Keeping your baby safe before they are on the move includes child proofing your home. To prevent accidents you will need to make some changes to your home. Also on children’s toys and equipment that you purchase make sure they display the safety symbols.
Once a baby is on the move many new things are now in baby’s reach, as soon baby will be pulling themselves up. A crawling baby can move around very quickly, it’s a good idea to get down to their level and see what things you may have missed for child proofing. Many baby safety aspects are things to be aware of before they arrive. This is just a guide for parents, making you aware of the changes you can make to your home.
- Always check how much water you put in the bath, it should be just enough to cover your baby’s legs, but always remember never leave baby unattended.
- Always check the temperature of the bath water, it needs to be warm not hot! Check either with a bath thermometer (35 to 37 degrees C) or check with your wrist.
- Always run cold water first, then add the hot, easier to get the right temperature.
- Always put a non slip bath mat in the bath or use a baby bath.
- Never leave Baby Unsupervised even for a few seconds!
Electric cables and appliances:
- Always use cable tidy covers and hide away as much as possible.
- Always unplug electrical appliances when not in use and ensure they are out of baby’s reach.
- Always install a fire guard around any place a fire may be burning e.g a fireplace, an electric or gas fire.
- Always keep fireplace tools or logs out of reach.
- Always change a baby’s nappy on the floor on their changing mat to avoid a fall, babies can wriggle or move suddenly and could fall off a bed etc easily. If you have a changing table again never even for a few seconds leave baby unattended.
- Always keep baby’s toiletries out of reach, place on a high shelf or a lockable cupboard
- Toddlers love to put toys or hands into a toilet, so either install a toilet seat lock or keep the toilet door closed.
- Never leave chemicals lying around e.g Bleach or toilet cleaners.
- Always make sure your baby is out of reach of hot drinks, even a cup of tea that’s been standing for a while can cause a burn.
- Never carry your baby and hot food or drink at the same time.
- Always ensure hot drinks and hot food is away from the edges of tables or works surfaces
- Never hold your baby while cooking at a stove.
- Always ensure pan handles are turned toward the back of the stove while cooking. Fit an oven guard if your oven door is at their level, many integrated ovens are up high which will be out of their reach.
- Fit an oven guard if your oven door is at their level, many integrated ovens are up high which will be out of their reach.
- Always make sure baby is strapped into the car seat and it is fitted correctly in your car, if possible in the middle of the back seat.
- Government recommends to keep baby in a rear facing position in the back of the car until they are at least a year old.
Cots and bedding:
- Do not leave toys in the baby’s crib when they are sleeping
- Avoid soft fluffy bedding such as pillows, comforters or sheepskins under your sleeping baby.
- Once baby is able to pull themselves up, put the mattress in the lowest position.
- Do not hang toys or mobiles that could be a hazard on the cot.
- Experts recommend you put your baby to sleep on their backs, and not in your bed.
- Ensure all doors have doorstops or protectors fitted, this will include kitchen and bathroom cupboard doors they will need door catches fitted to prevent little ones opening the cupboard doors.
- Always install stair gates to block stairways, top and bottom. You can also use stair gates to block rooms off.
- Always make sure you never leave baby alone on beds or sofas, on a changing table or a bouncy chair or any other spot they could fall from.
- In supermarket trolleys use belts provided or take your own, to strap baby in safely.
- Always check edges and sharp corners, fit with protectors if you are concerned, as once baby starts walking they bump into everything at their level.
- Always make sure free standing furniture is safe and won’t topple over.
- Always check televisions are safely secured on low level stands and pushed back as far as possible.
- Always check lamps that are on tables, if they can be reached then remove to somewhere safer.
- Never leave baby unattended in a high chair. Use safety straps as as they grow they will start to climb out of the chair. They can also potentially now reach other items so make sure they are placed out of baby’s reach. Position the high chair somewhere you deem as safe.
- Ensure your home is fitted with smoke detectors and check the batteries once a month.
- Knives, breakables, heavy based saucepans.
- Rubbish bins should have lids.
- Check radiators temperature, you can always block these off with furniture or covers, babies can get burns from these if too hot.
- Watch small fingers in DVD players.
- Unattended water, don’t leave a baby even for a moment in or near a pool or any other water. Ponds or pools need to be fenced off.
- Window blinds cords, install safety fitting.
- Keep baby and toddler away from open windows.
Many of these suggestions will seem obvious to parents, it is good to be aware of possible dangers and make our homes as childproof as possible, babies and toddlers are curious and will touch and feel many items that look exciting to them.
I would recommend parents attend a basic first aid workshop with babies in mind, many local children’s centres will run these.