We all know that we need to baby proof our homes before the newest member of the family arrives. But there is more to think about than putting covers over the plug outlets or childproofing the cabinet doors and furniture. There are so many factors to consider; so many other things that need to be done in preparation, and so many things that require constant vigil, to keep that precious little one safe.
5 Ways to Keep Your Baby Safe in the Home
Heating a Bottle
Microwaving a baby bottle can be a potential burn hazard. Heating up baby formula or breastmilk directly in a microwave takes away the control you have over the temperature. You may overheat the formula which could burn their little esophagus and stomach. A better way to would be to place the bottle directly in a pot of warm water (not hot!) that you have heated on the stove. This gives you the ability to control the temperature of the water, controlling the temperature of the formula. then mix it once the water is at the right temperature.
If you use a microwave, do not have the formula premixed in the bottle. Instead, heat up some water in a cup first. Allow it to cool down to a comfortable temperature then mix it with the formula. Microwaving is never recommended for heating breast milk.
Alone on a Bed
Never leave your baby alone on a bed or other cushioned surface. Several things could happen when you are not looking; even stepping away for just a moment can have some disastrous repercussions. If you step away briefly to grab your phone, your child could roll off of the mattress. A fall to the floor can be detrimental to a developing baby’s body. The skull is not strong enough to withstand such an impact and could lead to brain damage, seizures, or death.
If you have pets, leaving your baby alone could be dangerous. Even though we raise our pets just like we would our children, they are still animals, and animals can be unpredictable. A Google search can pull up dozens of articles documenting cases of dogs attacking and killing babies. As scary as it is to think about, and as much as we don’t want to believe it, dogs (and cats) could present a threat when not looking. You need to stay close by to make sure they do not jump up onto the bed with the baby.
Smoking and Alarms
If you are a smoker, you need to stop before the baby arrives. All of the chemicals that go into your lungs and throughout your body are only a portion of what is put into cigarettes. The filters on the cigarette butt absorb much of these chemicals. What about the chemicals you are releasing into the air? Second-hand smoke has more of the harmful chemicals because there is no filter to stop it. What you are doing to your lungs, you are doing even worse to your child’s. Considering their lungs are not fully developed, you could be causing irreparable damage to their health. So for your sake and your baby’s, please stop!
The carbon monoxide in cigarettes is a small amount compared to other sources in the home. Water heaters, gas stoves, and clothes dryers all have the potential to release deadly amounts of the poisonous gas into your home. A malfunction or a break in one of these could go unnoticed until it is too late. This is why you should install carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Keep the entire family safe by knowing if levels have reach too high through one of these alarms.
Carpets can be a dangerous place for a baby to crawl around. Dirt and dust builds up in the fibers and at the base, and these can be breathed in by your baby or ingested when they put their hands in their mouths. Allergens such as pollen, pet dander, or food particles can also become trapped in your carpets. These can affect your baby’s health, especially if they are too young to be exposed to certain types of foods. Allergic reactions to food can prove fatal for adults. You child’s immune systems will not be able to tolerate these and other allergens.
To keep your floors free of allergens as best as you can, consider replacing the carpet with a solid type of flooring. This will prevent build-ups and make it easier to keep your floors clean. To give your baby a soft space to lay or sit on, consider putting down a rug. Many can be dry cleaned, making it a great option to keep your baby healthy, and come in a wide variety of colors, designs, and materials that mean you do not have to sacrifice style with your little one in the house.
Once your baby learns to crawl, it is over! They will be all over the place. Something many people do not think about when this happens is power cords. Electronics are everywhere in the home, lamps give us additional lighting when there is not enough; make sure to secure those cords!
One issue with power cords would be the shock factor. If your baby pulls on a cord, the electricity flowing through it could jump and electrocute them. Having your baby laying on the floor not breathing is not something any parent wants to face, but this could turn into reality if we do not properly prepare.
The other issue with power cords is that they can be pulled, and the things attached to them could be pulled down on them. Something as small as an alarm clock can deliver permanent damage to such a small body; one of those lamps could be even worse. Bunch your power cords together and stuff them behind furniture or purchase covers for your cords. Move electronics and furniture around to keep them hidden and out of the way.
Always keep your child’s safety and health in mind while you are around the house. Anything you can do to prevent accidents or improve conditions, don’t hesitate to do it. Your baby is depending on you to do so.