●Toddler's Tragic Washing Machine Accident Sends Warning to Parents
●Horrifying toddler tragedies highlight laundry room dangers
●Babyproofing: Our Tips for a Safe Home
●Baby-Proofing Your Home
●Keep Your Baby Safe: Babyproofing
●Baby Safe and Secure Checklist Buying Guide
●Crib and Sleep Safety Guide
●When Is It OK To Leave Your Toddler Semi-Unsupervised While You Shower?
Toddler's Tragic Washing Machine Accident Sends Warning to Parents
By Piper Weiss, Shine Staff | Parenting – 14 hours ago
An Oregon family is devastated after a tragic accident took the life of their toddler. Tiffany Hebb was doing laundry, while her 21-month-old Ollie kept her company. When she left the room briefly, he crawled into the washing machine and drowned.
A frantic Hebb found her son minutes later trapped in the water-filled basin and tried desperately to resuscitate him. After suffering severe brain damage, he died the following day in the hospital.
"It was the worst day of my life," the grieving mother told a local Fox affiliate through tears. Now Tiffany and her husband Chris are on a mission to educate parents about the dangers of the seemingly innocuous household appliance.
"I want to make mothers and fathers aware that it's a possibility," she said.
Between 2005 and 2009, two children under the age of five lost their lives in laundry room accidents, according to a report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. In a 2003 review, two deaths and an estimated 500 other injuries to children were attributed to washing machine-related accidents. Most kids were between the ages of 1 and 2, and fell victim to a range of injuries including fractures, amputations and even drowning.
Some of potential washing machine hazards, according to the report:
●Drowning after getting locked inside the machine
●Injuries jumping or falling off the top of the machine
●Heated water from the machine causing burns
●Getting limbs caught in the motorized spinning basin
The biggest problem when the CPSC conducted their review back in 2003, is still a problem now: lack of education. The report at the time acknowledged that more public education is needed so parents can prevent these kinds of injuries. Ever the vigilant mother, Hebb spent the first year of her son's life guarding him from every household danger she was warned about. She said she never expected the washer would be the biggest threat.
Despite improved safety functions on automatic washing machines, the best prevention from injury is keeping kids far away from the laundry room altogether. (Even if the washing machine is avoided, the scalding hot dryer can be just as dangerous.) Unfortunately many parents aren't aware of the risks.
"Believe it or not, a small child can drown in as little as an inch or two of water," warns Home Safety Council's Mary Kay Appy in a safety video featured on Good Housekeeping. "They're top heavy -- their head goes into the bucket but they don't have the upper body strength to pull themselves out."
Appy encourages parents to invest in washers and dryers with built-in child safety locks. Another safety measure: install locks or child safety knobs to the laundry room door. A little extra child-proofing could save a life.
Horrifying toddler tragedies highlight laundry room dangers
By The_Stir | Parenting – Mon, Oct 17, 2011 6:03 PM EDT
Two recent stories of toddlers maimed and killed will ensure you never look at your laundry room the same way again. And you shouldn't. Even if all of your detergents are stored securely, it's the washer and dryer themselves that can be death traps for toddlers.
More from The Stir: Toddler Runs Away From Nursery School, Shocks Parents
In the first story, out of Germany, a 3-year-old boy, Franz Bummel, crawled into his family's clothing dryer. His twin brother, Paul, apparently turned the machine on somehow, and their father found the boy dead there some time later. There are no words for how horrifying his discovery must have been.
In the second case, 3-year-old Lewis Lightfoot was trying to help his mother with the laundry. Somehow he was able to open the door while the front-loading machine was running, and his arm got stuck in it. His arm was completely ripped from his body. His mom described the awful event to the Daily Record:
He had walked into the kitchen and the next thing I heard a big bang and heard him scream. I ran into the room. The washing machine door was lying on the floor and Lewis was hanging out of the washer. I noticed straight away his left arm had gone. It was horrible.
After three operations, Lewis is thankfully back home with his family, but his life will never be the same. And all because he was doing something that thousands of toddlers do every day -- playing in the laundry room. My laundry room is right off of my kitchen, and I have toys, art supplies, and all sorts of things in there that my toddler daughter plays alone with regularly, often while the machines are going. I've even seen her attempt to open the washing machine while it's going, but just assumed she'd never be able to open it. These stories definitely make rethink that area's safety.
As toddlers get older and become more independent, where they can verbalize more and don't stick everything in their mouths, it's easy to relax a bit more, just listen for any problems, and assume they're okay for at least short periods of time. But it's important for us to remember they are still toddlers -- unpredictable, curious toddler -- and they can encounter danger in the most unexpected places.
Have you ever considered the dangers of your washer and dryer when it comes to your toddlers?
Babyproofing: Our Tips for a Safe Home
By FitPregnancy | Parenting – Mon, Feb 1, 2010 7:57 PM EST
Use our tips to ensure your home is a safe haven for your little one.
Store any hazardous household materials, such as cleaners, in a safety-latched cabinet, says child safety expert Debra Smiley Holtzman, author of 2009's The Safe Baby: A Do-It-Yourself Guide To Home Safety and Healthy Living. Since one third of all pediatric poisonings are the result of a grandparent's medication, have visitors count their pills and place handbags out of reach. If
it was built before 1978, have your home tested for lead paint. As for toys, stick with natural, untreated fiber or unpainted wood options and keep abreast of recall notices.
Anything that can fit inside a toilet paper tube is a potential choking hazard. Experts advise taking a bug's eye view of your household to track down the dusty coin or deflated balloon that may be hiding under the couch or in the corner. At mealtimes, babies and toddlers should always be supervised and their food cut into very small pieces.
Young kids can drown in an inch of water, which means they should be supervised around not only tubs and pools but indoor fountains, toilets and cleaning buckets as well. "Children can become unbalanced and tip forward," says Andrew Adesman, M.D., chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics for Schneider Children's Hospital in New Hyde Park, N.Y. "They may not be able to right themselves. At a minimum, they could aspirate some water into their lungs and get pneumonia." Store buckets upside down and empty sinks, wading pools and tubs immediately after use.
