Infant Articles

Babyproofing - 12 Tips To A Safer Baby


1. Busy Boxes, mirrors, or any type of crib attachment should be installed on the wall side of the crib.

Otherwise, the attachment can be used as a step to climb up and out of the crib. Make sure when you push down on crib bumper that it compresses so baby can't use it to climb out. If it does not compress, remove it from the crib. Always lower the side of the crib when placing or removing child from crib so they won't think they can get out when the side is up, therefore keeping them from climbing out of the crib. Make sure spaces between slats ore 2-3/8 inches or less. That is about the size of a soda can.


2. Separate plants and babies.

Some plants are poisonous, but even those that are not can get baby into trouble. Baby can pull leaves or stems off or get into the dirt and rocks and put them in their mouth and choke. Fake plants are just as hazardous. One small leaf can block the windpipe.


3. Toilet lids should be locked closed.

Babies love to play in their own private pool and are fascinated by the flushing water. They may throw toys or more precious items into the toilet and block up the pipes. They might even try to climb into the toilet to retrieve a toy resulting in drowning.


4. Plastic bags are very dangerous.

Dry cleaner bags, garbage bags, bread bags are all dangerous. They fit over the head resulting in suffocation, or a small piece can be torn off and lodged in baby's throat. Remove bags from dry cleaning before you bring it into the house.


5. Remove all soaps, razors and shampoos from around the edge of the bathtub.

As big bars of soap get smaller they can slip down baby's throat. Little gel balls look very tasty as well as clamshell and rosebud shaped soaps. Empty bathroom wastebasket every day. Babies love to put things in their mouths like q-tips and used tissues.


6. As with crib slats check the distance between railings on stairs and balconies.

They should also be spaced on 2-3/8 inches or less apart. The baby's head may not go through but their body can slip through the railings and the baby will choke. The baby may throw toys through the railing then try to reach through to retrieve it resulting in their body slipping through the rails. Also a child will use the steps on the outside of the railing as a place to climb up. A sheet of plexiglass attached to the railing will remedy these situations.


7. Place gates on doorways and other areas such as stairways to block access.

Stairways must be gated at top and bottom, baby can climb a few steps and then fall backwards. Gates must be installed by attaching to railings and or walls. Never use a pressure gate on a stairway. The gate can be pushed out and the baby will fall after it.


8. Install latches or locks on all drawers and cabinets containing items that might harm baby, including cutlery and trash.

Don't let baby play with Tupperware or pots in the kitchen because when they see them on top of the counter or stove they will pull them down on top of themselves. Also if baby is playing on the floor you risk tripping over the baby or the pots and pans. Most parents have realized it is easier to lock up all the cabinets and drawers below the countertop. Keep baby out of the kitchen when you are cooking. Remove knives from kitchen counters and turn all pot handles inward when using the stove.


9. Cover electrical outlets with self-closing outlet plates to prevent shock to baby.

Most children will actually get shocked while trying to plug the item back in. Self-closing safety plates will alleviate that problem. Never use plastic plugs to cover the outlets, they can be pulled out by baby or left on the floor for baby to choke on.


10. Baby will spend a lot of time in the crib.

Make sure the mattress is firm and fits snugly against the sides of the crib. Do not put soft, fluffy items like pillows, comforters or sheepskins under babies while they sleep.


These items increase the risk of death due to suffocation. Make sure the cords from drapes and window shades are out of the reach of baby to avoid strangulation. Remove hanging mobiles from crib before baby can reach them. Put mattress at it's lowest position when baby can pull itself up.


11. Be sure to turn your hot water heater down to 120 degrees to prevent scalding.

Always check baby's bathwater temperature. Never microwave baby's formula, it doesn't heat uniformly and can scald baby's mouth.


12. Never leave your baby unattended.

It only takes a second for an accident to happen. No matter how carefully you have tried to make the environment safe you need to be there to keep them out of danger. There is no substitute for supervision.


Source: Michael Kelley - Baby Safe, Home Babyproofing Services