It’s always a good idea to consider baby-proofing ideas before your baby starts to crawl and you learn the hard way that you didn’t put fragile or hazardous items far enough out of reach. Some baby-proofing steps may be obvious, but your home may also have safety hazards for a crawling baby that you would never consider. Here are six tips for making your home safer for your newly mobile child, brought to you by the San Diego home insurance experts at American Tri-Star.
1. Cover Outlets and Hide Cables
Outlets pose a serious risk of shock to young children who may try to stick a key or coin into the opening. Every year, about 2,400 young children experience a severe shock and burn from an outlet, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Use outlet covers or move your furniture to block outlets that aren’t being used. You can hide electrical cords behind furniture or with a hide-a-cord device.
2. Safety-Proof Your Appliances
It’s always a good idea to install an appliance latch on your oven to keep it secure, especially if your baby is starting to pull him or herself up. You can also add knob covers to keep your child from turning on the burners. Outlets, oven doors, and toasters can be tempting to a curious baby. Make sure small appliances like blow dryers are kept unplugged and stored safely. Don’t overlook your dishwasher, which can pose many dangers. Keep knives and sharp objects pointed downward in the basket, and don’t add detergent until you’re ready to run the dishwasher.
3. Inspect Used Baby Gear
You may not think the baby gear you bring into your home can pose a risk, but thousands of products are recalled every year. Used baby equipment and toys may have missing pieces, fail to meet current safety regulations, or be subject to a safety recall. Always inspect used baby items and check if they’ve been recalled before using them.
4. Prevent Drowning Hazards in the Bathroom
A toilet can easily become a hazard for a curious child. Keep toilet lids down in every bathroom and secure them with a lid lock that a small child can’t open. Bathtub seats and rings for babies can also be a drowning hazard. These devices are meant to be used with direct supervision. They aren’t safety devices, and your baby should never be left alone in the bathtub when using them.
5. Be Careful with the Family Dog
No matter how gentle you think your dog is or how long it’s been part of the family, dogs can still be a risk to young kids. Every year, 100,000 young children are treated in emergency rooms for dog bite injuries, and most of these bites are from the family dog or a friend’s dog. Never leave the baby alone in the room with your dog until the child is old enough to learn how to be gentle and recognize aggressive behavior. You should also avoid buying small pet toys that can become a choking hazard for a crawling baby.
6. Beware of Unsecured Furniture
Your baby may begin lifting him or herself up using furniture, which can lead to tragedy if your dressers and bookshelves aren’t secured to the wall. Accidents involving furniture and TVs hurt more than 25,000 children every year. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends anchoring furniture to the wall with furniture straps. If you have a flat-screen TV, push it as far back onto the stand as possible or mount it to the wall.
For additional tips on baby-proofing your home, get in touch with American Tri-Star today. In addition to homeowners insurance, we also offer reliable and affordable auto, health, RV, and commercial insurance in San Diego. For a free quote, give us a call at 619-272-2100.