The bottom line here is stairs need gates (hardware-mounted, at top and bottom) and windows need guards. "Screens do not provide protection," says Christopher Haines, D.O., director of emergency medicine for St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. Also, always use safety straps on changing tables, swings, highchairs and the like. Items such as bookcases and flat-screen televisions should be secured with anti-tip brackets or straps. Use the mechanism provided by the manufacturer to secure a TV, advises Holtzman.
Baby-Proofing Your Home
Before you baby-proof your home, try crawling around on all fours and "thinking" like your baby, advises Flaura Koplin Winston, MD, PhD, director of TraumaLink at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. To save wear and tear on your knees, here's a room-by-room guide to get you started.
Nursery | Bathroom | Kitchen | Livingroom, etc. | Basement/Garage
1. Bedding: Put baby on his back to sleep; avoid soft bedding that might suffocate him. Crib slats should be 2-3/8 inches apart or less so head can't get trapped.
2. Changing Table: Use a sturdy table with 2-inch guardrails on all sides. Always use a safety strap; keep supplies within reach.
3. Crib toys: Remove mobiles and gyms when baby is 5 months old or can push up on hands and knees.
4. Window cords: Never place a crib near windows; cut looped chains or blind cords in half to avoid strangulation.
5. Toy chests: Use chests without lids or with supports that hold a lid open in any position.
6. Balls, balloons, other small toys: Keep away from crib to avoid choking risk.
1. Bathtub: Never leave your child unattended in a bathtub or bath ring. Install no-slip strips on the bottom of the tub.
2. Toilets: Install lid locks on all toilets and keep the lid closed to prevent drowning and to keep the lid from slamming on your baby's head or hands.
3. Medicine cabinet: Keep all medicines in containers with safety caps and store them in a locked cabinet.
4. Electrical appliances: Unplug hair dryers, razors, and other devices when not in use, and store them out of reach.
5. Water: To prevent scalding, set your hot water heater to a maximum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
1. Cleaners and other dangerous products: Store these products in a high cabinet. If you have to keep them under the sink, use a childproof lock on the cabinet doors.
2. High chairs: Always use restraining straps that run around your child's waist and between his legs to keep him from sliding out.
3. Microwaves: Avoid heating baby bottles in microwave ovens. The liquid heats unevenly, leaving pockets of milk potentially hot enough to scald your baby's mouth.
4. Fire extinguishers: Keep one on hand, mounted in a conspicuous place.
5. Drawers: Make sure all drawers have stops, so that your baby or toddler can't pull the drawer out on top of himself. Also, keep sharp instruments in a latched drawer separate from safe kitchen utensils.
1. Electrical cords: Tie up or tape down long electrical cords. Put safety plugs in all unused electrical outlets.
2. Floors: Carpeted stairs will prevent slipping. Check floors constantly for small objects that a baby might swallow, such as coins, buttons, beads, pins, and screws.
3. Furniture: Cushion hard edges and sharp corners. If possible, move sharp-edged pieces away from high traffic areas. Anchor down unsteady pieces of furniture, such as bookcases.
1. Tools and chemicals: Keep all paints, varnishes, and dangerous tools out of reach. Storage areas should be locked and off-limits. Unplug all power tools after use.
2. Garage doors: Automatic garage door openers that do not automatically reverse upon contact with an object should be repaired or replaced with new openers that reverse in order to prevent young children from being trapped and killed under closing garage doors.
Keep Your Baby Safe: Babyproofing
Tips and products to help you childproof your home
Falls are the leading cause of injuries for children younger than 1 year, a Canadian study found. Many of these and other injuries can be prevented by using products made specifically for babyproofing--and by employing some good old common sense, such as keeping a close eye on your child and always using safety straps.
What you need to protect your baby changes with her development, so here's a timeline to help you prepare. As you do, keep in mind this insight from Penelope Leach's Your Baby & Child: From Birth to Age Five (Knopf): "Minor bangs, bruises and grazes are a normal part of a child's life. If yours never had any kind of accident, you probably would be overprotecting him and de priving him of his rightful share of exploration and adventure."
Birth to rolling over (typically 4 to 5 months but can be earlier)
Don't leave your baby unattended on any elevated surface; keep plastic bags out of reach; make sure the crib mattress fits snugly and slats are no more than 2 3/8 inches apart.
Crawling (typically 7 to 10 months)
Get down on the floor and look for choking and other hazards; secure unsteady furniture to walls; block stair-railing openings that are wider than 4 inches; place a nonslip mat and spout cover in the bathtub; keep pot handles turned toward the back of the stove; remove poisonous plants; keep your purse out of reach.
Cruising, walking, climbing (typically 8 to 12 months)
Remove hanging toys and bumpers from the crib; use a detachable guardrail on bigger beds; keep anything the baby might climb up on away from unsafe areas, such as windows.
For more childproofing suggestions, visit www.cpsc.gov or www.iafcs.com.
Help keep your little one safe throughout your home with this room-by-room list of tips for baby-proofing every room.
All Living Areas
●Cover all outlets. Keep unused outlet covers out of reach — they can become choking hazards. For power strips, use power-strip safety covers.
●Climbing children can easily pull down heavy objects. Use special ties to fasten heavy furniture and electronics to the wall.
●Keep cords out of reach with a cord-control kit.
●Clear away any small objects, such as spare change, that could present choking hazards.
●If possible, use baby gates to keep your child out of the kitchen entirely. Try one with a swinging door so the adults can still enter and leave easily.
●Install child locks on drawers and cabinets. If you’re renting or don’t want to install permanent hardware, look for child locks that install with a removable adhesive.
●Use appliance locks on all major appliances. Install a plastic shield on your stovetop to help guard against reaching fingers.
●Always turn pot and pan handles toward the back of the stove when cooking.
●Keep all household chemicals and cleaners out of reach. If you must keep chemicals under the kitchen sink, use a sturdy child lock on the cabinet.
●Never leave knives or other sharp utensils on your countertops.
●Follow your high chair’s instructions, and never leave a baby unattended.
●Babies are very sensitive to hot temperatures. Set your water heater to 120°F, and use a child-friendly bathwater thermometer at bathtime.
●Never leave your child unattended in the bathtub, shower or bathroom.
●Use a baby bathtub with small infants. Older babies can use a safety seat. For toddlers, keep the hot faucet safe with a cushioned faucet cover.
●Install childproof cabinet locks on your bathroom cabinets.
●Keep toiletries out of reach. Even preschoolers can try to eat toothpaste or makeup.
