Baby’s on the move? Run! No wait, better make sure it’s safe. Here’s a checklist for all you parents, grandparents, godparents, aunts, uncles and friends who have little ones moving about your home. Curiosity can be adorable, but did you know how much trouble a child’s sense of exploration can be? Unintentional child injury is actually the #1 cause of death of children between the ages of 1 and 4. I recently learned this very scary stat when I partnered with a professional childproofing service for our clients. I turned to the uber-knowledgeable folks at Safe Kids Worldwide to find out how we can change this terrifying fact and keep our little ones safe in our homes.
The good news is that 90% of those ER trips can be prevented, according to the safety experts at Safe Kids Worldwide. The other good news is that safety devices have come a long way in the past few years. There are more and more product choices for aesthetic-minded parents. Of course, safety comes first, but baby-proofing doesn’t have to look ugly or be a nuisance to use!
The first step to a safe home, say the experts at Safe Kids, is to look at the world through your baby’s eyes. See what looks interesting and what can be reached. And I mean it literally — get down on your hands and knees and check for small things your baby can choke on like coins and small toy parts. You will be amazed at what you discover! One of my nephew’s favorite pastimes was to crawl under the sofa and put odds and ends that were tucked behind the sofa leg, out of vacuum reach, into his mouth. Oh joy! Once, he found a petrified mini Oreo hung on a Christmas ornament hanger — just what the baby needs to find, Oreo toddler/fish bait with hook and all! Yikes! I wouldn’t have found that if I hadn’t laid on my stomach and peered under the sofa.
Once you have identified and removed all of the easily reachable dangers, follow these critical steps fr