Babies and toddlers are very curious, and if you are working as a nanny or governess you need to have eyes in the back of your head! Once kids learn how to crawl and walk, they can quickly end up in dangerous situations. This is why as a parent, nanny, governess or governor working with very young children, it is crucial to babyproof every room in the house.
Babyproofing doesn’t necessarily require the latest safety product on the market. One common misconception parents and caregivers have about babyproofing is that it only applies to things that pose a risk to the young children themselves. It is also critical to check for anything that might harm anyone holding the baby, such as slippery floors.
Parents, nannies and childcare professionals.... read on!
How do you start babyproofing a room?
As an adult, we see things from a different perspective. But babyproofing requires us to see things the way a baby or toddler would see them. Getting on your hands and knees would give you a closer view of what might attract the attention of young children.
Here are the things you should look out for:
Small objects that babies or toddlers could swallow or choke on
Cords that could easily entangle children
Heavy items that babies and toddlers could pull down or climb on to, including flat-screen televisions and cabinets
Sharp items children can grab
Poisonous or toxic materials such as bleach and liquid detergents
With that said, here’s how you can effectively babyproof every room in the house and keep young children out of harm’s way.
Bedroom / Nursery
Sudden infant death syndrome is the leading cause of death among children between the ages of one month and one-year-old. To prevent SIDS, it is vital to consider the sleeping arrangement. The safest way to avoid an accident would be to have infants sleep on their backs in a bare crib.
Make sure the crib is placed away from windows, blinds, or anything that has cords. It should also have fitted sheets and be empty of pillows, blankets, bumpers, or soft toys.
Place baby wipes and other supplies out of your child’s reach. Experts also recommend placing a thick rug lined with a non-skid rug liner below the changing table. Additionally, make sure the changing table and other furniture, including dressers and bookshelves, are secured to the wall.
If the nursery or bedroom is located on a higher floor, putting window guards can prevent a child from falling through a screen.
Anchor the TV to the wall and hide electrical cords. Move tall lamps behind furniture to prevent them from falling on the child.
Purchase outlet covers to put over electrical outlets. While you can use the kind that plugs in, these can quickly become a choking hazard. It is advisable to look for a socket plug that adults can slide back and forth.
Use window screens that do not have cords. If you prefer to use those with cords, make sure to tie them up so young children wouldn’t be able to reach them.
Install fireplace screens around hearths to prevent babies and toddlers from suffering burns.
Place baby gates at the top and bottom of stairs. The barrier at the top prevents young children from falling down the steps. The gate at the bottom keeps them from climbing up the stairs unattended.
Place locks on the covers of garbage cans.
Install knob covers and a lock on your ovens and stoves. It would also be safer to sue the back burners to prevent burns.
Unplug small appliances such as water heaters, microwaves, and coffee makers when not in use.
Keep sharp objects out of reach. Dishware and glasses should also be kept out of reach.
Avoid using tablecloths.
If you plan to hook a high chair to your kitchen table, ensure that the table is strong and sturdy enough to support the weight.
Keep medicine and other toiletries out of a child’s reach. If the drug is stored in a cabinet, ensure it is secured to the wall.
Keep poisonous and toxic materials like cleaning and laundry products in a secure cabinet, preferably one with a lock.
Install a hook-and-eye lock on the outside of the bathroom door to make sure young children don’t find their way into the bathroom unsupervised.
Keep the toilet lid down. Installing a toilet lock will also prevent babies from lifting the lid.
Don’t keep anything plugged in near sinks or bathtubs. This helps to avoid risk of electrocution.
Place a nonslip mat in the bathtub and on the floor outside the tub or shower. Purchase a soft plastic or rubber guard for the tub spout.
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