●Always use the safety strap on your changing pad.
●Install child-safe window coverings. Keep all appliance and window cords out of reach and well away from the crib.
●Avoid used cribs. Make sure that your baby’s crib and crib mattress are up to date, and check for potential recalls.
●Keep blankets, stuffed animals and extra bedding out of the crib when baby is sleeping. If the weather is chilly, try a wearable baby blanket.
Garage, Outdoors and Patio
●Install a sturdy fence around your swimming pool. Check all gates and doors to the swimming pool regularly.
●Consider using a surface alarm on your swimming pool or hot tub.
●Never leave a child unattended near pools, fountains or ponds.
●If you have an alarm system on your house, the chime function can help alert you when doors to the outdoors and garage are opened.
●Organize your garage, and keep heavy items like bicycles and sports equipment fastened.
●Keep all automobile, household, pest-control and yard chemicals in locked cabinets.
General Safety Tips
●Keep all medications out of reach. Label bottles clearly, and buy medication with child-safety caps whenever possible. Remember, even young toddlers can climb — always use safety locks on medicine cabinets and drawers.
●Keep the Poison Control phone number next to your telephone or programmed into your cell phone. Make sure that CPR instructions and emergency phone numbers are easy to locate.
●Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Check batteries regularly.
●Check and restock your first-aid kit once a year.
Baby Safe and Secure Checklist Buying Guide
Safe and Secure
When’s the best time to start thinking safety? Before you even have the baby. You’ve got more time on your hands, and you’re much more likely to tackle the baby-proofing job with extra vigilance. Plus, you’ll be able to practice and get comfortable with some of the new safety devices you’ll install.
Once you get into the habit, it’ll be almost automatic to think about all the places in your home that might be hazardous for your baby, starting with the crib. Besides making sure your crib adheres to all safety standards, don’t put stuffed pillows, plush toys or loose bedding inside (they can cause suffocation). And once your baby is 5 months-old – or starts to push himself up on his hands and knees – take out the mobiles, crib toys or other objects that he might get a hold of, or tangled in.
By the time your baby is mobile – usually 6 to 8 months – you should have all your safety measures in place because there’s no stopping your little adventurer. Now’s the time to decide what’s off-limits. The two most dangerous rooms in the house are the bathroom and kitchen. Most safety-proofing is a simple matter using a combination of common sense, planning and some creativity.
Safety gates are an important part of safety in any home with a wandering toddler. When a baby starts to crawl, explore or use a walker, it’s time to install gates wherever potential hazards may be present in your home. At the top of stairs, at the bottom of stairs, in between rooms… gates are often used as barricades that help to communicate which areas are off limits for your little scooter. There are several types of gates designed for specific purposes.
Pressure-Mounted Gates should only be used at the bottom of a stairway or between rooms. They rely on pressure applied to the bumpers to hold them up. Basically, two sliding panels adjust to the dimensions of the doorway and a locking mechanism supplies the force to wedge the gate in place. All gates are designed to fit standard openings. Plus, many manufacturers offer extension kits for non-standard-sized entrances. Some pressure-mounted styles are designed to be hardware-mounted as well.
Hardware-Mounted Gates are used at the top or bottom of stairs and at window openings. This type of gate is mounted with screws directly into the wall and, therefore, has the ability to withstand more than pressure mounted styles. Some hardware-mounted styles have a special swing-stop mechanism to prevent the gate from swinging out over the stairs.
Walk-Through Gates have a simple, one-hand release that allows an adult to swing open the gate in either direction.
Free-Standing Gates are ideal to create an exclusive play yard for your toddler anywhere. Panels form a fairly large area for your child to play in. Plus, for easy access, every other panel works as a gate.
Home Safety Checklist
“Better safe than sorry” is the best approach to adopt when it comes to making your home a safer place for your baby. As your child grows and gets more curious and mobile, the potential hazards increase too. The best way to assess what could be dangerous for your child is to see your home from a child’s point of view, quite literally! Start by getting down on your hands and knees and exploring your home from a whole new perspective. You will then notice just how dangerous that coffee table corner is or just how easy it is for your curious toddler to stick a finger into the electrical socket. Here, we present a room-by-room checklist of precautions to make your home safer for baby.
General Precautions for the Entire House
Certain childproofing items, such as outlet plugs and plate covers, are essential in every room of the house. In addition, cabinet locks and drawer latches help to keep the contents of furniture off-limits, while finger pinch guards protect little fingers from getting caught in closing doors. Corner protectors and edge cushions protect your child from sharp corners. Door knob covers keep kids from entering or exiting rooms, and window locks and blind cord windups prevent windows from being fully opened and keep cords out of baby’s reach, respectively.
Install smoke detectors in all sleeping areas, and install a carbon monoxide detector. Always exercise extreme caution when using space heaters. Keep batteries, ashtrays and purses out of reach of children.
Install cabinet locks and drawer latches. Even harmless items like toothpicks and bottle covers present choking and other hazards for your little one. Parents should take special care to keep detergents, cleaning supplies, and other household chemicals locked in a high cabinet. Similarly, knives, cooking tools, appliances, glassware and foods that could present a choking hazard should be kept out of baby’s reach.
Try to stick with using the back burners on the stove, and if you must use the front burner, turn pot handles toward the back of the stove top so that your toddler cannot grab them. Consider buying a stove guard and stove knob covers to eliminate the risk of scalds and burns. Always use the safety straps when baby is in his high chair, and do not seat your baby on a counter where she can reach sharp objects or hot items. Close your trash compactor and dishwasher when not in use, and remember to keep the lid on your trash at all times. Finally, keep a list of important emergency numbers handy.
To make sure baby doesn’t wander into the bathroom unsupervised, place a door knob cover over the knob or install a hook-and-eye latch high on the door. Always keep the toilet lid seat down, and consider investing in a toilet lock, which will prevent baby from lifting the lid. Toilet bowls have often been used for water play by children. An open toilet bowl also presents a potential drowning hazard.
Keep all appliances, medications, vitamins, cosmetics and sharp items such as razors and nail clippers locked in a high cabinet, safely out of baby’s reach. Never leave baby alone in the bathtub, not even for a second. Do not leave water in a tub when it is not in use. Kids can drown in as little as 1-3 inches of water. To prevent bathtub accidents, consider installing a nonslip rubber mat, a nonslip bath mat, an anti-scalding device on your faucets and a soft-plastic or rubber guard over the tub spout to prevent bumps and bruises.
