Baby Safety Checklist - Protecting Your Baby

When bringing home your new baby, there are so many things to do in order to get ready. Making your home a safe haven for your new little one is one of the most important things you will do to get ready. Each room contains its own set of dangers. Below is a baby safety checklist to ensure that every room in your house is baby friendly.

General Safety Tips:

___ Place child-resistant covers on all electrical outlets.
___ Install safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs.
___ Don't use baby walkers because they have been known to have caused serious injuries to babies. Use stationary exercisers instead.
___ Keep all dangerous chemicals out of the reach of children.
___ Shorten curtain and blind cords.
___ Install smoke detectors on each floor of your home, especially near sleeping areas. * Be sure to change the batteries each year.
___ Keep all small objects away from young children. (This includes tiny toys and balloons.)
___ Use corner bumpers on furniture and fireplace-hearth edges.
___ Know the names of all plants in case a child eats one of them.
___ Be sure that furnaces, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, space heaters, and all gas appliances are vented properly.
___ Place screened barriers around fireplaces, radiators, and portable space heaters.
___ Keep firearms and ammunition safely locked away.
___ Secure unsteady furnishings.
___ Check your house for lead and asbestos. If you detect either of these substances, contact a professional. Any house built before 1978 is at risk for lead paint.

Protect your kids rooms:

___ Ensure that your crib meets national safety standards.
___ Place guards on windows and stops on all doors.
___ Make sure your baby's crib is sturdy and has no loose or missing hardware.
___ Make sure that the mattress fits snugly.
___ Be sure the crib sheet fits snugly.
___ Never put stuffed animals or heavy blankets in the crib with your infant.
___ Never leave your baby unattended on the changing table.
___ Remove mobiles and other hanging toys from the crib as soon as your child can reach up and touch them.
___ Place infants under one year of age on their backs to sleep. Mattress should be firm and flat with no soft bedding underneath. * Following this advice will reduce the risk of suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
___ Place night-lights at least three feet away from the crib, bedding, and draperies to prevent fires.
___ Check age labels for appropriate toys.

Keep the bathroom safe:

___ Put a lock on the medicine cabinet.
___ Lower the household water temperature. (It should be set at 120 degrees F or below to avoid burning your baby)
___ Always test the water first before bathing a child.
___ Never leave your child alone in the bathtub or near any water.
___ Secure toilet lids. Many young children are fascinated by putting objects inside.
___ Make sure that bathtubs and showers aren't slippery.
___ Install ground-fault circuit interrupters on outlets near sings and bathtubs.

For the Kitchen:

___ Keep all knives, cleaning supplies, and plastic bags out of children's reach.
___ If stove knobs are easily accessible to children, use protective covers to prevent kids from turning them.
___ Never leave your baby alone in a highchair. Always use all safety straps. ___ Replace any frayed cords and wires.
___ Keep chairs and step stools away from counters and the stove.
___ Remove all household cleaners from the bottom cabinets or put them in a cabinet that is out of your baby's reach.

In the Yard:

___ Store tools, garden, lawn-equipment, and supplies in a locked closet or shed.
___ Don't use a power mower when young children are around.
___ Don't allow children to play on a treated lawn for at least 48 hours following an application of a fertilizer or pesticide.
___ Know the types of trees and plant life on the property in case children ingest berries, leaves, or other plant life.
___ If you have a swimming pool, install a fence that separates the house from the pool. ( Make sure that the gate is childproof)

This list is a general guide. For more in-depth information go to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission at www.cpsc.gov.

GranMamma is the webmaster at the Baby Names Box - http://www.babynamebox.com - Where you can explore over 6,000 baby names and their meanings. Read articles on parenting, family, recipes, home and gardening. Be sure to say hi to GranMamma!

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