A Safe Home = A Happy Mom

The idea of something happening to the precious little miracle a mom carried nine months causes a knot in the pit of the stomach. Babies and toddlers are too young to understand the concept of safety or what to do to avoid getting injured. Thankfully, experienced mothers, child care providers and pediatricians have given us information to reduce injuries. The number one cause of child and infant death is from respiration problems due to choking. Young children explore and learn by sticking things in their mouths. Anything that can easily fit through the hole of a toilet paper roll presents a potential choking hazard. Vacuum often. Get down on the floor and check for anything within a child's view that can be picked up and eaten.

The next areas to safeguard are sockets, fall zones and sharp corners or hard surfaces. Plastic socket protectors can be found in almost any retail store. Babies like to stick their fingers in their mouths and are in danger of being electrocuted when they insert anything into a plug. Rubber corner protectors are used to make sharp, square corners round to minimize impact should a child bump his head on a table. Ensure baby gates are installed at the top and bottom of stairs, around fireplaces and in the kitchen.

Crawlers and toddlers are always on the move and enjoy exploring things they can open and close. If you cannot install safety latches on cabinet drawers, move all household cleaners and sharp objects to a shelf out of reach. Install a lock on the stove and oven to prevent accidental turning of knobs that could cause burns or gas leaks. If your child loves to play in water, you may also need a toilet lock to keep her from falling in and drowning. Place all trash and plastic bags out of reach to prevent accidental suffocation.

Make sure the bed being used is appropriate for his movement. Do not leave him in a crib that has the guard rail at his waist because he can fall out. Wind up excess cords from blinds to prevent strangulation. Examine toys often for broken or dangling pieces. The home is a place where up to 30% of accidents happen that lead to emergency room visits. Protect your child by being proactive and alert to anything that may cause your precious child harm. Your child depends on you.

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