Below is the definition of childproofing according to the free dictionary
child·proof (chīld′pro͞of′) adj.
1. Designed to resist tampering by young children: a childproof aspirin bottle.
2. Made safe for young children, as by the removal or alteration of potential hazards: a childproof kitchen. tr.v. child·proofed, child·proof·ing, child·proofs
Conventionally we look at childproofing as the process of making the house tamper-proof to protect the baby as he becomes increasingly mobile at around the 8 month mark. However in my opinion childproofing is not merely about tamper proofing, it is about making the surroundings of the baby as safe as possible, and this process begins even before birth of the baby. I am therefore dividing this into three sections
- Before baby is born – Precautions to take in sanitizing the house, basic skills to acquire and selection of products before baby is born.
- As the baby starts crawling – This is probably the most dangerous period for the baby and there are a few steps you absolutely must take before the baby starts crawling.
- As toddlerhood looms – A new set of precautions are needed at this stage.
Before baby is born
What can you do to make sure the house is sanitized of all invisible and visible dangers before the baby arrives. Here is a short list of the most important changes in the house
- Make sure you smoke detectors are working
- Have carbon monoxide detectors in place especially if you are using gas or oil heaters
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy in case needed
- Keep a first-aid kit ready
- Re-imagine the furnishing in your house to eliminate furniture that could be potentially dangerous and has sharp edges.
- Repair all areas where paint is flaking.
- Make your area rugs slip proof by installing non slip pads.
- Secure all your furniture – even if the baby is not crawling and merely lying down, she could be in danger of furniture falling down on her.
- Needless to say, clean up teh house and sanitize for molds.
- Keep rugs around every area where you could keep the baby – near the bed, changing table or the swing etc to protect in case of a fall.
- Make sure the heating and cooling(especially heating) is working correctly, But an additional room heater like the Delonghi Mica Panel heater, that does not have fan.
- Install a whole house humidifier if possible so that you can maintain the humidity level in all rooms without having to buy separately.
- Install a room temperature/humidity monitor in the baby’s room – here is a good one – BeGrit Indoor Hygrometer Thermomemter.
- Adjust your water heater so that the temperature cannot exceed 120 degrees.
Products You Buy
I have made note of these in most of my product selections but here I compile all of them for your convenience
- Do not buy any furniture with sharp edges or projections
- Make sure that furniture is stable and cannot topple over.
- Make sure that the mattress or pad where the baby sleeps is extra firm – the firmer the better. The mattress should not leave any gaps for the baby’s hands or legs to get stuck.
- There should be no soft bedding material on the crib- no pillows, blankets etc
- Do not use crib bumpers as they pose suffocation risk.
- Use a changing pad on the table that has a safety strap. Use it all the time and make sure the diapers, wipes etc are accessible without having to move away from the baby while changing.
- Make sure the changing table has a guard rail all around to prevent the pad and the baby from toppling over.
- Keep the crib away from any plugs, windows etc
- Do not use used car seats.
- Get it installed by an authorized person(firestations or police stations).
- Use window shades on the car if you don’t have tinted glasses.
- Install a back mirror so that you can see what the babies are upto even while driving the car.
Last but not least you should take an Infant CPR class before the baby is born – not to be ignored.
Next is the section on baby proofing before the baby starts crawling.