Baby-Proof Your Home: A How-To Guide : El Paso Portraits Photography and Design Studio : Fort Bliss Photographers
More than 4.5 million children are injured in the home each year,” according to an article published by WebMD.
At El Paso Portrait Photography & Design Studio, I believe that beautiful baby and child photos begin with healthy, happy babies.
A parent’s worst nightmare…
|From personal experience, when my second son was 13, he hurt his hand and had to be life-flighted 108 miles from our home to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. There are no words to express the fear of the unknown and guilt I felt as I watched Mayo One lift off with my son inside – the force of the rotor wash thrusting me backwards. Or the agonizing 3 hour drive to the hospital in the middle of the frozen February night, even though the flight nurse called me from the chopper mid-flight. She handed him the phone, and trying to be optimistic, I jokingly asked him how he liked his first helicopter ride.|
|And this last week, I was terrified to read a post on Facebook that said one of my little clients had been in a household accident and had to be flown to the burn unit in Lubbock, Texas. I was nearly in tears as I text her Mom to see if there was anything I could do to help … (I feel really close to this family because over the last year, I’ve had a chance to laugh and play with all of them during their family photo sessions.)|
Not my child…
Parents can prevent many common serious childhood injuries by knowing where the dangers lie and how to protect children from them.
But remember, “You cannot create an environment that’s 100% safe. Baby-proofing goes hand-in-hand with close supervision,” says Kate Cronan, MD, chief of pediatric emergency services at A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del. “There’s no substitute for somebody watching your child — that’s the best way to prevent an injury in babyhood and childhood.”
Here Are Some Tips To Help You Keep Your Child Safe:
- Discuss safety precautions with older siblings. “Older children may have grown up in a child-proofed home and not recognize the dangers,” says April Melton, mother of 5 and lead photographer at El Paso Portraits Photography & Design Studio. “You have to talk to them about it. And give gentle reminders… Let them know that babies try to reach for everything and everything goes in their mouths. Toddlers can pull cups of hot liquid onto themselves and babies can choke on objects as small as pencil erasers,” says Melton.
- Start by turning down the water temperature on your water heater, advises Cronan. “When you put your baby in the bath tub, it’s easiest to avoid any burning problem by keeping [it] at 110°”
- Consider purchasing and installing toilet lid locks, she says. “Babies are fascinated by water,” Cronan says.
- Put decals on sliding-glass doors so your child won’t run into them.
- Use doorknob covers on doors that you don’t want your child to open.
- Install window guards or adjust windows so they cannot open more than six inches.
- Tie up the cords to blinds so that a child doesn’t get tangled up in them.
- Do not place a crib, play pen, highchair, or bed anywhere near blind cords.
- Install safety glass in low windows and French doors so they won’t shatter if a child falls into them.
- Don’t place furniture or anything that can be climbed on near a window.
- Cover all unused electrical outlets with safety plugs that snap into outlets. “As soon as toddlers start crawling, they will try to put their fingers or a bobby pin in exposed outlets and can get a serious burn,” Cronan says.
- Check for exposed outlets behind furniture that you may have overlooked.
- “Purchase a fireplace hearth cover because once kids learn to walk or crawl, they run a risk of falling into a fireplace,” says. Ready-made or even homemade cushiony devices that go around the hearth also can keep them out of harm’s way.
- Install gates once they start crawling. "Put them at the bottom of stairways to prevent them from getting up the stairs. And if you are worried about them getting out of a bedroom, put a gate on that doorway,” Cronan says.
- “Don’t put a gate at the top of the steps, because some babies can climb up a gate and fall
from an even higher height,” she says.
- Place the safety gate bar latch on the side away from your child’s reach.
- Never leave anything on the stairs that you can trip on while carrying your baby.