Don’t Overlook these Household Hazards to Babies and Toddlers
Home is where the heart is, no doubt about it. Unfortunately, it’s also where the most accidents occur if you aren’t careful to prevent them! For new parents in particular, the hazards around the house are important to catch, as they can greatly threaten the safety of a baby who has just started crawling or a mischievous and independent toddler. New parents and parents-to-be should take the time to find and prevent these common household hazards. Your child’s well being and your sanity depend on it!
Appliances can certainly pose a threat to the exploring young child, and it’s important for a parent to make sure that nothing can happen even while there is no adult supervision in the room. For example, dishwashers should always be kept tightly closed with all sharp knives and objects pointed downward. Stovetops should be checked for stability - there have been cases where they have pitched forward! - and televisions or other heavy items should be anchored properly as well.
2. The Family Pet
You love your cat and dog and your child probably does too. However, leaving your tot alone with Rover or Fluffy is not a terribly safe or wise idea. Dogs and cats can be antagonized by well-meaning young children, often to the point of clawing, biting and retaliating in unexpected ways. Avoid putting your pet in this tough situation by always supervising playtime and showing your child how to gently interact with their four-legged siblings.
3. Electrical Outlets and Wires
It’s not a secret that electrical outlets are a hazard to children, and making sure all outlets are covered is important. But in today’s tech-friendly world, wires and other gadgets left around the house can also pose a threat. Unplug all gadgets and appliances as much as possible, shorten cords and avoid using long extensions to ensure your young child does not attempt to play with a live wire.
When parents think about household chemicals being a hazard to young children, it’s often bleach or other highly toxic cleaning products that spring to mind. But other seemingly innocuous items can also be harmful to a baby or toddler, including toiletry items or makeup. Keep them out of reach.
5. Furniture and Decor
Adults often joke about having a home that looks like it’s been proofed for babies and toddlers - i.e., nothing fancy - but the truth is that certain furnishings can be threatening to a child who’s just learning to crawl or walk. Furniture that has sharp corners or glass accompaniments or offers actions such as rocking back and forth should be moved out of the child’s path. Decorative items that are easily breakable or heavy should be moved from reach as well.
6. Swimming Pools
We all love the look and mood of a sparkling swimming pool during warmer months, but this oasis can be a deathtrap for young children. If your backyard has a swimming pool, use extra caution in making sure it is not accessible to your baby or toddler. Doors that lead outside should be tightly closed and locked at all times; a gate around the pool area is even better. Remind any babysitters, visitors or older children to be aware of the dangers as well.