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Baby Safety Checklist - Protecting Your Baby
by Alli Ross
When bringing home your new baby, there are so many things to do in order to get ready. Making your home a safe haven for your new little one is one of the most important things you will do to get ready. Each room contains its own set of dangers. Below is a baby safety checklist to ensure that every room in your house is baby friendly.
General Safety Tips:
- Place child-resistant covers on all electrical outlets.
- Install safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs.
- Don't use baby walkers because they have been known to have caused serious injuries to babies. Use stationary exercisers instead.
- Keep all dangerous chemicals out of the reach of children.
- Shorten curtain and blind cords.
- Install smoke detectors on each floor of your home, especially near sleeping areas. * Be sure to change the batteries each year.
- Keep all small objects away from young children. (This includes tiny toys and balloons.)
- Use corner bumpers on furniture and fireplace-hearth edges.
- Know the names of all plants in case a child eats one of them.
- Be sure that furnaces, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, space heaters, and all gas appliances are vented properly.
- Place screened barriers around fireplaces, radiators, and portable space heaters.
- Keep firearms and ammunition safely locked away.
- Secure unsteady furnishings.
- Check your house for lead and asbestos. If you detect either of these substances, contact a professional. Any house built before 1978 is at risk for lead paint.
Protect your kids rooms:
- Ensure that your crib meets national safety standards.
- Place guards on windows and stops on all doors.
- Make sure your baby's crib is sturdy and has no loose or missing hardware.
- Make sure that the mattress fits snugly.
- Be sure the crib sheet fits snugly.
- Never put stuffed animals or heavy blankets in the crib with your infant.
- Never leave your baby unattended on the changing table.
- Remove mobiles and other hanging toys from the crib as soon as your child can reach up and touch them.
- Place infants under one year of age on their backs to sleep. Mattress should be firm and flat with no soft bedding underneath. * Following this advice will reduce the risk of suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Place night-lights at least three feet away from the crib, bedding, and draperies to prevent fires.
- Check age labels for appropriate toys
Keep the bathroom safe:
- Put a lock on the medicine cabinet.
- Lower the household water temperature. (It should be set at 120 degrees F or below to avoid burning your baby)
- Always test the water first before bathing a child.
- Never leave your child alone in the bathtub or near any water.
- Secure toilet lids. Many young children are fascinated by putting objects inside.
- Make sure that bathtubs and showers aren't slippery.
- Install ground-fault circuit interrupters on outlets near sings and bathtubs
For the Kitchen:
- Keep all knives, cleaning supplies, and plastic bags out of children's reach.
- If stove knobs are easily accessible to children, use protective covers to prevent kids from turning them.
- Never leave your baby alone in a highchair. Always use all safety straps.
- Replace any frayed cords and wires.
- Keep chairs and step stools away from counters and the stove.
- Remove all household cleaners from the bottom cabinets or put them in a cabinet that is out of your baby's reach
In the Yard:
- Store tools, garden, lawn-equipment, and supplies in a locked closet or shed.
- Don't use a power mower when young children are around.
- Don't allow children to play on a treated lawn for at least 48 hours following an application of a fertilizer or pesticide.
- Know the types of trees and plant life on the property in case children ingest berries, leaves, or other plant life.
- If you have a swimming pool, install a fence that separates the house from the pool. ( Make sure that the gate is childproof)