Most new parents quickly begin to start looking at all aspects of safety within the house and there are many areas that need to be considered when a baby or small child is living in the house.
You can never be too careful as it only takes a few seconds for an injury to occur that can affect your child's well-being for the rest of their life.
Most accidents that occur to children can be prevented if consideration is taken towards safety precautions that remove the possible dangers that are lurking in every household. Starting with the baby's crib, fitting our Baby Crib Safety Net - Crib Tent will create a safe sleep zone for your baby or toddler by keeping out any nasty creepy crawlies and cats also stopping baby from climbing and falling out.
It is best if you have prepared for your child by looking at the safety aspects before the arrival however if that isn't the case then there is no time like the present to take stock of possible trouble spots throughout the house and this is made easier if you look at each room at a time and preferably with the help of your partner to ensure that nothing is missed.
Look at any items that are within reach of a small child or even those that can be reached with the use of other items lying about the room such as chairs or boxes or anything else that the child can climb on to access objects at a higher level.
You will be surprised at the places that an inquisitive child can get and how quickly they can get in those places when you are occupied with other tasks in the house.
Many a child has been severely burnt by pulling on electrical cords and having appliances or boiling water land on them. Fortunately these days many of the appliances are a lot safer where for instance most kettles no longer have a cord attached to them that can dangle below the level of the kitchen bench.
Electrical outlets are another area of concern as they are down at the level where a young child can quite easily put foreign objects into the outlet and get a shock. You need to look at the house from the eyes of a child and that might mean getting down on your hands and knees to notice all the objects that are assessable.
Even items that we wouldn't consider being a problem can cause considerable damage to a young child if they fall upon them from a height. An example of this would be books falling from a bookcase or ornaments falling from furniture. Any objects that could fall from shelves or furniture should be removed and stored away in a safe place.
Plugs to protect electrical outlets are relatively inexpensive and certainly there is no amount of money they could replace the damage that could be done to your child.
Any furniture or items in the house with sharp edges should also be protected in some way or removed as a young child unsteady on his feet can sustain a lot of injury when falling onto these types of items.
Staircases are one of the biggest causes of injury to young children. You should always secure areas where children are above staircases with suitable barriers that cannot be tampered with, moved or removed by a child.
If there are other children in the house they need to be aware of the safety concerns of the youngest child as while they might be safe in their surroundings they can cause other problems for a younger child by leaving barriers open or objects lying about the house that can cause damage.
Baby proofing your house is an ongoing process that needs to be looked at more often when there are others living in the house. Your child needs to rely 100% on your ability to supply the safety in their life.
It is one of the most important aspects of bringing up your child.
Make sure that you are completely happy with the safety of your child's environment before it learns to crawl.
Most houses have an array of small items that can easily fit the child's mouth and that presents the danger of the child choking.
These should all be kept behind locked doors and all cupboards on the house at child level should have childproof latches to keep out of harm's way.
Another area that many people overlook are doors that lock from the inside making it difficult for you to get into a room where a child might have become locked in. Most door locks will offer an alternative solution where you can unlock them from the outside if needed in an emergency. If you don't have these types of door locks fitted and there is no time like the present to consider getting it done.
Most items to baby proof your house can be obtained by good hardware stores or online hardware suppliers. Check them out as it is money well spent on your child's future.
Babies And Animals
With a big percentage of households having a pet in them there is cause for concern when a new baby comes into the family.
There are a number of issues that arise and these will need to be addressed to keep your baby safe if you have pets.
Animals can become very jealous when there is a new member in the house and many children get injured every year by the family pet simply because of this reason.
Dogs are obviously more dangerous to babies than cats but even a cat can cause harm with its claws and injury to the baby's eyes from scratches can have ongoing consequences.
Cats on the other hand might be happy enough to have the baby in the family but cats also have a tendency to 'snuggle' up to people and it is not uncommon for them to want to sleep beside a baby too.
This presents a problem where a cat can actually smother the baby and in doing so stop it from breathing. As cats have the ability to jump and climb onto and into almost anything even a crib a baby isn't safe from a cat that wants to sleep with your child. The Baby Crib Safety Net - Crib Tent is the best crib netting to keep cats off. Easily fits to the inside of the crib and closes securley with a zip to keep cats out of your baby's crib at all times.
You will need to monitor the behavior of any pets in the house when there is a new baby present and if there are problems then steps will need to be taken to make sure the baby remains safe at all times.
