Potential Safety Hazards in the Home
It’s never a fun conversation to discuss what could go wrong, but it’s an important conversation to have when it comes to keeping our children safe. Even if your child is still a young infant, it’s never too early to baby-proof and remove dangers that could threaten the safety of your baby, for you never know when the day will come that they roll over, begin crawling, reach for something dangerous, or pull themselves up onto something unstable.
Here are some common safety hazards to watch out for in your home.
Cute, decorative chalkboards are a popular trend in home décor, but chalk is a choking hazard for young children who love to put everything in their mouths. Be sure to keep all chalk in a child-locked drawer, cupboard, or high shelf out-of-reach.
Locking away the knives is a given, but keeping the dishwasher closed may not be. It can be easy to get distracted while loading or unloading the dishwasher and leave it open for a few moments – giving your curious baby or toddler enough time to grab something dangerous. From the detergent to the sharp utensils, the dishwasher is a safety hazard and caution should be used if you have a baby in the home.
I learned this one from personal experience. After placing child-proof latches on all drawers and cupboards, I was shocked one day to watch my 1-year old son grab onto the handle on the oven door and try to hang, causing it to fall open. Thank goodness the oven was off and I saw it happen, but needless to say, I was traumatized. Don’t assume your oven door is too heavy for little arms to open – it’s not.
Pet food and toys
Keeping pet food out of reach is difficult because if your child can’t reach it, your pet probably can’t either. Consider placing your pet on a schedule, if they’re not already, so that they eat at specific times when your baby is napping or out of reach. Keep pet toys contained and away from your children to prevent choking and the spread of germs.
You wouldn’t leave coins on the floor or at baby-height, but you may do it inadvertently by leaving your purse accessible to your baby. Casually dropping it on a couch, entry bench, or even the floor by the door means baby can access all of its contents, which are likely hazardous. I don’t know about you, but my purse literally contains almost the entire list of hazardous items for babies – coins, bobby pins, batteries, pills, hand sanitizer, even a mini screw-driver. Needless to say, I had to designate a safe place to hang my purse to keep it out of reach of my baby.
Fridge magnets are often brightly-colored, fun-shaped and right at eye-level to your curious baby, but can be a serious choking hazard because of their shape and size. Consider keeping them high or finding an alternative place to hang your fridge items until your baby is grown.
Another lesson I learned from personal experience – the garbage can is enticing to babies and toddlers. Seeing food go into the garbage can or simply grabbing things to use to stand makes the garbage can a hazard to babies who can tip it over and access its dangerous (and disgusting) contents. We now keep our garbage can in the pantry where baby can’t access it.
What potential safety hazards would you add? Are there any that you also missed when your baby discovered it first?
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