Home Safety Tips For New Parents

Lucy Lazarony
November 3, 2020

It is such an exciting time. You’re bringing home a baby. A little one is coming to live in your home. Is your home ready? You will need to revamp just about every room in your home with baby in mind. Here’s how to get your home prepared the safe way for baby.

In Your Baby’s Room

When buying a crib make sure it adheres to federal safety standards. This means the space between the slats should be no more than 2 ⅜ inches wide.

To reduce the risk of suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, keep bedding, pillows and stuffed animals out of your baby’s sleeping area. Put your child to sleep on his or her back on a flat, firm mattress. To reduce the risk of falls, buy a changing table with a built-in safety strap.

In the Kitchen

Place an appliance lock on the oven door. Stove knob covers also will protect little hands from playing. Hopefully, your child won’t be near the stove unattended. But it is a good idea to child-proof the stove and oven anyway. Don’t leave pet food in bowls on the floor. The food could be a choking hazard to infants and toddlers alike. So empty uneaten pet food back into the bag and protect curious little ones from tasting the food. Where do you keep your cleaning products? If it is under the sink or in a low-lying cabinet or drawer, you’ll want to relocate them to a high closet shelf. Don’t want to move all your cleaning supplies? Install cabinet locks to prevent access.

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In the Bathroom

Purchase non-slip mats for the bathtub and for the tile floors as well. These items will help to prevent falls. Be sure to test the temperature of the water before bath time. One possibility is to install an anti-scalding device on your tub’s faucet. This device will prevent the water from fluctuating in temperature. Test the temperature of the bath water by dipping your elbow in it.

To prevent burns, set your water heater at no higher than 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Water that is hotter than this can cause bad burns.

Install safety latches on bathroom cabinets and bathroom drawers to keep little ones out. Install toilet locks to keep toilet lids closed. Children are more top-heavy than adults and they could fall in the toilet.

In Bedrooms and Living Areas

Heavy furniture such as dressers and TV stands and bookshelves should be mounted to the wall to reduce the risk that they may tip over. When storing items, put heavier items on bottom shelves and in bottom drawers.

Those plastic outlet covers could actually be a choking hazard. Choose sliding outlet covers that automatically slide back into place after devices are unplugged. Make sure the baby cannot pull lamps or other electronic objects on to the top of him or herself. Use electrical tape to secure all electrical cords along baseboards.

Make sure all drawers have stops so that a little one can’t pull the drawer out and on top of him or herself. Put corner and edge bumpers on furniture and other items such as a fireplace hearth. Place furniture away from high windows so children won’t climb onto windowsills. Keep houseplants out of your baby’s reach.

Look for and remove all small objects that could cause choking. Need a guideline? Objects that can pass through the center of a toilet paper roll could cause your child to choke. So remove those items from around all the rooms in your house.

In Stairwells

Install safety gates securely in front of stairs and basement doors. Avoid gates with diamond-shaped slats because these provide footholds for climbing toddlers. Instead use gates with straight, vertical slats and a swinging door.

Near Swimming Pools

If there is a swimming pool in your backyard, make sure it is surrounded by a fence and has a gate that locks. That way a little one can’t wander in. Never leave little ones near the pool unattended.

Outside with Baby

Keep the baby in the shade. Their skin is thinner and more sensitive. Cover them up with clothes and a hat and limit their time in the sun.

In the Car

For the first two years of a baby’s life, car seats should be facing the rear of the car. And the safest location for the car seat is the middle back seat of the car. Never put a baby in the front passenger seat of cars, especially cars with airbags. Always lock your car and your car trunk, even if the car is parked in the driveway. Always keep your car keys out of the hands of little ones.

How to Prevent Falls

If you use an infant carrier, always place the carrier on the floor, never on a counter or tabletop. Make sure the baby is always strapped into the infant carrier. Never leave a baby alone on a bed, couch, changing table or infant seat. The baby could fall off or roll off.

Fire Safety for the Home

Install smoke alarms over every level of your home. And have a fire extinguisher on each level of your home. Change the batteries of the smoke detectors every six months. If your home uses gas heat, install a carbon monoxide detector.

Preventing Burns

Do not hold hot liquids when holding your baby. Do not microwave your baby’s bottle. Many microwaves heat unevenly and this creates hot spots that can burn a baby’s mouth. Instead, warm the formula by running warm tap water over the bottle or submerging the bottle in a bowl of warm water. Shake the bottle well and make sure you test the temperature on your hand or wrist before feeding it to your baby.

Be Prepared for Emergencies

Put emergency phone numbers in each phone, including landline phones. Make sure you include poison control in your list of emergency contacts. Make sure your home or apartment number is easy to see so fire rescue can locate you during an emergency.

Check for Product Safety Recalls

Check the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website for the latest information on child and baby products recalls. It pays to stay on top of the latest recalls. That way you will know if an item is not safe for your child.

Homeowners Insurance

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