5 Home hazards you didn't know about!
From a child’s point of view the home is just one giant playground full of new discoveries. We follow the checklists and baby proof our homes accordingly ensuring the safety of child but as with anything to do with raising a child we have now learnt to always expect the unexpected. Here are a few of our unexpected home hazards to consider once your baby becomes more mobile.
1. Bath & Baby Oil
Babies and toddlers are forever grabbing items they shouldn't have, and, in some instances, this can lead to danger. One of those dangers includes the humble baby bath washes and oils, just because it doesn’t harm their skin or eyes does not mean it cannot harm them in other ways. Many common baby bath liquids and oils contain liquid hydrocarbons which can cause a serious pneumonia-like condition, irreversible lung damage, and even death if a child aspirates these liquids into their lungs.
Always read labels and store all bath and baby oils in a safe place out of your baby's reach. Ensure cupboards and drawers are secured with child safety latches or safety locks, even if they are in child-resistant packaging. Once they start walking ensure doors are closed or secure access with a baby barrier or hardware mounted gate.
2. Low Set Tables/TV Unit
The day your little one discovers their mobility is one of excitement for parents, we clap in awe and reassure ourselves we’ve baby-proofed the house to safety standards with cabinet locks, outlet covers, furniture anchors, and of course, trusty table corner protectors ensuring their safety as they explore their surroundings from a whole new vantage point.
As parents we usually focus on the edges of bench tops and tables that are head height to our babies but as they learn to crawl, stand up, and walk around, they become unsteady and very unpredictable. And since you can’t be there to catch them every single time they tip over, your best bet is to try and prevent accidents (or at least, major ones).
Table corner protectors are one of the best ways to ensure they don’t bang their little heads into the sharp corner of a table when they inevitably trip and fall.
3. Blinds and Curtain Cords
Many children are climbers, they like to climb up onto furniture to look out the window and see what is happening around them. The issue with this is that they can reach blind cords and if they lose their footing, they may quickly become entangled causing strangulation or serious injuries.
Accidental strangulation can happen very quickly, so never leave children alone in these rooms, even for a short while.
How to ensure better safety for your young climbers is to secure loose cords with hooks or tension devices and if possible move any sofas, chairs, tables or shelves away from windows.
4. The Family Dog
The Family Dog can be known as a couple’s “first” baby who up until now has revelled in sole attention, long walks, runs in the park, and lots of belly rubs. It can be common for a beloved pooch who has been the focus and centre of the family's attention, to become jealous when a new baby arrives home. Like babies, dogs like to thrive on predictability, and a newborn changes not only your life but your dog's too. There are a few things you can do however to minimise the impact and behaviour of the family pooch, so you all live happily ever after.
• Install retractable safety gates and allocate specific rooms as off-limits to your dog allowing a safe space for baby to practise rolling and crawling. Perma have great child safety mesh gates that can also be used as an outdoor retractable gate for pets.
• When it’s not mealtime place your dog’s feeding bowl up off the ground. Once your child is mobile, they can create hazards such as spilt water which also poses a drowning risk, or may sample the dry dog food causing a potential choking hazard. Also, some dogs can get territorial of your food time.
• Don’t leave pet toys with small parts that can be pulled off around children under 3. Remove hard dog food when pets are done eating from food toys.
• As your baby begins to explore using their hands, they may tend to explore the texture of your dog’s fur by grabbing and pulling. Show them how to gentle pat and not grab at the fur.
• Always supervise. Never, ever leave your child alone with your pet no matter how much you trust them. Infant behaviour such as squealing, quick movements could unexpectedly irritate the pet. And watch for pacing or unusual eye contact, which could indicate your dog is not comfortable with the baby.
With recent stay at home mandates in place many people have purchased in-home fitness equipment to maintain a healthy lifestyle but some of these items may pose a hazard for small children.
Most serious injuries occur when children try to touch or climb on a treadmill while it is being used. If a child touches the walking belt while it is in use it can cause serious friction burns very quickly, or little fingers and hand can easily get caught in the space between the belt and the frame.
According to the CPSC there were an estimated 22,500 treadmill-related injuries treated at U.S. emergency departments in 2019 with near 2,000 being children under 8yrs old. Reports of 17 deaths associated with treadmills from 2018 to 2020 with one of those fatalities a 5-year-old child and recently in May of this year, a 4yr old boy died after being pulled under a treadmill and suffering third degree burns.
For better safety consider placing your treadmill in a separate room away from little ones. If this is not possible, try using child safety barriers to keep babies and children away from the machine.