumb is to keep one hand on your child at all times while bathing. If you must leave the room, wrap your child in a towel and take him with you.

  • When bar soap becomes small enough to fit into a toddler's mouth, it becomes a choking hazard.

  • Install safety latches on bathroom cabinets and drawers.

  • Ensure that the bathroom door doesn't lock. If privacy is required, install a flip lock at eye level to prevent people from entering.

                                                 
Family room

                         

  • Coffee tables should have rounded corners to avoid split temples and lips. If glass tabletops are used, the glass should be 3/4" thick or replace the glass with Plexiglass. A child who climbs on the edge of an unsecured table could suffer a serious injury.
     
  • Use DVD shields to prevent children from placing little fingers or unwanted items in the DVD.

  •  If you have a bar in the family room, lock away all alcohol.

  •  Remove small objects from lower shelves. These may pose a choking hazard.


                                        Stairways and banisters

  • Banister posts should be no more than four inches apart. Larger openings permit children to slip through or become lodged.
     
  • Do not place furniture near a balcony. A child could climb on the furniture and fall over the balcony.

  • Stairs: you will need safety gates at the top and bottom. Stairs are a real hazard once your child starts crawling. Stair gates are easy to put and they make your stairs safe from tumbles.
                                                      Fire

Take these steps to guard against a potential tragedy:
  • Install smoke/fire detectors.
     
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in the house

  • Devise at least two fire escape plans and practice them.

  • Place all lighters and matches in a locked drawer.


                                        Children’s safety seats

                       


  • Choose the correct child safety seat for your child's age and weight.
     
  • Install your child safety seat correctly. A seat that is not installed correctly will not offer your child the best protection in the event of a crash.

  • Always buckle your child into a child safety seat EVERYTIME your child rides in the car- no exceptions. The harness should be snug and the chest clip should be at the level of the child's armpits.

  • Infants should ride in a rear-facing seat until they are at least 20 pounds and one year- longer if possible.

  • If your child safety seat is in use and a crash occurs, retire it gratefully and purchase a new one. Damage to the seat may not be visible and can render the seat unsafe.

                                                  Toys

Everyone who buys toys should remember that playthings are safe only when they are chosen according to a child's age, interest and skill level.
  • Discard the plastic wrappings from the toys immediately before they become deadly playthings.

  •  Teach older children to keep toys designed for them away from younger children.

  • Keep toys and play equipment in good repair. Discard toys that can't be made safe.

  • Teach children to put toys away. Leaving playthings on sidewalks and stairs can cause falls.

  • Toys must be made of material that is non toxic and washable

  • The use of baby walkers is generally not recommended. They are banned in some countries. Walkers do not help babies learn to walk and can actually interfere with normal development. Babies have little control over the direction and speed of a baby walker and can easily overbalance.

                                          General safety tips:

  •  Put together a first-aid kit and consider taking a baby first-aid course.
     
  •  Pin up emergency telephone numbers next to your telephone.

  • Parents should ensure that any pet animal or bird in the family should be maintained in a clean and healthy condition.

 

 

 



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