Babies and toddlers are a bit like puppies. They're curious. They don't have complete control of their bodies when they're still very young, and once they're mobile, look out! They put things into their mouths, and explore everything they can get their hands on. As a new parent, it's your job to minimize the risks around your home, so that your baby can play and explore without getting hurt... and without ruining the house.
The first step in childproofing is to make a checklist of the rooms in your home, garage, and outdoor living spaces, to be sure that every area gets covered. Then, follow these ten steps for maximum safety:
- Get low: A great way to begin the process of baby-proofing each room is by getting on the floor to experience the room from what will be your baby's vantage point. It will help you to find not just the obvious hazards, but others you may have overlooked.
- Lock cabinets and drawers: Purchase safety locks to secure any drawers or cabinets within your baby's reach.
- Cover and secure electronics: Make your electronics as safe as possible by putting cords out of reach and covering up anything that isn't in use. Buy safety covers for outlets, these are available for both outlets that are in use (to keep baby from pulling out the cords), and those that aren't.
- Plants: If you have houseplants, do some research to find out if any of them are toxic when ingested. Keep those plants up high, and rearrange the rest so your baby won't be tempted to pull them down.
- Heavy items: Look around for light or top heavy furniture that a baby could easily topple, and secure those pieces to the wall if possible.
- Stairs and balconies: Stairwells can be especially dangerous for toddlers who are just starting to cruise around. Use sturdy gates at both the top and bottom of the stairs to keep the baby away. If you have guardrails that a baby's head could get stuck in, you can also purchase a safety net to cover them up, and prevent children from sticking their head through.
- Invest in baby gates: An easy way to keep a baby from getting into trouble is just to keep them out of a particular area. Have several baby gates on hand to keep your child close and visible, no matter where you are in the house.
- Supervise: Don't assume that just because you've done the preliminary work you can let your baby roam free. Always keep a close eye on your baby.
- Learn first aid: Taking an infant and child first aid course will give you invaluable skills and peace of mind for when you bring your new family member home.
- Don't forget outdoor spaces: When baby proofing your home, don't forget the deck, backyard, shed, garage, pool or hot tub, and other areas outside the main house. These places can be especially dangerous and should be both child-proofed and secured from easy access wherever possible.
For any of your insurance questions, call or contact Executive Insurance & Financial Services today.