There’s no greater joy and responsibility than becoming a parent. You’re responsible for another life, and you want to protect your child from every harm and danger out there in the big, bad world. Sometimes, though, the dangers that our children are exposed to the most are the ones that are under our own roofs. These dangers might be easily overlooked as harmless instances of everyday life.
Read on for some safety precautions to take in your home if you have a newborn.
Have a Dedicated Chemicals Cabinet
A lot of people keep certain cleaning and plumbing products in under-sink cabinets. That’s a reasonable place to keep them, easily accessible if you have a problem that you need to take care of. But that was before you had children. Glass cleaner, dish liquid, and laundry detergent are all chemicals, and they can be potentially fatal to a baby or toddler if consumed. The last thing you need as a new parent is a trip to the emergency room. Take the American Cleaning Institute’s KEY Pledge, and round up all of your chemical cleaners and anything that can be harmful if ingested, and place it in high, locked cabinets that can’t be reached by little hands.
Trim Blinds and Cover Outlets
Make sure all of the electrical outlets in your home are properly plugged with safety covers so that little ones can’t stick their fingers or other items into the socket. The safety covers are pretty inexpensive and available at most stores. Ensure all outlets are covered, even ones that are currently behind furniture. You never know when you might decide to re-arrange your décor, exposing previously blocked outlets.
Window blinds are another everyday item that you would walk by and not think twice about, but can be a danger to your baby. The long cords that you use to control the blinds can become a strangulation hazard for your child. This has a free and easy fix. Most blinds you can adjust the length of the cord by simply moving the plastic end up, making a knot beneath it, and then cutting of the remaining length of cord. Be especially sure that any blinds near your baby’s crib have been shortened enough that they can’t be reached.
Invest in Home Security
Many new parents opt for monitored home security systems to keep their families safe. A security system can offer you peace of mind, especially in an emergency situation. In case of a fire, the security system can automatically alert the fire department that you need emergency response. It can also alert the police in the instance of a home invasion.
If your home security system is outfitted with cameras, you can easily check up on your child remotely. You won’t have to worry about how that new babysitter is working out- you can monitor your home in real-time throughout the day while you’re at work or otherwise engaged. That can be a big weight off your shoulders.
Have an Escape Plan
A home security system can alert the authorities if you need help in an emergency situation. What it can’t do is get you out of the home in a quick and safe manner. Make an emergency escape plan and make sure your entire family is aware and able to do their part. Include contingencies for blocked exits or windows and agree on a “meet spot” that is a safe distance from the house.
As new parents you want to do everything you can to keep your child safe. The first place you should start is at home, where your child will be spending the majority of his or her time. Take some precautions; keep chemicals out of reach, trim blinds, cover outlets, invest in home security, and have an escape plan and meet spot in case of emergencies.