Ways to babyproof a home is a critically important topic worldwide. Why? Because about one million children suffer accidental death each year. For that reason, utilizing the various USA baby proofing product lines offered commercially makes good sense, and has become a popular trend. You may also would want to source out the services of a local baby proofing company or find electricians that specialize in this specific area or work.
Safer Kids Around the World
An organization dedicated to child safety awareness and changing laws and attitudes, Safe Kids Worldwide was founded in 1987. Since then, there has been a 45% reduction in child fatalities in the USA alone - saving an estimated 38,000 children from accidental death.
More and more homeowners are taking safety precaution steps to make their dwelling a safe house for children. While in most cases a basic baby proofing item such as a child proof outlet cover can be found in house wares at the supermarket, other American baby stuff such as child safety gates to make a child proof house can be purchased in the baby section of most major department stores.
Get a Head Start
The first efforts for home baby proofing should begin even before baby arrives home from the hospital. Setting up a baby nursery and crib for your newborn should include these important steps:
- Select only a crib that meets American Society for Testing and Material ASTM standards - with slats no more than 2 3/8-inches apart. American-made cribs manufactured since 1992 meet these standards. Avoid cribs with elevated corner posts and decorative cutouts that could entrap the baby's head or snag clothing; make sure hardware is tightly assembled.
- Make sure the crib mattress fits properly - with no more than a ½ to ¾-inch gap between the mattress, headboard, and side rails; making it impossible for an infant to slip between the mattress and crib.
- Use only approved crib bedding - never use electric blankets or heating pads; avoid fluffy bedding, pillows, and stuffed animals in the crib for newborns and babies under 3-months old.
- When using a mesh side playpen - make sure the openings in the mesh are no more than ¾ inch. Make sure there are no holes or tears in the mesh that an infant could become trapped in.
- Use only a change table with safety features - with sides and a safety belt; place a thick, soft rug under the change table in case of accidental falls.
- Lower hot water temperature - to prevent accidental scalding by resetting your water heater thermostat.
Also, place nightlights at least 3 feet away from draperies, crib, or bedding for fire prevention purposes.
The Child Proof Home
Efforts for house baby proofing should be increased by the time your infant reaches 4 months and begins moving about the house. Use the following baby proofing checklist to help transform your house into a child proof home:
- Keep items that may pose a choking hazard out of reach. Rule of thumb - anything that can fit inside an empty toilet paper roll is too small to be left within reach of a small child.
- Use only cordless draperies and cordless window shades. If you cannot switch to cordless shades, shorten cords to keep them out of reach of children.
- High chairs should have a restraining strap, a clamp for securing it to the table, and no parts that can removed by the child.
- Install a child proof gate at top and bottom access to staircases or doors to any area of the house that could pose a threat. Or, install a child proof door lock on all rooms containing a potential hazard. Use only hardware mounted gates; baby safety gates that attach with a pressure-fit spring often come loose.
- Do not use any box for a toy box with a hinged lid; a child could crawl inside, become trapped, and suffocate. If you must use a hinged lid such as an old trunk, drill breathing holes in it in case a child gets trapped.
- As soon as the child can stand in the crib, remove hanging toys such as mobiles. Remove the crib bumper, which could be used as a step to climb out.
- Keep any potentially toxic or lethal items such as cleaners, medications, insecticide or repellant, alcoholic beverages, or firearms up out of reach; in a cabinet with a child proof cabinet lock.
- Because many can be toxic, know the names of every houseplant in the home, and keep them out of reach of small children.
- In the event of accidental poisoning, keep Ipecac and activated charcoal in the home. Use only under medical supervision.
- Install a GFI electrical outlet in every receptacle in bathrooms and near sinks, or anyplace there is a water shock hazard potential. Install a child proof outlet cover on all receptacles.
- Use screens around fireplaces, radiators, or other heat sources that pose a burn hazard.
- Make sure all appliance cords are wrapped short and out of reach. This prevents a child from pulling a hot coffee pot or other appliance onto themselves. Position stereos, video equipment, computers, table lamps or floor lamps, (especially halogen which get very hot) or televisions in safe locations where they cannot be accidentally pulled down by a small child.
- All bookcases, shelving units, and other heavy objects that could fall or be pulled down should be secured or fastened to the wall to avoid possible injury.
- Install an anti scald device in bath tubs or sink areas used by infants or small children.
- Plan for fire with smoke detector placement throughout the home.
- Don't forget areas outside the home such as decks, patios, or the yard. Pickets on deck railing should be spaced so that a child cannot get their head between them. Most local building codes have a requirement for maximum spacing.
In addition to the above, eliminate other potential hazards such as electrical shock, burns (hot grill), sharp objects, and cords or wires that pose a strangulation threat.
The car is another area outside of the home that requires attention. Most states enforce a car seat regulation that requires mandatory use of an infant car seat when transporting infants or toddlers. Every child safety car seat, however, is not the same. When purchasing a car seat, opt for one with the highest safety rating.
When You Need a Professional
While many of the above precautions can be addressed by the homeowner, some such as anti scald devices, more complicated child safety lock cabinetry, customized safety features, and building code compliant picket spacing on deck railing may require the services of a professional contractor.
Homeowners all across America can locate just the right contractor at just the right price at TrustedPros.com where services are fast, easy and FREE.
Sign up without cost or obligation and post your childproofing project online, where it is immediately visible to reliable contractors in your community 24/7. Local member contractors also receive e-mail notification of new project postings, and provide competitive bids in days, even hours from project posting.
Homeowners can view company profile pages for each candidate online at their convenience; including, references, licensing/insurance/certification credentials, customer feedback, and photos of company staff and recently completed projects. And then make an informed hiring decision, or hire no one at all. Remember, there is no obligation whatsoever and services are FREE.Posted by: TrustedPros