Photo credit: www.mothermag.com
When you become a parent, there is an intense mix of emotions that can only be described as fear, anxiety, excitement, and incredible anticipation. What kind of personality will this new little life have? Will I ever sleep again? Do I have enough room in my heart to love another little child? With all of the thoughts that swirl through your mind when bringing a child into the world, one that you should never put on the backburner is how you will baby proof your home. Baby proofing your home is not optional; it is a necessary part of parenting to ensure the safety of you and your little ones. These tips will help you create a safe oasis for you little humans to play, run, and discover so that you can free up mental space to worry about every other aspect of parenting.
1. Put everything harmful and toxic up top - It sounds incredibly simple but it often times goes overlooked. Instead of locking up every single cabinet within arms reach of your little one, utilize your lower cabinets for harmless items like Tupperware, paper towels, and paper bags. While your toddler may still get their hands on these items, you don’t have to worry about them ingesting cleaning products or accidently suffocating.
2.Tie up the drawstrings for the blinds - The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that one child per month dies from blind cord strangulation. It is a horrific tragedy that can be avoided two simple ways. If your budget is tight, you can tie the string as high as possible and put it out of reach like on the top of the window seal. You can also invest in rather inexpensive cord locks that will keep the cord out of reach and too short to create a strangulation hazard.
3.Invest in furniture straps - Yes, your furniture straps and yes, that includes the huge flat screen television in the family room. Children are curious and even when your kids are old enough to know better than to climb on the furniture, they are really still too young to care about the risks and will do it anyway. More than 17,000 children under the age of 18 were treated for an injury related to a fallen television in the US in2015 according to a study of emergency room records. Furniture straps are inexpensive but can save your child’s life.
4.Cover your outlets - Little ones are curious about everything in their path. Something that is ordinary to us experienced humans is brand new and exciting to them; this includes mundane power outlets. We see a source of power and they see an experiment to test out with bobby pins, forks, and whatever else they can find. Cover up every outlet that is not in use with outlet covers. Little hands are not able to pry them off and they become wholly uninterested in them.
The truth is, no matter how many children you have or how long you’ve been a parent, raising children is a never-ending learning experience. No one, not even your mom, always get’s it right. Guiding your kids through their childhood and explaining these dangers while child proofing in the background is a great place to begin.
By Latifah Miles, Mini+Me contributor