Trying to child-proof: How safe is my home?
BY ALTHEA PETERSON World Staff Writer
Monday, December 10, 2012
12/10/12 at 6:01 AM
Because I Said So is a blog written by six parents and one grandparent.
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There was once a time when my daughter would whine if I put her down even for a moment.
Now, she will be upset if she doesn't get to move around on her own.
Then we realized how messy our house really was when she started discovering new things to put in her mouth, like the rubber band used to roll our recently delivered Tulsa World - or the tiny wires that connect our sound system to our television.
So, I tried giving the baby her own free range area: The hallway with all doors shut and a baby gate at the end, with some of her toys on the floor to play with. No, it didn't keep her happy for very long.
Here are some tips from babycenter.com:
Scope out the territory Children will put anything in their mouth, pull themselves up on anything from furniture to walls and will quickly ignore all of their toys for adult ones instead. Cleaning often, and keeping poisons and other hazards out of a child's reach (locking them up if necessary) is a must.
Check for choking hazards Older accordion-style baby gates that I remember from my own youth, the cords that raise window blinds and curtains with pull-cords are all choking hazards for children. For window covering safety, check out windowcoverings.org.
As for the gates, like noted in the last entry, it is best to go with new, not used, safety equipment.
Secure windows and doors Sometimes when I enter baby's room in the morning, she's already up and staring excitedly out her window at the new day. When she crawls, she is fascinated by the swinging doors that she can push open and closed.
As such, this is going to be a big worry for me as she gets older and more able to access doors and windows. Don't have low windows open more than four inches, make sure you can lock double-hung ones, and don't rely on window screens to prevent falls.
Prevent poisoning Save this number to memory if you can: 800-222-1222. It's the poison control number. Lock up medicines, or at least have them out of reach.
For information on safe medicine disposal, call the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hotline, 800-463-6332.
If you have an older home and are worried about lead paint, call the National Lead Information Center, 800-424-5323.
I am nowhere near close to having my house child-proofed. My daughter is constantly finding ways to worry me about her safety.
The gated hallway "baby prison" I had setup? She immediately was more interested in a prison break and tried to climb the baby gate. After her fall, I decided to sit in the hallway with her so that she wouldn't try to do that again.
She immediately lost interest in the gate and started climbing on me instead. Whew!