Safety council offers tips to baby proof home
Preparing the home for a new baby’s arrival is a highly anticipated event for new parents. However, parents must be aware of potential safety hazards in their home and complete some basic baby-proofing steps, the Window Covering Safety Council said.
More than 4.5 million children are wounded in the home every year — most of these injuries can be prevented if parents take appropriate precautions to ensure their children’s safety.
By following these simple steps, parents will be bringing home their baby to a safer home, the council said.
1. Buy a new crib that meets current national safety standards. Corner posts should be 1/16 inch or shorter, and the distance between crib slats should be 23/8 inches or less to avoid entrapment.
2. To prevent accidental suffocation, remove all soft, loose and fluffy bedding from the baby’s sleep area. Never place baby on a waterbed, sofa, pillow or other soft surface to sleep, and always position the baby to sleep on his/her back.
3. To help reduce the risk of falls, strangulation, suffocation and burns, make sure not to position the crib near: climbable furniture, hanging wall decorations, electrical cords, heating sources, windows, draperies or curtain cords.
4. Be sure window coverings are up-to-date with the latest safety standards. Window coverings manufactured before 2001 can pose a potential strangulation hazard. Replace them with today’s safer, cordless products in all homes with young children. Parents wishing to find more information from the Window Covering Safety Council can visit the website, www.windowcoverings.org.
5. When hanging anything on or above a crib with a string or ribbon, be mindful of its length.
6. It is also important to avoid strings on all infant products, including pacifiers and rattles.
7. To curb a risk of tipping, use angle braces or anchors to lock heavy or large furniture and objects to the wall.
8. Install safety devices such as smoke alarms, window guards or window stopping devices and safety covers over all electrical outlets, throughout the home to enhance a safer environment.
9. It is important to post a list of emergency numbers near every phone in your home. The following should be included: National Poison Hotline, police, pediatrician, dentist, family doctor and fire department.
10. If parents are planning on decorating the nursery, it should be done well in advance of the baby’s arrival. If the baby is already at home, he/she should be kept in your bedroom for a few weeks so that any potential air pollutants won’t be inhaled.
11. When childproofing any room in the house, always look at it from your child’s perspective. It is important to get down on your hands and knees and crawl around the room. It is surprising what hazards can be missed when the room isn’t considered from this perspective.