Friday 28 April 2023

A New Parents Guide to Safety Proofing Your Home

 **Collaborative Post**

AD: You may have lived in your home for a few months or a few years but there is nothing like bringing home your precious new baby to make you realise quite how many day-to-day dangers there are within it that you never even knew existed before. Whilst newborn babies might sleep away most of the day, as soon as babies are able to move around and get mobile, normal, everyday objects suddenly become potential dangers or hazards which is why it is so important to safety-proof your home before the baby arrives. 

Not sure where to start? This post will hopefully help as we run through some of the things you can do to safety-proof your home and remove any potential dangers or hazards, keeping reading below to find out more. 

Blinds, Curtains, and Windows

You may be wondering what is so hazardous about blinds and curtains but its actually the mechanisms that make them work that can be the dangerous part. Blinds especially usually have pull cords that enable you to open and close or move the blinds up and down, but this loop of cord can quickly become dangerous to a baby or child if it loops around their neck! Curtains hooks that fasten back curtains when open can also pose a similar threat too. However, this doesn't mean you can't have any coverings for your window it just means considering more child-friendly window covering ideas such as shutters or blinds that use a pole to open and close rather than a looped cord. 

It is also worth considering how accessible your windows are too, if you have a low window ledge or a table or piece of furniture positioned in front of a window sill, could your child access the window? If so firstly try to eliminate the access but if this isn't possible it is definitely worth investing in some child locks for your windows to stop them from being able to be opened fully. 

Trip Hazards and Personal Items

We probably don't even see them in our own home but to a small child, many things become a trip hazard! A rug that doesn't quite lay flat can easily be tripped on my little feet (you can buy grippy pads to stick down the corners of things like rugs to avoid this). But kids like to run around so they need space and things that are in their way such as coffee tables, ornaments, etc all become a trip hazard and a danger to them hurting themselves when they do trip too! 

When your child first starts walking just know they will want to explore everything so remember to close off anywhere not appropriate without help such as the stairs with stair gates etc and try to give them clear open spaces to walk around in. It is also worth noting that if you have any small personal possessions laying around your home, once the baby starts walking, they will all be fair game if they are in reach! It is best to move anything that could be broken, could be a choking hazard or that could be dangerous if put into the mouth such as air fresheners, keep these up high and out of the way. 
Sharp Corners

Doors.... ALL the Doors 

I bet you never realised how many doors you had in your home until baby came home, started crawling  and the potential to trap their fingers or pull everything out happened. I am not just talking about doors to each room either, I am talking about the doors on your cupboards, kitchen cupboards and drawers, and even the bathroom cabinet. They all have doors that babies seem intent on opening, exploring, and causing a hazard with. If you have doors that slam or could close on babies' fingers consider a door wedge to hold the door open or try adding a pool noodle or other foam edge alongside the outer edge meaning it can't slam on little fingers. 

When it comes to cupboards, having a few "safe cupboards" that the baby can explore is fine. But any that contain anything breakable or hazardous such as cleaning products, washing tabs or chemicals, etc need to be locked up (or the contents moved completely out of reach). 

Keeping Things Out of Reach 

As I briefly mentioned above, babies and toddlers will get into anything they can and so if you want to keep things safe or want to keep dangerous things away from baby, out of reach is the only real way. You may have loved having little trinkets, picture frames, and vases full of beautiful flowers laying around before the baby came, but these are now all hazards and play items for a crawling, discovering baby. 

Try to imagine yourself on their level, anything they can reach is fair game (and that includes climbing to get to things). So anything hazardous (cleaning supplies, chemicals, washing products, medication, etc) should all be kept well away, locked away if possible. Other items such as trinkets and personal decorations should be considered too, if the baby got them, are they a choking hazard? If so move them. If not, are they breakable, etc?  

Keep Babies Cot Clear and Simply

When you first start shopping for a baby it can be so tempting to buy all the cute blankets, trinkets, teddies, and accessories for their room and cot. But the fact is, whilst it may look boring, keeping your babies cot clear of anything other than a blanket, is the safest way for them to sleep! Things like cot bumpers, teddies, and other accessories can all pose a threat to choking or suffocation to the baby so don't be tempted! 

Plus Sockets and Electricals 

Babies are inquisitive and if there is something they can explore, prod something into or pull apart they likely will, this obviously isn't a good mix when it comes to things like plug sockets and electrical cables though! Plug sockets are often found at a low level meaning they are easily reachable to baby so to stop them from poking their fingers or other objects into them ensure any reachable sockets have covers over. 

The same goes for wires and cables, if baby can get to them, they might think they are toys and pull on them, this is dangerous for a number of reasons. One being that they are often live electrical cables that could cause a shock, two because the cables could become wrapped around baby and three because often electrical cables are attached to heavy items such as a TV which could then fall on baby. To ensure this doesn't happen make sure all wires are carefully hidden or concealed, if you have multiple wires you can by tubing which allows you to hold multiple cables together making them easier to hide away too.

There is so much to consider when you have a baby, hopefully these tips have made one job a little easier for you. If you are reading this and have any further tips for new parents please do let me know in the comments below. 


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