By Chanté Perryman
Bringing home a new baby is exciting and a memory you will always cherish. But what happens once baby gets a little bigger and more mobile? Is the nursery baby proofed to keep them safe or does it need some attention? Here are a few quick tips to help you keep your little one unharmed!
• Cribs should have fixed rails and no more than 2 3/8 inches of space between slats. Older cribs with drop rails are now banned. To correct this, you can get an immobilizer for it.
• Soft items like pillows, blankets, stuffed toys and bumpers should never be in the crib or any place where baby is sleeping. Once baby is able to get up on their hands and knees, remove all mobiles and hanging toys. Also, once baby pulls up, move the mattress down.
• Keep one hand on baby at all times when using a changing table. Make sure your changing table has safety straps and a buckle. Don’t ever leave a baby on the changing table alone.
• Secure all heavy furniture and televisions with furniture straps. Do not put a television on top of a dresser – the drawers can be used for climbing. Use furniture corners and edge bumpers on all sharp edges.
• Furniture and cribs should be kept away from windows. Do not rely on window screens to keep your baby safe. Screens are used to keep bugs and insects out and not children in. Childproof screens and window guards can be installed and have been proven to prevent falls. Keep all blind cords tied and out of reach or cut the ends and attach breakaway safety tassles.
• Place outlet covers on all exposed electrical sockets. Some small covers can be a choking hazard. Get the ones that require two hands to remove, sliding covers, or the cover plates that screw on. And you can always place furniture in front of outlets for more protection!
• Toys should be appropriate for baby’s age and physical skill. If a toy can fit down a toilet paper roll, it is too small and can potentially be a choking hazard.
• Avoid toy boxes with hinged lids that could slam down. Choose a toy box with a removable lid, ventilation holes or space beneath the lid.
• Use cord holders to keep long cords against the wall. If using a baby monitor, keep the cords tightly wound and always away from the crib or choose a cordless monitor.
• The best way to see anything that needs to be baby proofed is to get on the floor – on baby’s level. Get down on your hands and knees and crawl around! What is in reach on their level? You will be amazed with what you find close to the ground!