|My baby is doing new and different things every day. It makes
it really tricky to keep him safe, because I don’t always
anticipate what he might get up to next. Can you give general
suggestion as to how I can make the house safe?
You really need to look at your house with new eyes. Starting
with seemingly innocuous items like pot plants. They will
probably have to be relocated for a period of time, because
not only are a surprising number of house plants deadly
poisonous, but also the soil can cause upsets when eaten!
The list of things to look out for is long. If you do not
live on the ground floor it is important to make sure that
windows are inaccessible or latched so they cannot open
fully, and that there is no furniture nearby for climbing
up. Check for anything dangling, such as curtain strings
or electrical wires, and install covers over electrical
sockets. Check your furniture and fitted units for loose
parts such as knobs, and make sure that drawers are secured.
Stairs are an obvious hazard and a gate both at the bottom
and the top is essential. But would you have thought of
making sure that baby cannot get his head stuck in the railings?
Furniture should be sturdy and without sharp corners and
loose glass covers. If you cannot store this type of furniture,
you need to cover those dangerous corners securely. Those
pretty table cloths and throws will have to be put away
for now – many babies have pulled furniture onto them
by grasping onto the table cloth. Any hot device such as
a fire place or radiator should be securely barricaded.
Make sure that books and ornaments are stored high up to
prevent baby pulling them onto himself and breaking them.
Cupboards and storage areas should all have baby safe latches
to stop baby from accessing them if you aren’t watching.
This is especially vital in any cupboard holding chemicals
or cleaning materials. By the same token, your hobby items
and the type of things that are stored in garages such as
tools, must be locked away.
Now that baby is mobile, the condition of the floors becomes
important. Loose carpet tiles or chipped tiles can be very
dangerous for a baby. Wood floors need to be inspected for
splinters. Loose rugs can cause accidents – put non-slip
pads underneath and make sure that they are not prone to
wrinkle. A carpet wrinkle is an ideal baby tripper! Never
have loose rugs at the top of the stairs.
The list goes on and on, but now that you have the idea,
you should go through your house with an eagle eye and try
and spot any danger zones before your baby does. It is an
ongoing task because baby’s skills and strength are
developing at a rate which means that you can never be complacent.
A task that he could not manage yesterday could be well
within his means today.