In the first few years of life, children spend lots of time in the nursery, so it’s important that this room be as safe as possible.
To begin, make sure baby’s crib meets the U.S. Consumer Products Safety guidelines and that your furniture and bedding meets current safety standards. In addition, don’t forget safety basics like door-knob covers, cabinet locks and drawer latches. You may also want to consider a crib-rail cover, which will help keep your baby from trying to chew the rail.
Attach one-piece, screw-in door stoppers to prevent toddlers from getting locked into a room or getting pinched by a closing door. Caution: styles with more than one piece have rubber caps which may be removed and swallowed by a curious child.
Check the locking mechanism of toy boxes. Avoid those that could lead to pinched fingers or accidental closure that may trap the child’s head. To help prevent injury, consider using angle braces or anchors to secure furniture to the wall.
Put up a fire rescue decal such as a Tot Finder that, if necessary, will indicate the location of the child’s room to the firefighters. Use a night-light socket cover.
For many families, the living room is a hub of activity, so you’ll want to make sure it’s free from potential hazards. Potted plants and breakable items should be kept out of baby’s reach. Fireplaces should be covered with safety screens, and bookshelves and wall units should be secured to the wall.
If you have a flat-screen television, consider installing a flat-screen TV lock. Any choking or tripping hazards such as throw rugs or electrical cords should be removed. To keep baby from hitting his head on coffee tables or end tables, consider installing corner cushions or edge and corner guards.
Turn your home into a safe place for children and babies
Thinking about baby safety doesn't necessarily come naturally to parents and, in fact, might seem like yet another overwhelming and intimidating task related to bringing up baby. Fortunately, babyproofing is something parents can--and should--take care of before baby even arrives, when you do not yet have the day-to-day care of a new infant as your first priority. You might consider it as the warm-up before the big game--a time to get into the right mindset for parenting and get comfortable with your equipment and strategy. Like many things, you should rely on instinct, but here are some general guidelines to help you make your home a safer place for your bundle of joy.
The guidelines below contain very specific suggestions about how to babyproof your home. However, it's also helpful to keep some basic things about baby development in mind as you consider ways to make baby's surroundings safe:
●A new infant, though not mobile, requires safe equipment (car seats, cribs, strollers, monitors).
●Once a baby can push herself up on her hands or roll over (around 3 to 6 months), you will need to make sure there is nothing within her reach in or above the crib or on a playmat that may be hazardous.
●When a baby learns to creep or crawl (around 7 to 9 months), the area in need of babyproofing expands exponentially. You may have to develop babyproof "zones" in highly frequented areas of the home--rooms that are safe for baby and are blocked off from the rest of the home by gates or other equipment. Staircases now become a hazard, and some experts suggest that the bathroom and kitchen should be completely off-limits to mobile children, due to the difficulties involved in making those areas safe for baby.
●A walking child can get much farther than a crawling child and can do so much faster. At this stage of the game (around 10 to 14 months) you will need to be especially vigilant about watching your child and making sure off-limits areas are well guarded by gates or other barricades. An upright child can also reach much higher than a crawling toddler, so the area that must be babyproof expands vertically as well as horizontally.
Basic Household Safety
"Better safe than sorry" is the best approach to adopt when it comes to making your home a safer place for your baby. The best way to assess what could pose potential hazards for your child is to see your home from a child's point of view, quite literally. Start by getting down on your hands and knees and explore your home from that vantage point. When you view things from this perspective, it will probably become quite obvious to you just how dangerous that coffee table corner is or how easy it would be for a baby or toddler to stick curious fingers into an electrical socket. Below is a checklist of things you should do in every room in your house.
●Use socket guards for all unused electrical sockets.
●Use safety locks on all windows.
●Put coins, keys, matches, batteries, paper clips, ashtrays, purses, and other small items out of your child's reach.
●Place safety latches on all cupboards and closets.
●Install smoke detectors in all sleeping areas.
●Install a carbon monoxide detector.
●Use corner cushions to protect your child from sharp corners.
●Use cord shorteners to avoid exposure to window cords and wires in the house.
●Secure gates at top and bottom of all stairways.
●Eliminate baby's access to the bathtubs, showers, toilets, swimming pools, and hot tubs.
●Make sure cosmetics, perfume, aftershave, and other toiletries are out of reach.
●Position pet food and the litter box out of baby's way.
●Post the number of your local poison control center next to telephones along with a list of other emergency numbers--such as the ER, pediatrician, grandparents and other close relatives, and neighbors. You can print our fridge sheet of useful numbers.
●Stow cleaning products, paint, electrical tools, and exercise equipment out of baby's reach.
●Keep plastic wrap and plastic bags out of baby's reach.
Preparing your home for a new family member can be daunting, but by comparing homeowners insurance quotes you can rest easy knowing your home is protected.
Living Room/Family Room/Nursery
●Place knickknacks on a high shelf.
●Use a fireplace screen that a baby cannot tip over, store fire utensils and matches out of baby's reach, and cushion the corners of fireplace edges with padding or guards.
●Use socket guards for all unused electrical sockets.
●Cushion the edges of tables, desks, or other furniture with padding or guards.
●Do not hang mobiles or other toys over the corner or sides of a playard once baby can push up on her hands, as this could present a strangulation hazard.
●To prevent your toddler from hurting themselves climbing into or out of a playard, don't leave them in a mesh playard with the drop side down, and keep the drop side of a playard up even when your child is not in it. Do not leave children unattended in a playpen.
●Do not use use a playard with holes in the sides, as this could entrap a child's limbs or head.
●Avoid locking mechanisms on toy chests that could lead to pinched fingers or accidental closures.
Many experts suggest that babies and toddlers should not be allowed in the bathroom at all (except at bathtime or potty training sessions), as young children can drown in even the smallest amounts of water. However, because toddlers and crawlers are quite curious once they are up and moving on their own, experts suggest that you take the following safety precautions:
●Keep the toilet lid down and secure it with a latch and do not allow children to play with the water in the bowl. An open toilet bowl presents a potential drowning hazard (not to mention a germ hazard).
