Why Childproofing Your Home Is Key to Keeping Your Baby Healthy
Conventional wisdom says building your child’s resilience to adversity is wise parenting. However, childproofing your house to protect them from themselves is just as good a plan. Remember these five reasons to keep your kids safe and healthy at home.
1. Children Get Injured at Home Often
Your little one is more likely to get hurt at home if they spend more time inside than outside the house. They get little to no alone time in school because their teachers watch them like a hawk. It may be the opposite at home, where they can play with less direct supervision.
No matter how vigilant and observant you are, it’s impossible to give your baby your undivided attention 100% of the time. You should childproof your house to keep your young one safe even when you’re distracted doing chores.
Installing cabinet and drawer locks or latches will make many hazards at home inaccessible. These tools can hide medicines, sharp objects and toxic chemicals from your curious child.
2. Power Outlets Are in Reach
Wall plugs are typically at kids’ eye level, making them intriguing to investigative young minds. The sight of electrical sockets inspires further investigation and they may try to play with them. They may stick their finger, tongue or something metallic — like a paper clip or a spoon — in a plug and get a nasty shock. Sustaining a low-voltage injury may result in temporary loss of consciousness, muscle spasms, respiratory failure or cardiac arrest.
Fortunately, you can buy plug and outlet covers to reduce your child’s risk of electrocution dramatically. Plug covers are pieces of plastic you stick into vacant sockets, while outlet covers are lockable boxes that house everything. The latter seems more reliable, but having both gives you more flexibility when childproofing electrical outlets.
3. Little Ones Are Daredevils
Toddlers see the world as one giant playground. Although nature walks are good for their mental health, they’re too oblivious to spot dangers and too innocent to judge perilous activities. These little explorers feel invincible, and want to test the limits of what they can do and where they can go. They forget pain quickly and revert to being adventurous. Young risk-takers can be even less careful when playing with fellow daredevils.
Heedlessness is part of children’s nature. Although you can curb your kid’s reckless behavior by setting boundaries, establishing ground rules and using positive language, childproofing your house should be your top priority.
Secure all entry and exit points around your house — especially when you live near a body of water, where drowning is a great possibility. Ensure your doors and windows are closed, locked, and unopenable to prevent children from going outside without permission and supervision.
Your little Tarzan may try to swing from a piece of furniture to the floor using hanging cords on drapes and blinds, too. Retract these ropes or wrap them around something to keep them from dangling.
4. Kids Can Be Disobedient
Instilling obedience in your child is a must for every parent. However, kids have minds of their own. Sometimes, they need to make mistakes in order to learn. Some mistakes, however, can be prevented by ensuring your home is safe.
For instance, addressing home problems is better than warning your little one about them. Water damage is particularly hazardous because it can create slippery floors, lead to mold growth in just a day or two, and release harmful substances like fecal matter. Your kids may interact with water-damaged areas at some point, so putting off this necessary fix will jeopardize their health and safety.
5. Toddlers Hate Containment
Putting your baby in a safe zone like a playpen lets you keep a close eye on them and gives you peace of mind. However, fencing the surroundings restricts freedom of movement, which can annoy your child when they want to crawl or walk to other parts of the house to look around.
You may consider containment an alternative to childproofing, but there’s a middle ground. Installing lockable gates at the staircase’s top and bottom is an acceptable compromise. This barrier renders the stairs off-limits to keep kids with itchy feet from falling but allows them to move around the room. Childproofing your home using containment can meet their desire for mobility while keeping them safe.
There’s one caveat — your intuitive young one might learn to open the gates’ locks or knobs. Once they figure this out, you may need to get new ones with a different design.
Childproofing Your Home Is a Must
Keeping your kids safe and healthy until they’re independent enough to take care of themselves is one of your non-negotiable parental duties. Do your best to make your home as kid-friendly as possible for your little one.
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