Health & Wellness | Baby safety
safe baby 10 tips for babyproofing your home! By Anu Varma Panchal
Your baby: The most precious thing in your universe. You’ve brought that bundle of joy home and are ready to love it till the end of time. But is your home as ready as you are? Total, 100-percent safety might be an illusion, but there are steps we can take to ensure that we’ve done the most we can do to protect our children at home. We talked to Kendal Mundy, a wellness and safety specialist in St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital’s Safety Store, who gave us a few great tips for new parents (and grandparents, and eager-to-babysit uncles and aunts!) to follow to make and keep home a safe place for baby.
Get down at your child’s level and then look at your room with new eyes. You may notice details you never had from up above, such as buttons or paper clips lurking under sofas or coffee tables. A crawling explorer might easily mistake one for a snack and choke.
Store anything potentially toxic out of reach. This includes medicines, cleaning supplies, mothballs, lighter fluid, dishwasher and washing machine detergent packets and pods. Some types of plants also can be toxic and should be kept out of reach and far away from eager little fingers and mouths. (For a list of poisonous plants, check out: http://www.poisoncentertampa.org/poison-topics/ poisonous-plants/ )
Do not remove labels from pill bottles or cleaning supplies. People will sometimes take such materials out of their original packaging and load bleach into an old gallon milk jug, for example. Your toddler can’t read, but may recognize the jug, associate it with a cold drink and try and chug down the contents, with disastrous results.
Toy safety is crucial. If you come across a toy that seems defective or dangerous, you can call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 800 638 CPSC and report it. If you buy a new toy, search for it on the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission website (https://www. cpsc.gov/) or at www.safekids.org to ensure there have been no safety recalls for that product. Also, make sure your child’s toys are age appropriate. Pay attention to age recommendations—they are usually made with regard to safety—and be careful when little ones play with older sibling’s toys.
Water safety is a hot topic around the home—while pool access should always be safely blocked off with self-closing gates, locks and alarms, children under 1 are more likely to drown in bathtubs, buckets or toilets. Keep toilets latched and empty mop buckets and kiddie pools or any container into which a baby or toddler could topple.
ST. JOSEPH’S CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL’S SAFETY STORE is staffed
by trained injury prevention experts who help families determine their safety needs and select appropriate products. The specialists also provide free education on how to use and maintain the safety products. For more information, please call (813) 554-8510 or visit baycare.org/sjch/forpatientsvisitors/the-safety-store
48 TampaBayParenting.com | SEPTEMBER 2017