When you give birth to your baby, maternal instincts kick in making you very protective. This instinct continues right through infancy and childhood. Some people will say even when a child grows up and leaves home that the protective instinct never goes away.
When you are at home, you may assume that your baby is in the safest place but did you know that a large number of childhood accidents actually happen in the home? Keeping your baby safe at home is extremely important, especially when they become mobile. Even before they start moving around the home, there are steps you can take to ensure the environment is safest for your baby:
- Don’t allow people to smoke in the same room as your baby
- Don’t leave your baby unsupervised with pets such as cats and dogs
- Ensure your baby sleeps safely in their crib. Feet to bottom of crib, no pillow until the age of one, firm mattress, not too many blankets and no toys etc in the crib with the baby
When your little one starts to crawl and walk, it really is time to completely baby roof the house. Most people will start by installing stair gates to avoid little legs going up or down stairs and even from wandering into other rooms where there is no supervision. Ensure doors are kept locked, especially those with low handles as toddlers will soon work out how to open them and escape! Windows should also be kept locked but ensure the key is put somewhere safe and easy for an adult to access in case of needing to open them in an emergency.
Moving babies and toddlers are curious creatures. When they see you going into drawers and cupboards, they will want to explore too. Ensure their safety by fitting cupboard and drawers catches to stop them touching any dangerous items. You may also want to get a refrigerator lock also.
Safety covers for plus sockets will prevent little fingers sticking objects into them although nowadays, most homes will have a safety mechanism that means a full electrical circuit cannot be made if an object it stuck into one pin on a socket.
Once your child starts to walk you should keep things back away from the edge of the counters and the table. Hot drinks, knives etc should definitely be kept away so that they are not reachable. Be mindful of leaving small objects laying around that might represent a choking hazard.
Finally one of the most deadly items in homes is blind cords. Many children have accidentally caught themselves in these and been severely injured or killed by strangulation. Ensure these are completely out of reach or are fitted with a safety device. If you look around your home whilst you are pregnant or when you have a newborn, you can make a list of all of the things that will need adjusting before your baby is mobile. This will give you plenty of time to make any changes necessary to keep your baby safe!
Got a toddler? read our article on preventing common accidents