In the past, I worked as a baby-sitter, so I saw a lot of homes where children under 5 years old lived. Later in life, I worked at a day care center, where I was trained in making a room safe for young kids. That was a total eye-opener! While I don’t think parents need to be worried about everything in life, there are a few baby-proofing (and toddler-proofing) mistakes that I’ve seen extremely often, and that is a bit worrisome. Let’s take a look at these common mistakes so that you can make sure your own house is safe:
Mistake #1: Not attaching furniture to the wall.
As babies grow and start to walk, they’ll use all types of furniture to pull themselves up. Toddlers will even start to climb. Heavy furniture with a wide base, like a bed, isn’t going to tip over, but as furniture gets taller and skinnier, it gets more dangerous. Refrigerators, stoves, bookcases, dressers, entertainment centers, and other furniture should all be attached to the wall. A few L-brackets and an afternoon with the drill is all it takes to make the whole house safe so nothing tips over.
Mistake #2: Ignoring pool safety tips.
Pool safety doesn’t matter if you don’t have a pool, right? Unfortunately, that’s not a good stance to take. If your neighbors have pools, your toddler could easily find their way into a next-door yard and drown just as easily as if you had your own pool. If your yard isn’t fenced in, get that done, and attach alarms to the gates so you’ll be alerted if your child tries to slip out when you aren’t looking. For neighbors that are close by, talk to them about keeping their pool fences locked, and even offer to purchase locks or gate alarms to help keep everyone in the neighborhood safe.
Mistake #3: Filling the crib with stuffed animals.
You probably already know that the perfect (and safest) sleeping environment for a child is one without a soft mattress, pillows, or heavy blankets that can smother baby. However, most parents can’t resist the urge to fill the corners of the crib with cute stuffed animals. They’re just at the corners; what harm can they do, right? Actually, as your child shifts, the animals can fall, and older children might think they’re being good by giving sister or brother their favorite stuffed animal to fold at night. These items can easily smother children, and they may not even wake up to cry or be able to cry out if this happens in the middle of the night. Keep the stuffed animals out of the crib.
Most other baby-proofing tasks are pretty self-explanatory, common sense things, but if you’re a new parent or expecting, you might want to go as far as hiring a professional to come over and review your home.
This guest post is from Allison with RentersInsurance.org. As you’re baby-proofing your room, make sure you document all new items you purchase so you can update your renters insurance policy!