According to the Centers for Disease Control, a child is treated for an injury in a hospital ER every four seconds. The same report notes that a child dies as a result of a sustained injury every hour. While statistics like this are horrifying to new parents, they’re important reminders. As you prepare for a new baby, take extra measures to reduce the risk of unintentional child injury in your home. Here are some do’s and don’ts to get you started:
Do Anchor Furniture
SafeKids.org notes that more than 13,000 kids are injured every year when heavy furniture, appliances or electronics tip over on them. Curious little ones often try to climb up bookshelves, dressers or other large pieces of furniture, using shelves or drawers as a ladder. This can throw off the balance of the furniture and cause it to tip over onto the child. Depending on the size of the furniture item, this kind of accident can be fatal. To prevent this from happening, anchor furniture into the wall by screwing it into the wall studs or affixing a heavy-duty cable to both the wall and the piece of furniture. Furniture cables can be found at your local hardware store or online for about $10 to $20. We suggest you anchor the following household items:
- Grandfather clocks
- Filing cabinets
- Entertainment centers
- Washers and dryers
Don’t Leave the Baby Monitor On When Not Using It
Have a habit of leaving your baby monitor on all the time? Break it fast. Because most monitors use unlicensed radio frequencies, it’s possible for someone to listen in on whatever is happening in your baby’s nursery. This gives criminals the chance to snatch your signal and hear you talk to your baby about being home alone or leaving next week on vacation to grandma’s house. For additional protection, look at alarm systems for your home with motion sensors and security cameras. Many new systems offer free Web access so you can check in on things at home anytime you’re out.
Do Mount or Secure TVs
Like furniture, TV tipovers can be deadly. To prevent a television from toppling over onto your child, mount it to the wall. If you don’t have a flat-screen TV or a free wall to mount the television to, anchor it to the wall or piece of furniture that it sits on with durable safety straps.
Don’t Store Cleaning Products Under the Sink
Do you keep bleach, all-purpose cleaning solutions, window cleaner, dish soap and other cleaning products under the sink in your kitchen or bathroom? While this may be a convenient place to keep cleaning products within arms reach, remember, they’ll be equally easy to reach for your little one. Clear any hazardous items out of low cabinets to prevent your child from accidentally ingesting them. Or invest in child-resistant caps and latches that will take your toddler a little longer to open, which should give you enough time to catch them in action.
Do Invest in a Few Baby Gates
Think it’s too early to get baby gates because your little one isn’t crawling or walking yet? It’s never too early to prepare for the days when your child will start trying to get into the off-limit areas of your house, like the stairs, office and formal living room. If you’re on a tight budget, check local resale shops or ask friends and family if they have any baby gates that they no longer use.
About the Author: Brittany Campbell is a stay-at-home mom who lives in New York, Brittany loves writing about her adorable son, Henry.