●Do not leave water in the bathtub when it is not in use. Children can drown in as little as 2 to 3 inches of water.
●Do not leave a child unattended in the bathtub or rely on an older sibling to supervise.
●Use nonskid mats in the bathtub to prevent slipping.
●Check to see that the suction cups on a bath seat are securely attached to the bath seat and tub surface.
●Never use the baby bath seat in a non-skid, slip-resistant bathtub because the suction cups may not adhere to the bathtub surface.
●Do not rely on bath seats to keep baby safe in the bath.
●Keep the medicine cabinet locked and keep all medications in childproof containers.
●Move all soaps, shampoos, bath gels, razors, and other toiletries out of reach of children.
●Before placing your baby in the bathtub, make sure you have everything you need to bathe your baby near you to prevent having to turn away from baby to fetch it later.
●Test the temperature of the water before bathing your baby by using your wrist or elbow, and remember that babies may not be able to tolerate the same water temperature as an adult. The correct temperature should be between 96 and 100 degrees Farenheit.
●Place soft or inflatable covers over tub faucets to prevent bumps and bruises.
●Always use all restraining straps provided on a highchair--both the waist strap and the strap that goes between the legs. Injuries or even strangulation can occur from unrestrained children slipping down under the highchair tray.
●Make sure that the locking device on a folding highchair is fully engaged.
●Don't allow your child to stand up in a highchair or an older child to hang onto a highchair while baby is in it.
●Place the highchair far enough away from the table, counter, or wall to prevent the child using that surface to push off and tip the chair over.
●When seating a child at a table, use place mats instead of tablecloths, in case they succeed in pulling the tabletop items off the table.
●Add sharp knives to place settings only after adults are seated.
●Use plastic plates and glasses for children.
●Be sure that your china and silverware are stored away from your baby's curious grasp.
The kitchen, like the bathroom, is full of potential hazards. It may be best to block access to the kitchen with a safety gate.
●Never leave babies or toddlers alone in the kitchen.
●Do not let your baby play on the floor by the stove while you are cooking.
●Use the back stove burners when possible. When using the front burners, turn the pot handles toward the back of the stove so that children cannot grab them.
●Install cabinet and drawer latches and locks to prevent your child from finding items that may present a choking hazard.
●Keep all dishwashing liquids and cleaning agents in locked or latched cabinets.
●Keep sharp and potentially dangerous items out of reach.
When your baby starts to crawl, explore, or use a walker, it's time to install gates wherever potential hazards may be present around your home. At the top of stairs, at the bottom of stairs, and in between rooms, safety gates act as barricades that communicate which areas are off-limits for your little scooter. When purchasing gates for your home, there are several things to keep in mind: types of gates, features, and safety. We recommend you check our complete guide to choosing safety gates for your home.
Childproofing your home is an important part of keeping your kids safe. Unfortunately, with each new stage of your child's development, new dangers arise on the homefront that you have to guard against. It's important to childproof each room of your house for each stage of your child's growth (see below). Your home can be a safe and healthy place for your child, but many dangers are easily overlooked.
Quick Tips from the Experts
●Give your house a “crawl test” to check for unseen dangers. By going from room to room yourself, you have your child’s point of view and dangerous objects are easier to spot.
●Don’t call medicine “candy.” Many parents will use this tactic to get a stubborn child to take a dose, but experts say it could mislead a child to take other medicines they accidentally get their hands on.
●Always have the number for Poison Control handy: 800-222-1222.
●Keep your children from seeing you unlock doors and drawers or open safety latches. They can learn from watching you.
●Keep dog and cat dishes away from your child’s play area.
●Keep watch for small objects in reachable distances of your child. This includes food, buttons, and other objects kids can choke on.
●One study shows that parents with childproofed homes don’t need to say “no” as frequently because all dangerous objects are out of reach and children are in safe play areas.
Different Rooms to Baby Proof: Basics
●Living Room: Anchor down TVs and all light or loose furniture (lamps, bookcases) that could fall, topple over, or be pulled down.
●Your bedroom: Same as with living room, but also latch all drawers.
●Nursery: Before using a new crib, make sure all screws are tight and that rails are no wider than 2 3/8 inches wide.
●Bathroom: Latch the toilet cover and low cabinets and keep medicines and all dangerous items out of reach.
Dangerous Areas Around the House
What to Buy and What to Replace
●Fit all electric outlets with outlet covers – and even keep a few in your bag. Never assume a playdate’s home is childproofed.
●Replace rubber-tipped door stops with soft door jambs to avoid a possible choking hazard.
●Make sure smoke alarms are properly placed in every room of your home and test them once a month.
Childproofing at Different Ages
●0-6 months: Don’t underestimate your child. They may not have rolled over yet, but they will — and it will be a surprise. Make sure your child is properly secured on changing tables and in car seats.
●6-12 months: Small items that your child can choke on are very important to watch out for at this stage. Your child has begun to crawl and any object in their path will get a taste-test.
●1-2 years: Make sure everything is properly anchored down or out of reach. Your child will have begun to stand and will pull on anything and everything to hold themselves up.
●2+ years: Pad the corners of coffee tables and low furniture. Keep external house doors locked. Everything that can be opened will get opened.
2．7 Ways to Make Your Living Room Safer
●Tape or cushion sharp corners, edges and angular pieces of furniture. You might consider moving particularly dangerous pieces (like low coffee tables or end tables) out of areas where your child commonly plays.
●Carpeted floors offer greater traction for fast-moving feet (and potentially fewer bruised knees), but do be careful of rugs with long tassels, fringe or other loose strings.
●Find cord keepers or blind winders to contain cords attached to blinds or drapery. Alternately, you can cleat, tape or tie them up and out of reach.
●Furniture falls were responsible for over 14,000 accidents last year. Any large pieces in danger of falling if a toddler climbs up on them should be anchored down. Bookcases are especially in need of anchoring, as are flat screen televisions. You may want to anchor desktop computers as well.
●Use slide covers or box covers for any electrical outlets in use. Plug up any that you do not use and use box covers for power strips.
●Any items within a child's grasp that are breakable or pose a danger should be moved. This may include glass lamps, vases, decorative objects, ceramics, or other items. Also be careful with plants that may be poisonous, heavy books and firewood.
●Windows should not be left open more than a few inches. If possible, open windows from the top.