In some circumstances it might be necessary to find a new home for the pet at least until the baby is old enough to be safe within its presence.
The more pets you have in the house the more cause you will have for concern. You can never be too cautious when it comes to the safety of your baby. When you are visiting friends or family who have pets take all the precautions necessary and keep your child in sight at all times and well away from any potential harm.
Commonsense Safety Tips
Keeping your baby safe requires basic commonsense and the ability to see potential danger before it happens.
One thing that you need to consider above all else is the fact that babies and for that matter most young children are very inquisitive and the way that they learn about all these new things in their life is by touching them. Unfortunately they don't know the difference between the things that are safe and those than can cause them harm so it is up to you to eliminate their ability to come into contact with items that can cause them harm.
With most items making a beeline to the child's mouth you can see how danger is only seconds away if items are left lying around the house.
The list of such items becomes greater once the baby has become mobile with the ability to crawl and more so once they start to walk.
Quite apart from keeping dangerous items out of reach you need to consider whether the items and foods that you are actually giving your child will be detrimental to their well-being.
It is easy for a small baby to choke on food and it is best to be present at all times when feeding but it is also very important that the meals don't contain foods that have the ability to cause problems. Food such as raisins, nuts etc can easily cause your child to choke and should never be included in their diet until they are old enough to safely eat them.
You should always test the temperature of the food that you are feeding your child as food that has been heated in a microwave can heat unevenly and children will trust you to provide it to them at the right temperature and can quickly burn themselves if the food or drink is too hot.
Make sure that you are only feeding your child wholesome and nutritious food as this will set a pattern for them to eat well into the future as they will be accustomed to eating foods that are free from the ills that accompany food high in flour and sugar.
Items Not To Overlook
It is all too easy to forget that there are so many dangers present for a baby or young child about the house that you wouldn't have even considered before having a child in the house.
Even having shopping bags within reach of your child presents the danger of suffocation. The same problem is present with balloons and other forms of plastic products.
Strings, cords and anything that can cause strangulation need to be kept well out of reach of your child. You will be surprised at how many items in the house fall into this category and how many items of clothing have cords and so on that can cause problems by getting wrapped around your child's throat.
Cords from blinds fall into this category and need to be tied up well out of reach.
Toy manufacturers are a lot more careful these days about the construction of their products but you still need to be diligent in determining whether the toys that you give your child can pose a danger with smaller items that could break off and get lodged in your child's throat.
The recent incident of products made in China having excessive levels of lead in the paint is something that many parents never thought would be something they would need to be concerned with and just goes to show that even when buying from reputable brands you can never be too cautious when it comes to the health and safety of your child.
Any toy that looks like it has parts that will break off is to be avoided as children will chew on objects for extended periods and before long they will start to deteriorate and break apart posing the danger of getting lodged in the throat.
While most people are aware of the dangers that small items present to a child you will also need to consider large items that can either be pulled down on top of your child or those that will allow your child to climb up and access other dangers that are at a higher level in the house.
Never underestimate your child's ability to get to places where they shouldn't be.
Co-Sleeping With Baby
Sleep sharing or co-sleeping is where you regularly share your bed with your baby while sleeping.
It is a common practice in many countries around the world and is becoming acceptable in more western countries with a greater number of parents.
The decision to co-share your bed with your baby is one that needs to be made on a personal basis and you shouldn't let the opinions of others affect your decision.
There are reasons for and against sleep sharing with the major concern of those who are opposed to it being a fear for the baby's safety.
Many mothers find that the convenience of having their baby in bed with them when it is time for feeding can help them to get more sleep and to sleep better knowing that they have access to their baby at all times through the night.
There is of course the concern that it might be difficult for the baby to sleep alone as it grows older.
Some babies actually sleep better alone and if that is the case then co-sleeping is not really an option.
If you and your partner are particular restless sleepers then co-sleeping will usually make this a bigger problem and there is also the danger of a baby sleeping with restless parents getting smothered unintentionally in the night.
This is the biggest concern of those people who are opposed to co-sleeping.
There are other factors that need to be taken into consideration such as the effect it will have on your intimacy with one another.
This can place additional strain on a relationship when it is often already stressed due to the addition of a new member to the family.
Sometimes it is a little more difficult to wean the baby off breast feeding as they have had the convenience of feeding whenever they like through the night.
As with most decisions you make concerning your baby there will be pros and cons for the actions you take and your decision to co-sleep needs to be made entirely based on your own personal preferences and circumstances.
