As a parent, keeping your baby safe is always a top priority. It’s just one of those things you can never be too careful about. From the careful selection of the products you use to baby proofing your house, parents can spend a ton of time on safety.
In honor of Baby Safety month, we wanted to share some safety hazards and tips that are often overlooked:
Because the cords are often right at eye level for a baby who is starting to stand, it can be a particularly tempting object to touch and play with.
It can be easy to forget about certain cords, but cords like your phone charger, lamps, or TV cords can be a hazard to your baby’s health. It’s particularly important to keep your baby away from them because he could end up pulling on the cord and cause the object to fall, potentially on him.
It’s also vital to keep your baby away from cords because of that tendency to put everything in his mouth! If the cord is within reach, your baby may try to put it into his mouth. He may try to chew on the wire or on the end of it which may cause him to get an electrical burn. Almost two-thirds of electrical burns happen to babies and children, and if the cord is in his mouth, it can make the electrical burn even worse.
Electrical burns can cause damage (both temporary and permanent) to the skin, tissues, and even the major organs. To prevent this, keep all the power cords out of your baby’s reach. This includes cords for your phone charger or even chargers to your baby’s toys. Make sure you put them up and away when you aren’t using them.
Clutter is another often overlooked hazard to your baby. Loose change, batteries, rubber bands, or other little objects left around the house are choking hazards to your baby. If he discovers them on his crawl around the room and you’re turned away for just a second, he could pop them in his mouth and start choking.
Similarly, a lot of clutter on the floor can be a tripping hazard for your baby. It’s not only difficult for you to manage, especially if you’re carrying your baby around the obstacle course of your living room, but it can also be dangerous once your baby starts crawling and walking. Toddlers are very shaky and unsteady, making it easier for them to trip.
Improper toy storage can be a danger to your baby too. Once he is independent enough to start pulling on things, if he tries to pull a particular toy away from a stack, it could cause the whole thing to come tumbling down on him.
Having a lot of clutter around the house can also be a bacterial nightmare for your baby. If there are a ton of items stored in a damp environment, it could begin to grow mold or fungus. Dry climates might be full of dust and other microbes. If your baby disturbs the clutter, it could send all that into the air and into his lungs, which is not good for his health.
To prevent clutter from becoming hazardous to your baby, make sure you keep all the little items picked up off the floor and countertops and keep your home organized and clean.
The dishwasher can present a variety of safety risks to your tiny tot. Not only can an open dishwasher give your curious baby access to all sorts of sharp items like knives and forks, but it can also give them easy access to the detergent. If your baby puts the detergent in his mouth, it can burn his mouth, airway, and esophagus. Dishwasher detergent is incredibly corrosive and poisonous that can lead to lifelong injuries. It can even be fatal depending on the dose.
Household cleaning products are one of the leading causes of chemical exposure for children. If your baby swallowed any detergent, call Poison Control immediately.
Keep your dishwasher safe from your baby by always making sure that it is clicked shut. Also, make sure detergents are kept in a childproof container.
Trash cans and small wastebaskets can be dangerous for your baby. If your baby tips over the wastebasket in the bathroom, he could unleash a ton of hazardous material. The waste baskets are often full of things like cotton balls, old razors, or old cosmetics. The cotton balls can be a choking hazard, and some cosmetics could lead to poisoning or overdose if swallowed. The razors can cut or scrape the baby, and if he puts it in his mouth, it will be even worse.
Trash cans in other areas of the house are still full of bacteria and other objects you don’t want in your baby’s mouth. An easy solution is to keep the trashcan in a locked cabinet to keep your baby from getting into it.
Unsecured Furniture or TV’s
Another safety issue that might have escaped your notice when you were babyproofing your house is all that big furniture. The TV, TV stand and other furniture like bookshelves can be hazardous to your baby if it isn’t safely anchored to the wall. Not only could the sharp edges impale your toddler’s soft head, but he could also yank on it and pull it down on himself if it isn’t stable.
Bookshelves with a shelf that’s eye level can be tempting to your toddler. He can end up toppling the whole thing by climbing on it or by reaching for a book.
Make sure your furniture has rounded corners. Or if you aren’t looking to repurchase all the furniture you already have, cover the sharp edges with adhesive cushions. Keep your bookcases secured by bracketing them to the wall. Also, make sure there are no items on your baby’s eye level shelf that could potentially fall and injure him.
Doors can be another favorite toy for your little one. But it can be dangerous if your baby starts pulling on it or if something causes it to close with force.
Doors can cause a variety of finger injuries to your little one’ digits depending on the force. It can either cause a slight pinch to a crushed finger, and it can even amputate them if it is slammed closed.
Always make sure you keep those little hands away from the door before you close it and don’t allow him to play around the doors in your house. Try using a pinch guard to prevent the doors from slamming on those little fingers.
Remaining vigilant is one of your top defenses against any hazards towards your baby. Make sure you always keep an eye on your baby, because no baby proofing is 100%.
If you are looking to baby proof your house before your little one is crawling around, invite a friend over who has older kids… you’ll learn very quickly what needs to be baby proofed and what doesn’t!
*image by Molly Conner, Brand Ambassador