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Providing a Safe Environment for your Baby

Looking after a baby is no cakewalk. Sleepless nights, dirty diapers, constant wailing, constant feeding, is just the tip of the iceberg. Just when parents feel that they've got the knack of things, the baby becomes mobile. It always comes as a surprise to parents how fast a crawling baby can move. Now you see him, now you don't. You take your eyes off them for a second and they're off like a shot. They seem to have an unerring instinct to seek out the most potentially harmful things and activities like putting their fingers into electric sockets or playing with sharp objects. A crawling baby is like an accident waiting to happen. There is no way that parents can watch the baby constantly. But they can take come precautionary measures in an attempt to ensure that the baby will not come to harm even if he wanders off. 

Tips to make your home childproof

  • Lock up certain rooms like the study, or home office, or the utility area. These areas will thus be inaccessible to the child.
  • The kitchen is a potentially hazardous area, but it is not an area that can be kept off-limits, as parents tend to be in and out of the kitchen all the time. What parents can do is to put childproof latches on drawers and cabinets containing poisonous materials or sharp objects. It is advisable to unplug all electrical appliances and keep them well out of the baby's reach. The baby should be kept out of the kitchen when cooking. Be extra careful when handling hot liquids and place all hot dishes in the centre of the table rather than near the edge. Put all glassware and sharp objects in the higher cabinets. 
  • Bedrooms seem relatively safe. However, this area has its own potential dangers. Do not leave jewelry lying around. It acts as a magnet for babies and this can lead to a choking accident. Perfumes, deodorants and makeup should also be kept out of the baby's reach as these substances can cause accidental poisoning. Belts, ties, shoelaces and plastic bags can cause strangulation and suffocation. 
  • In every room, all unstable furniture, floor lamps, etc. should be removed. 
  • Dangling cords and wires should be taped up. This will prevent table lamps and floor lamps crashing to the floor when babies tug at the wires. Make sure that the insulation on the wiring has not become frayed and that the wires are not exposed. 
  • Remove all knicknacks like cigarette lighters, paperweights and remote controls so that the baby cannot get his hands on it. 
  • Put all expensive and delicate equipment in a place where the baby cannot reach it.
  • The bathroom is a dangerous area for both children and adults with its hard surfaces, slippery tiles, hot water geysers and faucets. Unfortunately, it is not possible to make this area out of bounds for the baby. The best that parents can do is to put a latch somewhere high on the bathroom door and closely supervise the baby's visits to the bathroom. 
  • As far as staircases are concerned, parents should keep in mind that babies usually learnt to climb up the stairs much before they learn how to get down. Therefore, it is advisable to put a gate at the top of the stairs. A gate can also be put at the third step from the bottom as a precaution to prevent the baby from tumbling very far down.
  • Babies have a tendency to put almost everything they get their hands on into their mouths. Thus, in households that have a lot of indoor plants, it is recommended that parents get rid of plants that are potentially lethal. Dangling vines are unsafe, as babies are likely to pull and drag them down. If parents do decide to keep plants, they should ensure that the pots are placed well out of reach. 
  • All windows should be locked and barred so that there is no danger of the baby falling out of them.

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