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You shouldn’t wait until your child starts crawling to think about baby proofing your home. Chances are, he’ll become mobile almost overnight, and you will be caught unprepared. The trick to adequate baby proofing is not to assume that your infant sees everything the same way you do. He’s operating on an entirely different level-floor level. To really take stock of your home’s dangers, then, you’ve got to take a crawling tour. Here’s a rundown of the more common household hazards and how to remove them from your infant’s path.

Never leave your baby unattended in the bath, even for a minute. She can drown in as little as an inch of water. To prevent scalding, set check the water temperature and never position your baby within reach of the faucet. Cover the faucet head with a specially made soft cover, and put down non slip strips to help prevent your child from slipping.

Babies can create havoc and get into danger by exploring cabinets, especially those in the kitchen and bathroom. Move all potentially poisonous substances and sharp objects into locked cabinets. Even better, purchase childproof safety latches for all the cabinets in your home-regardless of what they contain.

Pet Supplies:
Move dog and cat food dishes off the floor and out of reach of your crawling child when they’re not in use. And when your pet is eating, move your baby to another area of the house, lest she decide to join her pal for dinner. Also, find a place for cat litter that’s inaccessible to your child, and position aquariums well out of reach and on a sturdy structure that a curious climber won’t topple.

Small Appliances:
Never position your baby’s highchair within reach of kitchen appliances or their electrical cords. In the bathroom, unplug and put away hair dryers, electric razors, and curling irons. Even when turned off, appliances can electrocute if still plugged in.

Prevent your baby from tumbling down stairs by fastening gates with vertical slats or plastic meshwork-not the old accordion-style gates-at the top and bottom of the staircase. To give an older baby steps on which to practice climbing, attach the bottom gate three steps up from the floor.

Babies can climb on furniture and tumble through open windows (even with screens in place). After watching Mom or Dad, they may even open windows themselves. Install window guards or secure windows so they can’t be opened more than three inches. Move all potential “climbing” furniture away from windows.

Baby proofing your home isn’t enough, however-you also need to practice constant vigilance to keep your little one safe. Never leave your baby alone for even a minute unless he is in his crib or playpen. Be extra alert in the kitchen and bathroom, which are prime places for accidents. You might consider installing a latch high on the outside door of the bathroom-which contains many dangerous and tempting items, such as cosmetics, hair spray, nail polish, and medicine-so it can be kept locked when not in use. Be extra watchful during stressful times of day, like dinnertime, when accidents are more common. Keep emergency numbers, including that of your local poison control centre, posted near the telephone in a visible spot. Once you start being sensitive to all the hazards in the home, you’ll notice things you’ve probably not thought of before. For example, it’s important not to leave buckets of water around, even with small amounts of water in them. In addition, don’t use pillows, comforters, or other soft bedding in the crib.


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