Childproofing Your Home
As young children become more mobile, parents must childproof their homes. While babies are young, childproofing generally means being certain that dangerous materials are not allowed near babies. However, mobile children can find many dangers for themselves. For this reason, the entire house must be considered.
Many childproofing items are available from toy stores. Items include electric plug covers, cabinet locks, doorknob covers (to prevent a child from being able to twist the knob and enter or exit a room), and drawer locks. Be especially careful about cleaning materials.
Materials high on a shelf are not necessarily out of reach.
Water is a great danger – even the water in the toilet. Because older babies are so top-heavy, they are in danger of leaning into a toilet or bucket and not being able to get out. Keep bathrooms off limits, and keep buckets empty and stored where babies cannot reach them. Young children need constant supervision. Never leave a child alone near water even for a minute. Not only large pools, but also wading pools and tubs are dangerous.
Choking hazards are a major source of danger for young children. Mouthing objects is one way your child learns about the world around him. Practically everything that goes in a baby’s hand also goes in his or her mouth. To test for whether an item is a choke hazard, buy a commercial choke tester. If the item being tested fits entirely into the tube, it is a danger to your child. If a choke tester in not available, use an empty toilet paper tube. This tester is not exactly the same as a choke tube, but it is a good estimate.
Finally, walkers are major concern. Despite the name, walkers do not actually help children learn to walk. Instead, they often make walking more difficult because of the positioning of the child. Walkers are not recommended. They are especially dangerous if floors are at different levels or if stairs are present. It is an exciting time when your child starts to crawl and walk. Take the time to prepare your home for the adventure!