Childproofing the bedrooms and living areas
You want your child’s bedroom to be a safe place for your child to sleep and the living area of your home where you will spend a great deal of time should be as hazard free as possible. Removing hazards will allow your child to explore freely and safely. Vacuum your home often because I promise, that little pincer grasp develops quickly and your child will find any piece of dirt, lint, pill, money or other small item before you know it! Remember, check these rooms out on your child’s level…get on those hands and knees and take a look around!
- Place your child’s crib or bed away from all windows, drape and blind cords and electrical cords. These cords can be strangulation hazards.
- Make sure that a crib meets all national safety standards.
- Be sure that the crib mattress and sheets fit snugly.
- Do not use any comforters, bumper pads, pillows, stuffed animals, or fluffy mattress covers for any child one year or younger.
- Remove any mobile once your child can sit up or reach it.
- If your child is 35 inches tall or has attempted to climb out of his or her crib, then it is time to move to a “bid kid bed”.
- Bolt all heavy furniture to the wall.
- Check to be sure all toys in the room are age appropriate. Be sure there are no choking hazards.
- Be sure there is a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector near the bedroom.
- Be sure to have a fire escape ladder in each bedroom on the 2nd floor.
- Install window guards if the room is on the second level.
- Make sure there is no furniture near the window that a child could climb up on to reach the window.
- Your child should sleep in flame resistant pajamas, or tight fitting cotton pajamas according to the consumer product safety commission. Avoid gowns or large t-shirts once your child is mobile.
- Toy chests should not have a lid or have a spring loaded lid support. A toy box should have air holes in case a child would get trapped inside.
- Do not ever turn the door knob around and lock your child in his or her room. If you are concerned about your child “escaping” then gate the room.
- Keep baby lotions and oils out of reach. Some baby products like lotions and baby oils contain liquid hydrocarbons. These can cause serious lung damage if a child aspirates them. These should be kept out of your child’s reach, never let a child play with these containers while getting a diaper change.
Family room and living room:
- Install table and edge guards on sharp corners of furniture.
- Use cord shorteners for lamps or hide cords behind heavy furniture.
- Place the television on a low, stable piece of furniture as close to the wall as possible. This will help prevent the television from being pulled over on your child.
- Bolt tall furniture to the walls. Approximately 5000 children a year are injured and 6 children a year die from furniture that is pulled over on them. Tall pieces and large screen TVs should be bolted to the wall. There are kits you can buy to do this.
- Check to be sure that the house plants are safe.
- Install fireplace hearth guards if there is a raised fireplace hearth. Remove matches, lighters, and fireplace tools.
- Install fireplace gas starter covers.
- Install latches at the top of doors to the basement or other doors you do not want your child to open.
- Remove as many “no’s” from the room as possible. Knick Knacks, breakable items, or anything that is not kid friendly is best put away for another day!
- Your purse or a visitor’s purse are full of dangers. There are medications, loose change, pens and pen caps, paper clips, perfume, nail files, makeup and many other dangerous items in purses. Keep your purse and purses of visitors out of reach!
Get those bedrooms and living areas safe for your child. Moving forward tomorrow, we will talk about pets, your garage and your first aid kit at home!
Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.