Congratulations. You’ve just welcomed your first bundle of joy to the world. Now it’s time to take him or her home for the first time.
You’re a little overwhelmed—that’s understandable. You were so hoping the hospital would send you home with an instruction manual chock full of tips and information on the baby’s first year. You need answers and fast. Now you’ll have to order that manual on Amazon and wait for it to arrive.
Nevertheless, you’re relieved that such a book even exists because you need all the help you can get.
However, until that book arrives, we’d like to offer some tips to help ensure that your home is as safe as it can be for your little one:
1. Install a Home Security System
The best way to protect your baby is by installing a home security system with motion detectors, especially in the nursery and the playroom. This will alert you immediately by letting you know right away if an intruder is inside your home.
2. Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors & Smoke Alarms
A number of states including Massachusetts require that homeowners install carbon monoxide detectors in all homes with chimneys or wood stoves. CO detectors must be installed on every level of a dwelling and be within 10 feet of any bedroom. Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home, at the bottom of every stairwell and outside each sleeping area.
3. Cover Electric Outlets with Guards
Every year approximately 2,400 children suffer from severe shock and burns caused by poking items into the slots of electrical receptacles, according to the National Fire Protection Association, Approximately 12 children will die from these injuries every year. That’s why it’s critical for you to baby-proof all the electric outlets in your home.
4. Use a Baby Monitor
Using a baby monitor will allow you to watch over your baby even when you can’t be physically with him or her. However, be sure to place the baby monitor out of baby’s reach. You should keep the monitor as well as other items with electric cords at least three feet away from any part of the crib, bassinet, play yard, or any place where the baby sleeps. Additionally, you should never place a monitor inside or on the edge of the crib.
5. Install Safety Gates
Before you know it that little cherub is going to be crawling, rolling, and trying to walk all over the place. It’s your job to erect barriers to that little guy or gal away from dangerous areas like the stairs and the kitchen. Baby gates come in two flavors: hardware-mounted gates that you attach to surrounding walls or door frames with screws; and pressure-mounted gates that use pressure to stay in place.
However, stay away from the older, accordion-type gates that form large diamond-shaped gaps when they’re opened. A child’s head can get stuck in these spaces. Although these gates were pulled from the market in 1985, you might see them at yard sales or thrift stores.
As new parents, your baby’s safety is your top priority. Implementing these tips will help you keep your child out of harm’s way and give you much needed peace of mind.
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