baby proof

YOUR HOME BE­FORE SHE STARTS CRAWL­ING

Your Baby & Toddler - - Your baby files - BY CATH JENKIN

All too quickly, that cute lit­tle bun­dle you brought home grows into a bounc­ing baby, keen on ex­plor­ing the world around him. With new­found mo­bil­ity on their side, crawl­ing ba­bies en­joy the ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing able to

mo­tor along to where they’d like to be or get closer to some­thing they’d like to see. With that hair-rais­ing thought on your mind, it’s time to ex­plore good ways to babyproof your home.

YOUR EYES ARE YOUR BEST TOOLS

The very best and most im­por­tant tool you can use to en­sure your child’s safety can­not be bought in a store. It’s you and your ea­gle eyes. Al­ways ac­tively su­per­vise your child, even if he’s en­sconced in a playpen. If your child tries to grab some­thing that’s def­i­nitely not suit­able for him, re­move it from his grasp and of­fer him an ap­pro­pri­ate al­ter­na­tive. For ex­am­ple, if he tries to grab

the re­mote, take it away and hand him a small toy in­stead. Al­ways be con­sis­tent in do­ing this as your child will soon learn what he can and can’t play with.

GET ON DOWN TO BABY TOWN

The best way to as­cer­tain what kind of babyproof­ing you need to do in your home is to get down to your baby’s level. So lie on the floor and take a care­ful look around at what’s near­est to your baby at that level. If that in­cludes plug points, sharp edges, stairs or other po­ten­tially hazardous items, make a note of them and act on mak­ing them safe for your crawl­ing child.

PUT IT AWAY

Rather than spend­ing money on babyproof­ing prod­ucts, put your pre­cious items away. Store break­ables in high places and put pre­cious trin­kets into stor­age un­til your baby is older. Most im­por­tantly, make sure you keep all poi­sonous chem­i­cals and de­ter­gents in high placed cup­boards. Almost all of us use the cup­boards un­der the sink to keep our dish­wash­ing liq­uid and other house­hold de­ter­gents at close hand, so re­ar­range your

kitchen so that noth­ing but good old Tup­per­ware is within your baby’s reach.

DOOR, WIN­DOW & BLIND HOTSPOTS

If there is a room in your house that’s not suit­able for your baby, keep the door to it closed. With win­dows, es­pe­cially low-ly­ing or floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows, keep them closed and latched to avoid any ac­ci­dents. And en­sure that any cur­tain ties or blind ca­bles are hooked up high so that your baby will not play with, or be­come en­tan­gled in, them. Sim­i­larly im­por­tant, en­sure that you have hid­den all elec­tri­cal or equip­ment cords, as th­ese are sig­nif­i­cantly dan­ger­ous to crawl­ing ba­bies and could lead to en­tan­gle­ment or elec­tro­cu­tion if tam­pered with by lit­tle hands.

PRE­VENT KITCHEN AND BATH­ROOM CATAS­TRO­PHES Sta­tis­ti­cally, the most dan­ger­ous room in your home is your kitchen, as that’s where many house­hold ac­ci­dents oc­cur. If you feed your pet in the kitchen, it’s time to move their bowls out­side, or else your child may end up steal­ing Fido’s din­ner or mak­ing a splash in his wa­ter bowl.

AVOID THE STAIRS

If your home has stairs, it’s im­per­a­tive that you in­stall a safety gate at the top and bot­tom. That way, you can let your child safely ex­plore all lev­els of your house, with­out wor­ry­ing too much about them tak­ing a tum­ble.

FUR­NI­TURE IS OUR FRIEND

As chil­dren learn to pull them­selves up to a stand­ing po­si­tion, they will grab on to items of fur­ni­ture, whether it’s a ta­ble, book­case or couch. Make sure that your fur­ni­ture pro­vides your child with a se­cure lean­ing post, and does not top­ple over when leant on or grabbed.

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