Baby Safety Month Week 2: Baby-Proofing You May Have Missed

September 8, 2011 — By

It’s Week 2 of Baby Safety Month, and this week’s quick tips are all about baby proofing.  We aren’t talking about stair gates and drawer latches; we bet you have those covered.  This week, we’re highlighting some of the less obvious stuff – seven potential dangers you may have put off, forgotten about or overlooked.

Like last week, please print out this handy list and check off each item as you go.

Baby Safety Month –  Week 2 Checklist: Baby-proofing

Sept.  8 Sept.  9 Sept. 10 Sept.11 Sept. 12 Sept. 13 Sept. 14

Check Your Plants

Move Baby Monitor

Guard Your Windows

Secure Electrical Cords

Keep Open Doors Open

Check Safety Item Recalls

Anchor Furniture

 

8. Check Your Plants

In general, houseplants are considered a positive thing. Not only do they bring a natural element to your décor, they have long been shown to help improve indoor air quality. However, with little ones  around, house plants can be dangerous.  Beyond choking hazards, some of the most common houseplants are actually poisonous.

Keeping plants up and out of reach is the best policy, but even then, leaves can drop to the floor.  It is a good idea to check your plants and, at least until your children are old enough to know not to touch, banish the poisonous varieties from your home.  Here are a couple of useful lists of common threats:

http://www.denverplants.com/foliage/html/Poisonous_Plants.htm (hover to see images)
http://www.guide-to-houseplants.com/poisonous-house-plants.html
(Note: The sites linked above do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of their lists. If in doubt, please consult your local garden nursery or poison control center.)

9. Move Baby Monitor

Sadly, we learned of several strangulation and near strangulation incidents with baby monitor cords last year, some of which resulted in recall. Several consumers commented that it was common sense the monitors should not be placed near a crib, but the injury rates tell a different story.  In an effort to make sure the monitor was close enough to the child to hear or see him/her, some parents overlooked the potential dangers posed by the monitor itself.

Please take a moment to make sure your monitor is far enough away from Baby that s/he cannot reach the monitor or the cord.  Never balance or hang the monitor over the side-rail, and never place it inside the crib.

If your monitor does not pick up noise from a safe distance, then it is probably time for a new monitor.

10. Guard Your Windows

It seems unlikely that a child, especially one who is just learning to crawl and walk, could fall out of a window, but statistics show otherwise.  The CPSC reports that over 3,000 children under the age of five fall out of windows each year.  Often, this is due to a child climbing onto furniture placed in front of a window.

One of last week’s to-do items was to move the crib away from furniture and windows. This week, please take a moment to check and secure your windows with locks and guards.  This window safety blog-post and video from the CPSC provides more information on how to keep your baby safely inside.

11. Secure Electrical Cords

Undoubtedly you’ve purchased electric outlet covers to prevent Baby sticking something into an unused plug, but it’s uncanny how often we overlook the outlets with something already plugged into them!  Look for outlet covers that go over the entire outlet, plugs and all.  Also consider plastic stripping (available at hardware stores) or special tape to secure the cords along the edge of the floor and wall. One small tug could pull a lamp or appliance down on top of Baby.

12. Keep Open Doors Open

We spend a lot of time figuring out how to lock doors to rooms we don’t want Baby to access.  (Door knob covers generally do the trick.) But what about those doors Baby is free to roam through, like the playroom or nursery?  Those are doors we need to stay open to avoid pinched fingers, especially if there are older helpers around who may not think to look for Baby’s digits before opening and closing the doors. If you don’t want the door held open all the way, slipping a foam “pinch guard” over the edge of the door will keep it from closing completely, leaving an inch or two for little fingers to escape.  Be sure to place it high enough so Baby cannot reach it.

13. Check Safety Item Recalls

It seems like an oxymoron – Safety Item Recall – but it happens.  Baby-proofing items are recalled when they do not protect as intended, or it is determined that they pose an unforeseen hazard.  It only takes a minute to glance through this list of Recalled Childproofing & Safety Items. Either bookmark and check the list periodically, or you can add your baby-proofing supplies to an Items I OwnTM  Product Safety RegistryTM to get email alerts in the event of a future recall.

14. Anchor Furniture

Those of us who live in earthquake country are likely to have our bookshelves tied down already, but anyone with a young child in the house needs to do the same.  Set aside an hour to go through your home and secure heavy furniture like bookcases, dressers and TV carts.

Not convinced? This video from CPSC shows the consequences of taking the risk.  After watching, we’re sure you’ll agree that a few simple anchors are well worth the time.

4 Comments

  1. baby monitors safety says:

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