by Vanessa Vance, Early Learning Adult Instructor
BABY’S SIDE OF THE STORY
“Ooh! Look at that pretty stuff over there! I should check it out!” thinks Baby, making his way across the living room floor.
Mom is busy making dinner in the next room. ‘Silence is golden’ some say. In this case, silence can be dangerous! Little eyes spot things adults wouldn’t even give a second glance to.
Baby makes his way across the floor and glances up at the colorful glass vase full of flowers. “I just need to get higher,” he thinks. As Baby pulls himself up to the low table, he is startled by someone saying his name very loudly. He starts to whimper. “You scared me!” he says in his mind.
Mom walks over, picks him up, and comforts him. She didn’t mean to scare him, but she needed to alert him of the possible danger.
SAFETY TIPS FOR YOUR HOME
As parents, we want to keep our children from harm. Oftentimes, we don’t see or think about things that need to be “baby-proofed” in our homes. One way to see things the way a child would is to get on her level. It may seem silly, but crawl on the floor around the house, looking high and low for things that could be a hazard. Pay attention to:
- Electrical outlets – do they have safety covers?
- Glass and other breakable items – can they be placed somewhere out of reach or packed away?
- Cleaning supplies – are there any under the bathroom sink? In the bathroom closet? On the floor behind the toilet? In the hall closet? Under the kitchen sink? In the pantry?
- Tip hazards – are all cabinets, bookcases, stands or tables, secure and unable for baby to pull over on himself?
- Small stuff – anything we may drop – from cookie crumbs to earrings – Baby will find them! Keep the small stuff picked up or swept up.
- Sharp stuff – big sister doing a school project? Make sure scissors are put away as well as sharp pencils, pens, and even paper.
- Tablecloths – It may be time to take off the tablecloths and table runners. Anything that hangs can look fun to play with.
- Stove handles – Do you have a stove with handles on the bottom front? Make sure they have safety handles.
- The refrigerator – Need an easy way to keep it closed for little ones – and easy for us? Place two non-permanent hooks toward the top of the fridge, one on the side and one on the door. Place a rubber band or string around both hooks. Baby can’t open, but magically, you can!
OTHER HELPFUL SAFETY RESOURCES
There are so many things to think about when a little one is around. By taking these first few steps, you have made yourself aware of other possible hazards to take care of. Below are some website addresses to further explore safety in the home:
- Home Safe Home: Childproof Your Home Room by Room
- Checklist: How to Babyproof, Away from Home
- The 15 Biggest Safety Mistakes
Cover image by Flickr user Lars Plougmann, Creative Commons license.