Babies have an innate sense of curiosity, and while a child should explore his or her world under close supervision of a parent or caretaker, sometimes the adult turns away for a second, only to find a moment later that the child put his or her finger in an outlet. Or has climbed up a bookcase that is about to fall over. Because parents can’t keep a watchful eye on their baby or toddler every moment, childproofing a home is necessary.
But, a recent parenting advice piece in the New York Times points out that the recommendations for childproofing a home have changed. The experts contacted recommend addressing the following issues in a home before a new baby arrives:
• Be as cordless as possible. Cords from baby monitors to blinds to power tools can all becoming strangulation hazards. Parents should modify their home to be as cord-free as possible.
• Secure all furniture and TVs. A child climbing up a bookshelf or sofa when you turn your back may end up falling down – and taking the furniture with him. To prevent such injuries from happening, make sure all furniture, televisions, and large objects are secured to the wall or floor.
• Outlet covers are choking hazards, and parents may also forget to put them back on after taking them out. For a more protective solution, install sliding outlet plates over every socket.
• Observe your home from the perspective of a baby or child. What would a child touch? What is small enough to fit in a mouth? As a rule of thumb, if an object is small or narrow enough to fall through a toilet paper tube, it poses a choking hazard.
Because all homes have unique features, they all end up having individual hazards. To make sure your house is fully childproof, have a consultant survey the inside.