Baby proofing the nursery & home

By Mary Dawes - Owner and Creator, First Aid For You

Many people have asked, First Aid For You during our courses, what steps should I take to “baby proofing” my home?  The short answer is, there’s a lot to consider because as soon as baby is wriggling around, your little one, will be grabbing on to things, which is when accidents can occur.

First of all, and most importantly, never leave a child unattended when they’re playing, especially if they’re with a younger sibling.

It may be tempting just to leave them for a minute (and there is a time and a place when we “NEED” privacy) but making sure they can always see you is important.

Remember all it takes a matter of seconds, not minutes, for a baby or toddler to tug on a cord to pull down an entire curtain, or even worse have struggled to try to stand up while pulling on a chest of drawers, the possibilities are horrendous to think about, which is why we’ve compiled a list of tips to help baby-proof your nursery and your home.

• Don’t be afraid to ask for help to supervise your baby – we all need help from time to time, if you’re fortunate enough to have family or close friends nearby, ask for the occasional helping hand.

• When purchasing products for your nursery look for safety standards tags, ensure that the products you’re purchasing have met Australian safety codes, if you’re not sure, ask a salesperson, they’ll be well aware of the standards of the various products.

• If you are planning on purchasing a second hand item for your nursery, ask for any instruction manuals and warranties, prior to purchasing, check that there are no splinters in wooden products and that the paint is not chipped. Little ones love to chew and suck on all manner of items!

• A cot mattress should fit snugly into the cot, no more than two adult fingers should be able to slide down the side between the mattress and side of the cot.

• Keep curtain cords tied up and out of reach, little hands and teething mouths will find wooden toggles a delight – so keep out of eyesight to prevent a choking hazard.

• Place safety plugs in all power point outlets. Saliva from babies and an inquisitive finger can turn deadly.

• Never place a crib next to a heater or in an area that gets direct sunlight as overheating is a known risk factor associated with SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) 

• Keep cribs, change tables and chest of drawers and other bulky furniture away from windows, by doing so you’ll be removing all temptations to climb towards the window, preventing any toppling furniture and falls from windows.

• In the bathroom, look for spout protectors to keep little hands away from potentially hot surfaces and look at storing medicines as high as possible or in a medicine safe – these are readily available online.

• In the lounge room, place corner guards on coffee tables to prevent little heads banging against sharp corners and move any precious coffee table items well out of reach (or store in another room that’s off limits!)

• In the kitchen, keep chemicals locked away and up high, colourful liquids can look like a yummy treat to crawling babies and toddlers.

Breathe! You don’t have to do all of this at once, complete the job methodically and you’ll be on target! It really is a combination of common sense and changing your perspective of things, don’t be afraid to crawl around in different rooms to see things from your baby’s perspective, that way you’ll spot anything tempting before they do!

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Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.

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