You can always try it for a few nights and see whether it is a success or not.
Babies should never be left alone in the company of older children as this can be very dangerous to their well-being.
Children are generally unaware of how delicate a young baby is and while their intentions might be good it doesn't take much for an older child to cause harm to a young baby.
If they were to carry the baby around they risk the chance of dropping it and this can cause injury that can affect the baby for rest of its life.
There are so many dangers that lurk in every household and children don't have the ability to see these dangers and how they might affect the baby.
Sharp objects, swimming pools, staircases; these are some of the many areas where babies can be endangered if they are in the hands of others who are too young to know better.
Even if the children are family members the baby will need supervision at all times in their presence.
A baby doesn't have the ability to run away as a pet would do if it was getting manhandled by a child and babies are far more susceptible to injury too.
The more children present the more you will need to watch over their activities and if there is difficulty in doing so then the baby should be moved to another room where other children aren't allowed access to ensure the baby's safety.
If you are leaving your baby to be minded by other family members or friends and those people have children of their own then you need to make sure that they are also aware of the fact that your baby needs to be safely cared for by an adult at all times and never left alone in the company of their children no matter how good they might think they can cope.
The percentage of babies that suffer injuries each year in the hands of other children is enough to cause concern for any parent.
It is essential that you are aware of the dangers that can present themselves when bathing your baby.
Every year there are hundreds of babies who suffer injuries from scolding and drowning in their bath water.
It only takes an inch of water to drown a baby and you should never leave your baby alone in the bath even for an instant.
Problems can happen faster than many parents could imagine.
It is not suitable to leave a baby under the guidance of another child as most children wouldn't know what to do in the event of an accident and death or injury can happen before it's too late for your assistance.
By being well organized there should be no reason for you to leave your baby unattended as you will have all the necessary soaps, towels and other necessities on hand at all times.
If there are other distractions such as the telephone or the door bell, leave them be as your baby is far more important than anything else.
If there is no alternative then take your baby out of the bath and attend to whatever else is requiring your attention and then you can safely put baby back in the bath once you have dealt with the problem.
Make sure you have the bath at the correct temperature before your baby enters the water and keep it well away from the faucets as the hot tap can retain enough heat after the water has stopped running to scald your baby's sensitive skin.
The water should be lukewarm and not at a temperature that will cause discomfort as babies won't be able to withstand the types of temperatures that adults feel comfortable with.
Bathing should always be done with the baby in the seated position as standing will allow the child to fall over and cause injury when the head or other parts of the body come into contact with the hard surface of the bath.
Baths are often slippery and a baby or young child will be unsteady on their feet even after they have started walking.
A rubber bath mat will help to stop your baby from slipping over.
You will need no more than a few inches of water for your baby to sit in while you are bathing it.
Don't let your baby sit in water that has shampoo or cleaner in it for extended times as this can cause skin ailments and irritations.
Be aware that the water settings that most household water heaters are set at are enough to give a baby third degree burns within seconds.
That is one of the reasons why you should never have your baby in a bath when the water is running.
Baby's First Steps
Initially a baby will get around using various different techniques of crawling wriggling and creeping along the tummy before it takes its first steps.
Parents get particularly excited when the child takes its first steps no matter how shaky they might be.
There is usually a lot of encouragement by the parents of a child take their first steps as it is another progression that we all anticipate and look forward to by getting to the next stage in the child's life as soon as possible.
As with talking, potty training, sleeping and anything else the baby does, the first steps will come at varying different times from one child to another and it certainly doesn't mean that one child is more advanced than the other because they start walking sooner.
As your child will still be fairly unstable on its feet for quite a while after beginning to walk, you need to take this into account and anticipate the fact that it will fall often. When they do fall you want to be prepared that they won't get injured and one step to reducing injury is to make sure there aren't any sharp corners on coffee tables or other pieces of furniture that could cause damage if it were to hit its head while falling over.
A whole lot of new concerns present themselves when the child's mobility increases as they can get from one spot of the house to another in considerably less time and they can get in dangerous situations a lot faster.
Extra attention needs to be paid to where they are and what they are doing at all times.
Childproof locks will probably need to be installed on various different cabinets or doors of the house to stop the child from getting into places where there could be danger.
It does also open up other alternatives of enjoyment where you can take your child for a walk albeit for small distances until they become more adept at walking.
Be sure to take your buggy with you if you go for a walk because young children can get tired relatively easily and it is considerably easier to push a buggy than to carry your child home.