September is National Baby Safety Month. New and expectant parents face a dizzying array of to-do’s as they prepare for baby. Among the most important priorities is ensuring their home is safe for tiny hands and curious minds.
September is National Baby Safety Month, an opportunity to review the most important precautions to take at home to keep babies and toddlers safe. While baby proofing may seem a daunting task, the tips below and valuable checklists from trusted partners can help you ensure your home is a secure place for your little one.
Set them up for safe sleep: At the top of every baby proofing list is safe sleep. Follow the ABC’s: Baby should be Alone in their own sleep space, placed to sleep on their Back and sleeping in a Crib – not in mom or dad’s bed. Learn more at azdcs.gov/safesleep.
Get down on their level: Consider your home from the point of view of a crawler or toddler to understand their risks. Put safety plugs in every electrical outlet. Tie up cords on shades and curtains to ensure they’re out of reach. And store small objects like batteries or magnets in a place your child can’t access.
Keep danger out of reach: While a newborn baby may not be at risk of opening cupboards or getting into hazardous substances, the risk grows exponentially as children get older and begin crawling or walking. Add safety latches to low cabinets and drawers. Put cleaning supplies, kitchen knives and medications – including medical marijuana – in a locked box or out of reach. Keep firearms locked away and stored far from reach.
Get serious about pool safety: If you don’t have one already, install a pool fence and keep it locked at all times. Designate a pool boss – someone whose only job is to watch the kids – every time you take your child swimming. Find more important water safety tips at phoenixchildrens.org/watersafety
Following these guidelines will dramatically reduce injury risks and keep your baby or toddler safe at home. For additional guidance including a point-by-point checklist for baby proofing, visit FirstThingsFirst.org/home-safety
Tené Marion is the Program Administrator for the Arizona Department of Child Safety’s Office of Prevention.