Baby Danger

June 10, 2008 9:16:54 PM PDT
Parents know when their baby starts to crawl or walk there are so many ways he or she can get hurt. Two rooms spell serious danger. Babies are so cute, but once they start moving, your entire home is their playground.

Cindy Huang, parent, says "Nothing is more important to me than the safety of my children."

Moms like Huang know potential hazards need to be addressed for little ones like 11-month-old Hayley.

Jamie Schaefer-Wilson, Childproofing expert, says "The most dangerous rooms in the home are the kitchen and the bathroom."

Wilson, the author of Consumer Reports' guide to childproofing and safety, says the kitchen stove deserves special attention. "Children are tempted by the knobs. They want to turn them on. The easiest thing you can do is just to remove them so they can't turn on your stove. Another thing you can do is put knob covers on."

Stoves can tip over, so be sure to use anti-tip brackets. And turn all pot handles away. An open dishwasher can be dangerous, too, for small children, even when it's empty. So keep it closed at all times.

Cleaners and medications should be locked up, preferably at a high level that your child can't reach. Even items that seem harmless like mouthwash and toothpaste are dangerous if ingested in large quantities. So keep them out of a small child's reach as well.

As for the bathroom, "Most of the problems can be taken care of pretty easily. First of all, cover the spout so that your child isn't at risk of banging their head. Most importantly, always have them here within arm's reach. Never turn away for anything," says Wilson.

And baby bath seats have been linked to an average of nine drownings a year, so never use one. Also at bath time, "Don't use a sponge like this because your child could suck on it and break pieces off and it could become a choking hazard."

If you follow simple precautions, your house will be home safe home to the entire family. Wilson says, "Use everything you can at your disposal; latches, locks, and gates. Look at what's predictable. Look at what's preventable."


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