September is baby safety month. Whether they’re a newborn or an active toddler, it’s a great reminder that you always need to be very cognizant when keeping your home safe for your children. There’s a lot of preparation before the baby arrives to make your home a safe place for them to come home. Below, we outline some important points to keep in mind
Home Safety Tips for Newborns
Getting your newborn’s room ready prior to their arrival is exciting but there are some things you need to consider.
Furniture –Know what materials are used in any of the furniture you are buying for the room. Pressboard and plywood contain formaldehyde that converts into a dangerous chemical at room temperature. The fumes can be harmful to a baby’s lungs.
Wall Paint – Before bringing out the paint swatches, make sure the paint that you’re planning to use doesn’t contain harmful toxins. Non-toxic paint will keep the air quality safe for you and your baby.
Flooring – Carpets and hardwood floors can both contain formaldehyde. Once installed, they can release toxins for months. Do your research and find a carpet or hardwood that uses chemical-free padding or adhesives.
Mattress –Look for a mattress manufacturer that uses all-natural materials so you don’t run the risk of buying one that may contain formaldehyde. Be sure to purchase a very firm mattress so that the baby sleeps on top of the surface instead of sinking into the mattress which can be a suffocation risk.
New clothing – Make sure that all new baby clothes get washed in a gentle, all-natural laundry soap. Stay away from fragrances that can affect your baby’s lungs. There are many DIY laundry soap options where you can control the ingredients if you’d prefer to make your own.
Keeping Your Toddler Safe At Home
As your sweet baby begins crawling and then gradually moves into walking, suddenly there are more safety concerns around your home. Everything from your waist down can be a danger so you’ll need to make sure to recognize those areas and baby proof wherever necessary. Here are a few safety items to check on around your home:
- Keep your cleaning products in a place where your child can’t reach. Use an out-of-reach cabinet in your laundry room if possible. If one is not available, consider putting a child-proof lock on the cabinet you’ll be using.
- Hide laundry pods that have recently become a safety issue for young children. Laundry pods are visually appealing because of their bright colors and resemblance to candy.
- Add a fireplace “fence” around a fireplace or woodstove.
- Remove glass topped furniture as they can not only be a danger due to their sharp corners but can also crack and break should a child crawl on top of it.
- Windows – Always open windows from the top down. Purchase window locks that prevent the window from being opened by your child.
- Make sure items like razors, makeup, and medicine are put in locked closets or drawers. Remember that cotton swabs, cotton balls, and other small objects can be a choking risk for small children.
- Add a safety latch to all toilets in your home.
- Anchor tall furniture to the walls to prevent them from falling if your child were to climb them.
- Avoid strangulation from a blind cord by installing cordless blinds or tying the cords up high next to the curtain rod.
- Many kitchen appliances are a safety risk for children. They can burn themselves on a stove, get their hand caught in a dishwasher or crawl into a front-loading washer. Put safety locks on all your appliances and make sure you are always around when your child is near the kitchen area.
Smaller Areas Around the Home
- Outlets – Not only do you want to use the outlet protectors for unused plugs but also find an outlet plug cover to keep cords and plugs out of reach.
- Stairs – Use safety gates at the top and bottom of all stairways. Keep the stairs clear of clutter to prevent slips and falls.
- Fire Alarms – Check your fire alarms monthly and change the batteries twice a year. Have a plan to evacuate your child from the home should you have a fire.
Keeping your children safe is on top of every parent’s mind. While Baby Safety Month is recognized in September, we know that their safety is a year-round concern. Take a look at your home’s biggest dangers and be sure to install the proper precautions wherever they are needed.