I can’t believe it’s been a full month since I’ve seen either of my adorable grandchildren. We had a great time camping in some of our country’s most beautiful places, but it’s been difficult to go so long without seeing Gracie and Johnny.
Today Gracie’s eight months old, and she’s become mobile while we’ve been away…lots of pictures and videos of her scooting and crawling have kept us connected.
And while Johnny at nearly five months, isn’t moving anywhere on his own, he’s sitting and playing and will be joining his cousin traveling under his own power in no time.
Mobile babies mean one thing, time to childproof their surroundings.
We’ve already changed the utility room door knob to one with a lock and key in anticipation of this new phase. The utility room is one that’s off limits for these two, and it will serve as a place to stash items removed from other rooms when they come to visit, but there’s a lot more to be done.
- Put safety plugs on electrical outlets.
- Hide electrical cords behind furniture and keep phones and other devices out of reach when charging and make sure lamps are out of reach.
- Find safe places to keep remotes for all electronics as well as any other items with batteries.
- Anchor TVs to the wall or to other furniture to prevent from falling on child.
- Secure furniture that can topple (chest of drawers, bookcases) to the walls.
- Install safety gates at stairs and in doorways to establish boundaries of safe rooms and close doors to rooms that are off limits…especially bathrooms.
- Cut off or tie up dangling cords on drapes and blinds.
- Move cleaners, medicines, hand sanitizer, vitamins, dishwasher and laundry detergent and other potentially toxic items out of reach or better yet, lock them up.
- Use doorstops to prevent doors from pinching finger.
- Put locks or latches on accessible cabinets and drawers that contain unsafe items, and let’s face it, almost everything in the kitchen and utility room fits this category.
- Remove tablecloths and placemats. Babies can pull them off the table and bring other items on the table down as well.
- Don’t leave babies unattended even for a moment in or near a pool or other water, even small amounts of water, cleaning solutions, or other liquids in buckets or other containers create a danger.
- Sweep, mop and vacuum and then sweep, mop and vacuum again to minimize the nasty things a child finds on the floor.
This is by no means a complete list, but it’s a good start. And while it’s impossible to prevent every bump, bruise or mouthful of dead bugs, we certainly want to do all we can to make sure our homes are safe.
Now’s the time…time to childproof your house.
And remember, even your purse or a visitor’s purse can create a danger since it may contain medicines, toiletries, or other hazardous items – move them out of reach.
Finally, it’s a good idea to post the number for the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ national emergency hotline, (800) 222-1222, on your refrigerator, and add it to your phone. Hopefully, it’s a number you’ll never call, but having it accessible makes sense.