While most parents are paranoid about their children’s safety when it comes to events like violence, abduction, road accidents, many tend to overlook the biggest threat to children’s safety which lies in their home. Studies conducted on this topic have revealed that children aged between 1 to 4 are more likely to be harmed by drowning, fire, poison, falls as compared to the harm of a stranger. It is estimated that over 5 lakh children in India get either injured or killed in their home from accidents that are uncalled for. This is the reason why it is essential to baby proof the house.
There are a lot of electronic gadgets available that can help to childproof the home. If budget permits, the best way to do this is to hire a professional baby proof expert. However, at the end of the day, it should be kept in mind that electronic gadgets are no substitute for the eyes and ear of the nanny and the guardian.
Keep a close watch on the territory
The best way to figure out a baby’s reach is to get down on the hands and the knees and get a bird’s eye view of drawers, cupboards, tables that are accessible to the baby. It must be ensured that open drawers, pointed objects from different furniture etc, is locked or removed. As the baby grows up a little and starts walking, this exercise needs to be re-evaluated again. Potential poison material such as medicines, cleaning products etc, should be out of the reach of the baby. Potential choking materials such as coins, paper clips, marbles, and beads should be carefully tugged away from the reach of the baby to avoid any harm.
Protection of outlets
Protecting electrical outlets makes a lot of sense. The portable, plug-in chips are easily removable and can end up in the baby’s throat. The best way to avoid any mishap is to cover the electrical outlets with a safety latch. In case there is an extension cord, it is wise to cover the exposed outlets with duct tape.
Watch out for the furniture
It is estimated that over 50 thousand children that are admitted to emergency wards are related to accidents caused due to moveable furniture, appliances tipping over the head of the baby, books falling from the bookcases etc. Large dressers, appliances, and bookcases are a real pain. It is, therefore, necessary to push television from the edge, keeping heavier items at the bottom of the shelf, removing the wheel of a furniture and make them static etc. Even furniture corners such as that of a coffee table can be really damaging. It makes sense to put bumpers and soften them.
Safety gates are a good baby proofing tools. They help to open doors for fresh air while keeping the child indoors. Safety gates contain a child to a designated room and block access to forbidden areas such as the staircase, kitchen, bathroom etc. It needs to be ensured that safety gates are well maintained. A gate should be such that it is difficult for a child to dislodge but can easily close and open. Safety gates should not contain pressure gates. Instead, a gate should be fixed to the wall with screws on them. It makes sense to buy new safety gates rather than buying a used one. Lastly, a gate should have a straight -slat design rather than a V-shaped one. It helps to avoid any possible accidents from the edges.