There are many different attitudes, styles, and opinions when it comes to parenting, but there is one thing that is universally important – your child’s safety. And for babies and toddlers, accidents are imminent. They’re explorers, and they’re learning by touching, tasting, and taking risks. For a baby or toddler, this is perfectly normal and healthy behavior. It’s how they learn about the world. But it also means they naturally put themselves at risk every chance they get. Our jobs as parents is to make sure their exploration happens in a safe environment. We all do our best to make our homes as safe as possible, but sometimes we miss a few steps. Today, we’re sharing a few baby safety measures most parents overlook.
Dressers, entertainment centers, and bookshelves can tip over pretty easily – especially if they’re top heavy. Your dresser may seem far too sturdy and heavy for your baby to tip over, but what if the top drawer slides open while your child is using it to pull herself up? The solution to this is to use drawer latches and some type of furniture anchor that attaches it to the wall.
Flat Screen TVs
These TVs are getting bigger all the time and are often only resting on small stands. Attaching them to the wall is far safer.
You might love a really hot shower, but you should turn the temperature down on your water heater to keep your kids safe. According to The Burn Foundation, 17% of all childhood scalding hospitalizations are caused by hot tap water. Surprisingly, they also point out that liquids cause more burns than flames. Your hot water should not exceed 120 degrees (the low setting on your water heater is usually this temperature). Run hot water over a meat, candy, or water thermometer to check the temp and adjust the water heater as needed.
We’ve all heard countless reminders about hanging cords from blinds, curtains, and shutters, but these aren’t the only cords in the home anymore. They’re everywhere. We plug in, charge, and network every gadget we have, which means that kids are now growing up in a totally different home than a baby ten years ago. Babies don’t know that they shouldn’t go under your desk and play with every wire down there. If you’re charging your phone and the wire is dangling off the counter, what else will fall if your toddler tugs on it? Being mindful of all that’s plugged in and keeping as much of it as hidden as possible is the safest route.
Keep the crib simple. According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commision “bare is best.” Bumpers can help an older child climb and fall out of the crib. Younger babies have the chance of getting tangled up in them and suffocating. Getting an older crib can be a bargain, but make sure the slats aren’t more than two ⅜ inches apart. Regularly check that all the screws and joints are tight and functioning correctly.
Only use gates permanently screwed into the wall or doorway. Toddlers can push through the pressure mounted ones and end up in a dangerous situation. Kids love rocking back and forth, pulling on, and trying to climb things. Over time that can wear down what seemed like an indestructible gate, so check them regularly.
Protecting our children from harm is as innate as breathing. But we can only address what we’re aware of. Hopefully, you’re more aware after reading these tips. Learn more by taking the JPMA Hidden Hazards quiz.