More than 40 children visit the emergency room each day as a result of furniture tip-over accidents, according to the Child Injury Prevention Alliance. The CDC lists unintentional injury as the leading cause of death in children ages one to four. These statistics should frighten every new parent, especially when considering the task of babyproofing their home. The good news is many of these unintentional injuries are avoidable with proper protections in place. You simply need to know where to look for hidden hazards in your home.
Watch the Mini-blinds
Those dangling cords on your mini-blinds look like tantalizing toys to a toddler, yet they are quite dangerous. The Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that one child dies every month because they strangle in a window covering cord. Eliminate blinds with cords by getting vertical or cellular shades.
Stay away from poisonous house plants if you have a baby! Image by Jo Jakeman via Flickr.
Houseplants clear the air and make your house feel more homey, but many houseplants are hazardous. The New York Botanical Garden warns that poinsettias, philodendrons, dumbcane, some cacti and even various plants in the tomato family are all hazardous if ingested. Because leaves drop, and your baby will try to put those leaves in his mouth, you should choose other, safe plants instead.
Tuck Away Electrical Cords
Secure electrical cords or tuck them out of sight behind furniture whenever possible. When this isn’t possible, wrap hanging cords and secure them with zip ties or purchase wire hiding or shortening products that keep them secured to the floor or wall.
A screen on an open window is not strong enough to hold your baby if he leans onto it. For windows that open from the top to bottom, open the top half instead of the bottom to keep your baby inside. Move furniture away from windows so a toddler won’t climb on it to access the opening. For windows that open from the sides, add safety guards to keep baby from escaping. Use locks on all windows to keep your child from opening them when you aren’t aware. On second floor windows, install guards that will keep baby from falling.
Secure the Trash Can
A bin filled with no-nos is tantalizing to your toddler, so your trash can represents a surprising hazard. Many items in the garbage can present poison or choking hazards, so get a heavy lid, put the trash can outside or store it in the pantry or a locked cabinet. If you need to throw away dangerous items, like toxic chemicals, take them straight to the outside bin.
Avoid Water Hazards
The CDC reports drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death in children, second only to car accidents. You’d never let your baby play around a pool or lake, but what about in your bathroom? It only takes an inch of water for a baby to drown. Keep all water, including the tantalizing toilet, inaccessible. Close bathroom doors, drain tubs after baths and avoid leaving standing water where your baby could find it.
Andrea Simmons Andrea left a career in event planning when her twin boys made their debut. They’re off to kindergarten, and she’s blogging about parenting and relationships.