Tuesday, April 2, 2019


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Childproofing
by Katie Parker, CPNP

Babies’ love exploring their environment and it is so fun to watch them grow and learn more everyday!  Watching your baby progress through their developmental milestones is a very exciting time.  It is so important to provide them with a safe environment during this period of curiosity and exploration.  Hundreds of children under the age of 1 die every year due to preventable injuries.  Here are some strategies to keep your child safe while playing and moving at home!


Falls-
Your baby will fall often as they crawl, walk, climb, and run.  Protect them from fall injuries by:
-Install gates on stairways and doorways.
-Install window guards on all windows above the first floor.
-Do not use a baby walker.  They can tip out of it, fall out of it, and fall down the stairs.

Burns-
Babies’ grab at everything! Make sure to never leave hot objects within their reach (for example, hot liquids on coffee table).  Also, never hold hot liquids while handling your child.  Stoves, wall or floor heaters, or other hot appliances can cause a burn to your child—never leave them unattended.  If you are doing an activity that takes your full attention off your child, it is safest to put them in a playpen or crib, stationary activity center, or buckled in their high chair.  Additional tips include:
-Make sure your water heater is set at or below 120 degrees F.
-Smoke alarms should be present on every floor of the house.
-Test your smoke alarms monthly to ensure they are working properly.

Poisoning-
Children also explore by putting everything in their mouth.  Most poisonings occur when parents or caregivers are at home, but not paying attention.  Many common household products can be poisonous when ingested.  Even certain houseplants can be harmful.  Household cleaners, chemicals, and medications should be kept up, away, and out of sight and reach.
-Make sure drawers, cabinets, and cupboards are locked.
*If accidental ingestion occurs, call Poison Control immediately @ 1-800-222-1222.  Do not induce vomiting, but await instructions from the experts. 

Choking-
Never leave small items or balloons within your child’s reach.  Do not feed your child hard food such as peanuts, popcorn, or raw carrots.  Avoid hot dogs and grapes.  Make sure all food is cut into small, thin pieces to prevent choking. 
*Be prepared if your child starts choking.  Learn how to save the life of a choking child.

Drowning-
Drowning can occur in less than 2 inches of water.  Even if your child knows how to swim, this does not always prevent drowning.  Your child should always be within arms length of you around water.
-Always drain the bathtub and containers of water immediately after use.
-Keep the bathroom door closed at all times.
-Pools should have a fence around all 4 sides.  Children get curious and can drown by walking outside and falling into the pool.
*NEVER leave your child alone in or near a bathtub, pail of water, wading or swimming pool, or any other water, even for a second. 

Strangulation and Suffocating-
Cords from window blinds and draperies are a strangulation hazard.  Make sure your baby’s bed is away from the window.  Use cordless window coverings.  If this is not possible, tie the cords high and out of reach.  Never knot the cords together.  Keep plastic bags and wrappers away from your child.  They can create a tight seal around your child’s mouth and nose which can cause them to suffocate. 

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