Baby Proofing Checklistby Katlyn Joy | February 14, 2011 12:00 AM
According to the National Safety Council, suffocation and choking cause the majority of deaths of children ages 0-4 and drownings are also a major danger. Many injuries or fatalities of infants and children can be prevented with careful baby proofing. However, no safety measures or safety products substitute for careful and constant supervision.
Before beginning to baby proof your home, consider safety zones. Have an area where baby is free to roam, under your watchful eye of course. Have no-baby zones in particularly hazardous areas such as the bathroom, kitchen and garage. Bar baby's entrance by either installing a baby gate or putting a door knob cover that baby cannot work on the doors to these areas. However, even in a no baby zone you need to keep hazards locked up or away from baby.
Think of baby proofing in layers. For instance, you keep a door knob cover on the door to the garage. However, keep all hazardous materials like poisonous liquids and tools on a high shelf or a locked cabinet.
The Best Time to Baby Proof Your Home
You should do some easy basic baby proofing before you even bring baby home. For instance, set the temperature on the water heater back to 120 degrees. Only use a crib made since 1992 and that has slats not further than 2 3/8 inches apart with no cutouts in the ends. Make sure the mattress fits snugly and do not use bumper pads, pillows, or stuffed animals in the crib.
When baby is close to six months of age, you should more aggressively baby proof as baby will be on the move before you know it. Get down on your hands and knees and observe possible hazards.
Baby Proofing Checklist
Print this form and keep on your refrigerator. As you move from room to room, check off the areas that are baby proofed. It is always a good idea to tape notices on doors that should be kept closed, so that guests don't forget to close the door, for example, to the bathroom.
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