3．How to Make Your Bedroom More Safe
●If you are co-sleeping with your baby, read up on how to do it safely.
●You'll need to take the same precautions in your bedroom as you did in the living room, moving low-lying breakables such as lamps, vases, plants or ceramics. Address electrical outlets, dresser drawers (they should have stops so they can't be pulled all the way out), open windows, sharp corners and any furniture that could topple, such as bookcases or televisions.
4．5 Ways to Make the Nursery Safer
●The American Academy of Pediatrics says to be sure that babies under a year old sleep on their backs. Use a firm, snugly fitting mattress and keep no other items in the crib (no blankets, stuffed animals, pillows, etc., as cute as they might be); make sure that the space between crib rails is no wider than 2 3/8 inches, that all screws or bolts are tightened and sturdy, that there is nothing hanging from the ceiling with dangling ribbons or strings, and that older cribs have been stripped of paint that might contain lead.
●When baby can sit up, move the mattress to its lowest level so she can't pull herself over the rails.
●Once your baby is 35 inches tall or her crib is less than 3/4 of her height, it's time to move to the big-girl bed.
●Do not buy nightlights that get hot after being on for a while and do not place them near drapery or any other fabric they might inadvertently heat up and cause fire.
●Always keep one hand on the baby when he's on the changing pad. Rolling over the first time will be a surprise, so be prepared for it to happen anywhere.
5．7 Ways to Make Your Cooking Space Safer
●Keep utensils separated according to safety. Kids love to play with kitchen gear, so keep some items accessible that are safe for play (such as Tupperware, wooden spoons, etc.). Then corral all unsafe items (knives, items with small parts, slicers, cleaning products, matches, items with cords) in one high and locked cabinet.
●Since you might need to use cleaning products often (like dishwasher soap or counter spray), consider moving these to a high cabinet instead of locking them under the sink. Because you'll be accessing them so often, you may grow lazy in locking it, leading to accidents.
●Check drawers to see that they have stops and can't be pulled all the way out and onto little heads.
●Keep your dishwasher locked except when you are loading or unloading. Do not leave an unloaded dishwasher unattended as you likely have knives in the bottom rack and breakable glasses.
●Keep appliances unplugged when not in use.
●Check to see when your oven is in use that the doors don’t get hot enough to burn little fingers.
●If you often toss out items that may be hazardous (empty cans, bottles, spoiled food, small items) use a trash can or recycling bin with a lock or latch.
6．8 Tips for a Safer Bathroom
●You've heard it a million times, but never leave a child unattended in the bathtub.
●You'll want a spout cover to prevent banging little heads in the bathtub and non-slip grip inside the tub or shower. Bathmats should also be skidproof.
●Turn down water heaters to 120 degrees or install a scald protector.
●Latch toilet covers. Keep toilet lids down when not in use.
●Consider removing bathroom door locks so that children may never lock themselves inside.
●"Keep [medicines] in their original containers," reminds the American Academy of Pediatrics, and "do not take medicine in front of small children," as they tend to mimic adult behavior.
●Keep these dangerous items locked up and out of reach: razors, spare blades, hair dryers, sewing kits, other items with long cords or that may heat up like curling irons or hot rollers, sharp nail scissors or any dangerous ingestibles (rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover, acne treatments, mouthwash, etc.).
●Do not leave any electrical appliances plugged in near water sources.
7．How to Make These Spaces Safer for Kids
●Little ones should be restricted access to unfinished basements where there might be exposed to installation, wiring or other dangers.
●Automatic garage door openers should be locked in cars and kept away from children. Your garage door should also automatically reverse direction upon contact. If it doesn't, consider getting this feature installed and be sure to test the door regularly.
●Hazards to keep locked or out of reach: power tools, gardening tools, fertilizers, pesticides, paint, toxic craft supplies, laundry detergents or other cleaning supplies.
8．A Few More Ways to Make Your House Safer
●Everywhere: place smoke alarms throughout the house. Test them once per month and change batteries once a year.
●Balconies: railings a child can fit through should be professionally babyproofed with plexiglass or other safety equipment. If installing railing, keep slats less than four inches apart.
●Stairs: purchase gates for top and bottom of stairwells that fit properly. At the top of stairs, remove any furniture or items that could be used to climb over the gate. Do not use accordian-style gates that may trap tiny limbs.
●Doors: remove rubber-tipped door stops or replace them with soft door jambs, as the tips pose a choking hazard. Doors that lead to balconies or pools should be locked or installed with doorknob locks.
9．Targeting Danger Zones
●Keep highchairs away from dangling cords, hot stoves or any potential hazards. And always strap kids in.
●Anyone living in earthquake sensitive areas must pay special attention to securing bookcases, electronics, media equipment, glass picture frames and other furniture.
●Even if you've done your research, items may be proven unsafe later on. Keep up to date on infant product recalls as well as toy hazard recalls at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
●Pools and jacuzzis: surround pools with fencing that's at least 4 feet tall. Consider installing alarms that will sound if anything hits the water, suggest staff at the Mayo Clinic. You might also enable your household alarm to include the door out to the pool. "Use a firm, solid pool cover that will safely hold a child's weight," says Dr. Sears.
●Stop using plastic bags around the house for storage or in low trashcans. Immediately dispose of dry-cleaning bags.
10．Keeping it Clean (Hygiene Tips)
●Remember there are different schools of thought in terms of hygiene, reminds Dr. Frances Pang, pediatrician at Cedars-Sinai Medical Group and former chief resident of pediatrics. "On one hand, you want to reduce exposure to dangerous bacteria and environmental toxins," she notes, "but if you keep things too clean, you won't get enough exposure to good bacteria," which can often help children develop immunities.
●Dr. Pang advises parents to open windows at times when there aren't a lot of pollutants flowing through.
●She also suggests keeping surfaces dry in the bathroom and kitchen to avoid mold allergies.
●While hand sanitizers are good in a pinch, try not to overuse them.
●Teach older children to wash their hands. Most pediatricians recommend that kids be able to sing two rounds of "Happy Birthday" before leaving the sink.
11．Top 10 Childproofing Secrets of the Pros
●Several experts recommend literally crawling from room to room to see everything your child has access to. Anything that poses a hazard within reach should be moved.
