Baby proofing guide

Ambrose and Rowan begin to prod the weaknesses of the baby gate.

The Summer issue of Mums and Tots magazine is now in the shops for only €3. Here is one of my articles inside this great issue! 🙂

 

The majority of childhood accidents in Ireland take place within the home. In Ireland, deaths caused by accidents account for more deaths in the under 1s than from illnesses such as leukaemia and meningitis combined.
Different measures will be required at the different stages of development. Initially, the essential measures should ideally be taken before your child begins to crawl. Then, their new-found mobility and natural curiosity will really put your baby proofing to the test. As they begin to walk and climb, new risks will present themselves at higher levels and new measures will need to be implemented. Careful observation of your child will help to alert you to new risks and new measures will need to be implemented.

Essentials items

  • Stair gate, especially at the bottom of the stairs.
  • Fire guard. This should be securely fixed to the wall, rather than a stand alone guard.
  • Window latches and guards to prevent window being opened wide enough to allow child to escape.
  • Curtain cord safety device to prevent strangulation, or replace cords with wands if they are not 1.6 m above the ground.
  • Locked medicine box, well out of reach.
  • Latches. Oven latch, boiler latch (if indoors), adhesive toilet latch, kitchen cabinet latches, especially for those containing bleach, detergents and dishwasher tablets.
  • Smoke alarm.
  • Carbon monoxide alarm.
  • Fire extinguisher.

Tips and general advice

Baby walkers may give your child a sense of freedom and free you up to attend to chores, but these are discouraged by paediatricians and accident and emergency staff as they have witnessed so many injuries caused by accidents in baby walkers. In Canada, the sale or import of baby walkers is banned completely and the American Academy of paediatrics have strengthened their position and called for a complete ban also.

Bathroom

Never leave a baby or child unattended in the bath, even if they are with an older sibling. Only an inch of water is enough for a child to drown. When filling the bath, always add the cold water first in case you drop the baby into the water. Use a rubber mat in the bath to help prevent slips and falls. Bath taps can be covered with rubber covers, again to prevent bangs and bumps. When you’re finished, always empty the bath right away, to prevent toddlers or older children from climbing back in. Bath plugs can be hidden to prevent them from running their own baths while your back is turned.

Kitchen

Burns are the number one accident for children in the home, so extra precaution should be taken in the kitchen. When cooking, try to use the inner rings of the hob which are closest to the wall, rather than the outer rings, and always point pot handles inwards, making it more difficult for young children to reach. Never leave pots unattended. Cabinet latches are a great deterrent however some toddlers can figure out how to open them quite easily. With this in mind, consider changing to less toxic cleaning products, such as non-chlorine bleach and vinegar. Sharp knives, cork screws, skewers, peelers and graters should be placed well out of reach.

Bedroom

In the child’s bedroom make sure their cot is not placed next to a window or curtain cords or in front of a radiator or heater. Bedding should be kept to a minimum. A cot shouldn’t contain lots of cuddly toys, extra blankets or bumper pads, as cute as they look they can cause accidental death or injury through suffocation or strangulation.
When placing a baby in their cot, always place them on their back and with their feet to the bottom of the cot and tuck (cellular) blankets in firmly in at the bottom. This will prevent them from wriggling down under the covers and avoid suffocation and reduce the chances of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). You can also use sleeping bags instead of blankets. When purchasing make sure the neck is not wide enough for the child’s head to fit through.

 

USEFUL RESOURCES:

Child Accident Prevention Trust
http://www.capt.org.uk
For curtain cord safety devices
http://www.childsafety.ie
For more information on Sudden Infant death syndrome
http://www.sidsireland.ie
For advice on poisoning
http://www.poisons.ie at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin. Call (01) 809 2166

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/patrickdanger/4920093441/”>Patrick Danger</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

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18 replies

  1. Reblogged this on PlayPlay! Funny Play! and commented:
    following this week’s thought…
    ____________________
    complementando o pensamento dessa semana… (prometo que traduzo hoje ainda durante a soneca da tarde)

  2. Very important… Never leave your child alone in the bathroom. My child schooled me on this by putting have the bathroom in the toilet. Including a towel. 5 minutes…I swear, it was five minutes. Luckily he didn’t decide to take a swim. Great advice for parents with wee ones 🙂

  3. They turn your life upside down, those little people, don’t they? Physically they take up so little space but yet they occupy every corner!

  4. That was an excellent article you wrote. One thing that happened to my little grandson with my babysitting. I heard him crying but he was just by me. Now no where in sight, I headed toward the living room, when the sound came from the basement. I ran down and he had fallen in the sump hole. It is made of cement and had about waist deep water for him, maybe 12 inches. Had he hit his head, he could have been knocked out and drowned. I couldn’t believe it. I could have lost him in just a couple of minutes.

    • Oh lord, that’s terrible. You can never take your eyes off them can you? Thank goodness you found him so quickly.
      I remember my little boy got his leg stick in a pipe leading do our septic tank at the bottom of out garden. Just as well his little legs are so skinny..his shoe got wedged. I pushed my arm down and popped his shoe off and it landed plop in the septic tank below. He was pannicking but at least no harm was done. Thanks Drew. Hope you guys are getting through everything that’s been thrown at you. X

  5. These are all such good things to follow! It is so scary being a parent of little ones, and we need to take every measure possible to ensure their safety!

    • Thank you Sasha :o) I was also a little worried writing this. I tried to include absolutely everything I could think of, just in case there are people who only read this and nothing else regarding baby proofing.

  6. I read a totally heart breaking blog from a mother whose child died after becoming entangled in the cord on a blind. Really important tips. So important.

    • Oh no that’s just awful. The poor woman..and the poor child. I think there were about 3 accidents in Ireland last year, so it’s still happening even though it’s been well publicised. I think there are dangers for little people everywhere and no matter how much baby proofing you do, you just can’t take your eyes off them.

  7. Very clearly laid out and helpful. I still need to buy some cabinet latches for the kitchen. Right now we’ve got the babies in the living room, which is gated in and baby proofed, and if they leave that area they have to be supervised. Maybe not ideal, but it’s working for now.

Penny for your thoughts

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