General Household Dangers
Having a baby is plenty scary itself, being responsible for another human being. You’ve also got lots of potentially dangerous things lying around the house. Think about your baby crawling across the floor. Anything your child can reach can be a potential threat. Keep cords and plastic out of the floor and out of reach. Cords could strangle your child. It is important to keep window blind cords out of reach completely. Sharp corners and steps are significantly dangerous. Some good tools to keep your children safe are child-proof cabinet and door clamps. These will keep your child from hurting themselves with doors, hinges, and anything within the cabinet. This is where you should keep other harmful items. You should use outlet covers all around the house to prevent any potential shock or accident. Secure as much furniture as possible to keep it from being knocked over. You may be able to bolt some heavy items to walls or floors. Keep things like lamps and televisions pushed out of reach to protect your child from pulling them down on themselves. You can buy bumpers to cover sharp corners of furniture. Be sure to keep all doors and drawers closed and, if possible, latched or locked shut. If you intend on using a gate to keep your child in a specific area, make sure to get a safe one that cannot be pulled or knocked out of place and has no sharp or hard places.
Babies tend to fall and any fall taken by a baby is very dangerous. It has been recorded that about eight children die every year from falling out of windows and 3,000 are injured. There are window guards that you may purchase to ensure your child’s safety. Screens will not prevent your child from falling out. You should remove all furniture from any windows. Always accompany your children on balconies or decks to keep them from the edge. Stairs are a very dangerous place for children as well. You should keep them blocked off. If you chose to use a gate at the top of the steps, you should use one bolted into the wall. If your child manages to knock a gate down and falls down the steps, it could be even more dangerous. Try to wipe out the high places available to your child. Beds are a risky place for your child. The bed should have safe guards on all sides to prevent falls. For older children, always help them up and down the steps. Keep the stairs clean and clear of toys. When your child is in a highchair, swing, or stroller, you should always ensure that they are well strapped in. Never put toys on top of furniture. Your child may attempt to climb on the furniture to get to the toy. Avoid letting your children play on concrete or asphalt, where they have a greater risk of falling and causing head trauma.
Fire and Burn Dangers
Something you should take precaution of within your household is hot places, such as the stove. Installing smoke alarms is a good defense for your child. Make sure no outlets are congested and follow all safety guidelines in reference to outlets. You should create barriers around hazardous areas, such as the stove or fireplace. Keep your water heater at a safe setting of about 120 degrees and always check the temperature of your child’s bath water. Evade using the microwave to heat up baby formula, because it is harder to control the temperature. You should never have or carry anything hot around your child. Keep hot food or pots out of reach and try to use only the back burners of the stove. When cooking in the oven, stay with your child or the oven to ensure your child does not open it. Do not allow your child to be around the stove at any time. You can invest in protective equipment to keep your child from turning the stove or oven on. Only allow your child to use the microwave when he or she is capable of understanding its dangers and operating it safely and correctly. Your child should be aware that they can be burned by the steam. Be sure to keep all matches, lighters, and any flammable items away from your children. Teach your children the dangers of fire and other flammable objects, such as fireworks, and do not allow your child to play with them.
Another dangerous place for your baby is a bath tub. One inch of water is enough to drown a baby. Therefore, you should keep watch of all water sources (bath tub, sink, toilets, etc.). You can buy locks for the toilet lid. You should check your drains regularly and use dome shaped drain covers. Always accompany your child in the bathroom. Never leave your baby alone in the bath or near any water. Immediately empty out the bath tub, any buckets, or pools after you are done using them. If you have a swimming pool, you should keep a tall, lockable gate around it and never leave your children in the pool unattended.
Many household items, such as cleaning products, chemicals, medicine, alcohol, or makeup can poison your child. Make sure to keep all medicine in its original child safe container. It is important to always follow directions very carefully when given to your child. Too much or too often of a medicine may harm your child. A lot of parents get their children to take medicine by calling it “candy.” While it may make your child eat the “candy” then, it will probably make you child want to eat it again (when they aren’t supposed to.) Keep all cleaning products and other dangerous products high and out of sight. Try to use child safe packaging for anything you wouldn’t want them to get into. You should install carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home and follow the directions on how to test it and make sure it continues to protect your family. Move your car outside before leaving it running and keep all heating appliances are well ventilated and in good shape. If you have a teenager, you should talk with them about drugs and inhalants that could harm them. Keep the poison control center number in sight and easily to get to.
Written by: Jessica Bates