●Sometimes there isn't a specific product to address a hazard, reminds Linette Palmer, co-owner of Los Angeles babyproofing service Family First. "You may need to block off an area," she says, or "get creative with solutions."
●In some cases, wait a few years before introducing certain items. "There's no way to make a tall halogen lamp safe until your kid is old enough to know not to knock it over," says Palmer.
●Keep certain latches or locks a secret from your children, and don't let them see you operate them, suggests the team at Family First. If they watch you unlatch the dishwasher or a particular cabinet, they may learn to do so themselves.
●Use this map from the American Association of Poison Control Centers to remind yourself of the places in your home that might house toxic substances and then place them out of reach.
●Do not refer to medicine as candy when you give your child a dose, as it may entice him to want to try other medicines he gets his hands on by accident.
●"Don't forget about pet bowls," says Palmer. "A child can drown in a big bowl of water for the dog."
●Unfortunately, you're never entirely done childproofing. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends doing a "child's-eye view" survey each New Year.
●Constantly scan your floors and easy-to-reach surfaces for loose change, buttons, dropped pieces of food or any other small objects that kids could choke on.
●And no matter how well you childproof your home, you also need to be prepared for accidents. Be sure that the phone numbers of your pediatrician, poison control and the address of the nearest hospital are posted in an easy-to-find place for any caregivers. Poison control's line is 800-222-1222.
12．Top 10 Places Parents Forget to Childproof
●Mom's purse. What to avoid keeping in your purse according to Dr. Sears's The Baby Book: mace or pepper spray, vitamins and/or medications (at least be sure they are kept in babyproof containers), sharp objects such as nail clippers or scissors, aerosol sprays, small objects such as spare change.
●Your home office, which tends to be full of cords and other dangers, according to Palmer of Family First.
●The yard. Ensure that any play equipment is safe, according to Dr. Sears. Check for sturdiness and splinters, any obstructions too close to playgrounds, exposed bolts or screws, or hard surfaces like cement or pavement directly underneath swings. Beware of poisonous plants and mulch and don't let kids play on lawns recently treated with pesticides.
●The diaper bag. Even some infant items are dangerous to have within reach, such as ingestible lotions or sprays, infant nail scissors or any infant medications.
●Hand-me-downs. It might seem great when someone wants to bestow her old baby gear on you. Most hand-me-downs are probably fine, but carseats should always be bought new in case they've been in an accident. Cribs and mattresses should be researched thoroughly to be sure they meet current safety standards. Toys and clothes should also be given a double check for safety; look for missing or dangling parts and loose threads.
●Family pets, especially dogs. In this situation, prevention should go both ways -- "You need to consider special training for your dogs and your children," notes Dr. Pang. Teach older children not to bother pets when they are eating or playing with a toy. Train pets to accommodate a new person in the household, as they're likely to treat them differently than adults do.
●Trash cans. Small trash cans may be fine on their own, but once you put a plastic bag inside, you've got a suffocation hazard in easy reach, notes Palmer.
●The stroller. Every few months, check to be sure brakes are functioning properly, that there aren't any loose screws and that all latches, movable parts and reclining features are working properly.
●Spare refrigerator. If you happen to have an extra fridge or freezer in the garage or basement, keep it locked to prevent small children from hiding inside and becoming trapped.
●Laundry room or area. Be sure detergents and cleaning products are out of reach. Keep dryer doors shut and consider keeping the door to the room locked.
13．Timeline of Childproofing for Different Kids' Ages
●0-6 Months: "Don't underestimate how mobile your child is," says Dr. Pang. Never leave a baby unattended on a changing table or bed. Even if you know your child hasn't started rolling over, one day he'll surprise you, so you want to be prepared. Always fasten straps on strollers, and watch for any possible falls.
●6-12 Months: At this age, your child is starting to crawl and eventually walk. You want to familiarize yourself with your baby's perspective. And watch for chokable items. The team at Family First suggests using an empty toilet paper tube -- if an object can fit inside, it's too small to have near the baby.
●1-2 Years: At this age, babies are on the move constantly. The key now is to avoid burns, which are a common accident among toddlers. Now that children are starting to stand up, they are capable of pulling things down on top of themselves. Dr. Pang recommends that parents keep any hot beverages way back on counters and out of reach. Turn pot handles on the stove inward and be sure to anchor media centers, televisions and stereo equipment that children may climb or pull on.
14．Tips for Childproofing on the Go
●Do a childproofing check upon arrival anywhere your child will sleep overnight and move breakable or dangerous objects out of reach.
●At friends' houses who have older children, watch out for older toys that may not be safe or may have small parts.
●When staying elsewhere overnight, be sure any borrowed cribs meet safety standards. It might be worth bringing your own portable crib.
●You might stock up on extra outlet covers for trips to hotels or for the room your child will be staying in when visiting friends or family.
●When visiting older relatives, beware of medications within reach.
Crib and Sleep Safety Guide
12 Tips to Ensure a Safe Night's Sleep for Your Baby
As adults, we consider sleep such a natural part of everyday life that we often don't give it much thought (except, perhaps, that we'd like more of it). However, because of the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), you should definitely give careful thought to how and where your baby sleeps. Though medical researchers have not found one specific cause of SIDS, they have determined several factors that most likely contribute to these tragic infant deaths. As a result, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development have developed the following safe bedding practices for infants:
●Place baby on his or her back on a firm, tight-fitting mattress in a crib that meets current safety standards.
●Remove pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, stuffed toys, and other soft products from the crib.
●Consider using a sleeper or other sleep clothing as an alternative to blankets, with no other covering.
●If using a blanket, place baby's feet at the foot of the crib. Tuck a thin blanket around the crib mattress, reaching only as far as the baby's chest.
●Make sure your baby's head remains uncovered during sleep.
●Do not place baby on a waterbed, sofa, soft mattress, pillow, or other soft surface to sleep.
●Mobiles should be removed when babies can pull themselves up or are strong enough to grab dangling items.
In addition to the above guidelines, the Consumer Product Safety Commission also suggests that an infant's crib should have:
●A firm, tight-fitting mattress, so a baby cannot get trapped between the mattress and the crib.
●No missing, loose, broken, or improperly installed screws, brackets, or other hardware on the crib or mattress support.
●No more than 2.38 inches (about the width of a soda can) between crib slats, so a baby's body cannot fit through the slats; no missing or cracked slats.
●No corner posts over 0.06 inch high, so a baby's clothing cannot catch.
●No cutouts in the headboard or footboard, so a baby's head cannot get trapped.
Ensure Your Infant's Safety By Installing a Safety Gate
When your baby starts to crawl, explore, or use a walker, it's time to install safety gates wherever potential hazards may be present around your home. At the top of stairs, at the bottom of stairs, and in between rooms, safety gates act as barricades that communicate which areas are off-limits for your little scooter. When purchasing safety gates for your home, there are several things to keep in mind: types of gates, features, and safety.
Types of Safety Gates
Pressure-Mounted Safety Gates - The two sliding panels of a pressure-mounted safety gate adjust to the dimensions of the doorway and a locking mechanism supplies the force to wedge the gate in place. These safety gates are typically used between rooms, but should not be used at the top or bottom of stairs.
Wall-Mounted Safety Gates - This type of safety gate is mounted with screws directly into the wall and therefore has the ability to withstand more than pressure-mounted styles. Some styles have a special swing-stop mechanism to prevent the gate from swinging out over the stairs. Wall-mounted safety gates can be used at the top and bottom of stairs and at window openings. An excellent example of this type of safety gate is the Walk-Through Stair Gate by Evenflo.
Yard Gates - Yard gates have expandable panels to form a fairly large area for your child to play in and are perfect for creating an exclusive area for your toddler outdoors. Typically, every other panel of a yard gate opens for easy access. We recommend the Superyard XT from North States Industries, it even comes with a handy portable carrying strap.
Features To Look For
●One-hand release allows you to open and lock a gate with one hand. This is great for times when you are carrying a baby (and that is sure to be often).
●Dual-direction swinging allows you to open the safety gate in either direction.
●Expandable safety gates can fit doorways and openings of different sizes.
●See-through safety gates allow you full vision of baby through widely spaced bars or mesh for better supervision.
●Installation kits help in mounting safety gates on various surfaces.
●Extension kits allow gates to expand to fit openings larger than standard-size doorways and windows.
●Safety gates come in various materials that complement any décor--wooden, plastic, plastic-coated steel, and soft mesh.
●Do not install pressure-mounted safety gates at the top of stairways, as they cannot withstand as much pressure as wall-mounted safety gates.
●Choose a safety gate with a straight top edge and rigid bars or a mesh screen, or an accordion-style gate with small (less than 1.5 inches) V-shaped and/or diamond-shaped openings.
●Discontinue using safety gates when your child is 36 inches tall or is 2 years old. A safety gate should never be less than three quarters of your child's height, since they can probably climb a safety gate that is not high enough.
●When installing safety gates with expanding pressure bars, install the bar side away from baby, since pressure bars can be used by children as toeholds to climb over a gate.
●Follow installation instructions and anchor the safety gate firmly in the doorway or stairway.
●Always close the safety gate behind you when leaving the room and never leave your child unsupervised.
●Do not use older models of safety gates that are not certified for safety. They are more prone to be hazardous.
When Is It OK To Leave Your Toddler Semi-Unsupervised While You Shower?
By Circle of Moms Editors | Parenting – Thu, May 26, 2011 11:37 PM EDT
By Amy Armstrong
When do you shower? And at what age can a toddler be left semi-supervised or even unsupervised long enough for you to get clean?
Circle of Moms member Lexi C.'s son is 21 months old and has stopped taking naps, leaving her in the lurch. She says, "Our house is safe and child proofed. Is it okay to let him watch TV while I shower with the door open just across the room?
Like many moms, she's resorted to taking her tyke into the shower with her. But this too has its limits. "It'd be nice to shower alone occasionally," Lexi laments.
Wow, what a good mom! When my son was a wee little guy, still unaware of gender, I too took him into the shower with me. But this only lasted so long. Just ask Amy J.:
"I stopped showering with my son at 17 months because he was looking and point(ing) places, so I was like, ok, enough of this," she shares.
Does the end of naps and co-showering mean that your only choice is to leave your child unsupervised for the duration, as Lexi fears?
It depends on your kiddo.
"I don't watch my two-year-old year old while I shower. I leave the bathroom door open and she comes and goes. I think as long as the door is open so you can hear him (or her) calling, then it should be ok for 10-15 minutes," is Theresa J.'s advice.
Other moms keep their kids in the bathroom with them, just not in the shower itself.
"Try bringing some toys/books into the bathroom and let him play in there while you shower," advises Gena P.
The toy ploy also works for Jennifer W. Before she gets in the shower, she makes sure that her child's favorite toys are readily available and that child-engaging music is playing. "I would say it's time to have a little faith and trust in your child. Keep the bathroom door open and lock the front door," she says.
But what if your child's not yet capable of entertaining herself for a short periods of time, like Stephanie C.'s daughter? As she shares, leaving her little one alone is a recipe for disaster: "I don't even close the door to pee because I never know what she's going to get into. She always manages to find stuff that I didn't know existed even though I clean everyday and sweep twice a day. One evening I took my eyes off her for ten minutes and in that time she had managed to find a permanent marker and make a huge mess on our wood floor and her face. So, no thanks. I just take my showers after she goes to bed."
And Hayley B. can tell you it isn't just toddlers who make messes while mom is in the shower. Her response to the question about when it's okay to turn your back is a flat "never."
"I've had my kitchen flooded, my toilet destroyed as he misses constantly, dirty hand prints all over my white walls were he leans on them, my kitchen worktops have been ruined where he hasn't learned to use a chopping board yet. Can't turn my back for a second! I even caught him yesterday stabbing at a trapped piece of toast in the toaster with a fork."
Turns out she's actually referring to her 30-year-old partner. But her point is well taken, and begs another question: When can mom ever really take a shower and not expect to return to some sort of mess?
Answer: When she's june-cleavered the entire house and no one else is coming home for at least an hour. Otherwise, forget it.
Family messes -- and messy moms -- are just part of the process. This too shall pass.
Eventually we all have to let go. Our children do have to be semi unsupervised at times. But that doesn't mean we can't have a system to keep tabs on them when we check out to take care of our own personal needs.
I for one like Becky L.'s very practical suggestion:
"Put a baby monitor in the living room with the receiver in the bathroom with you so you can hear him (or her)," she advises. "If your house is child proof(ed) you should be fine."