Pathways to Wellness

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Child proofing 101

To a crawling baby or an exploring toddler, your home is a wonderful playground – maybe even an amusement park – with interesting opportunities and healthy challenges.  

The darker side of opportunities and healthy challenges is dangers and risks – from cleaning products that are poisonous to water temperatures that can scald and electrical appliances and outlets that can shock.  What’s safe for adults and older children can be hazards for toddlers and young children.  

Use your imagination to see the world through your child’s eyes.  Move around your home (on your hands and knees if you must!) to discover what is at the eye level and within reach of your crawling baby or your active two year old who just wants to learn and explore.  By taking steps to identify and reduce the risks, your child will be able to move about more freely and you can breathe more easily.  

Here are some common no cost or low cost ways of child-proofing your home – do this soon after birth so that you’ll be ready when your 6-month old is crawling around faster than you can run.

✓ Put safety latches on cabinets and drawers which contain poisonous household products, prescription drugs, or other items that could be dangerous to your child.

✓ Use the back burners on your stove whenever possible, and always turn the pot handles towards the back of the stove.

✓ Use baby gates to block off the bottom or the top of stairs, and the doors to any rooms which contain hazards.

✓ Lower the temperature of your water tank to 120 degrees or less to prevent scalding injuries.

✓ Cover electrical outlets that are not being used with outlet protectors.

✓ Secure book cases and other heavy furniture that could topple over on a child who is practicing her climbing skills

To keep bath time safe and fun, never leave your baby alone in the bathtub – babies can drown in just a few inches of water.   Gather up soap, washcloths, towels and water toys before you put your baby in the tub.  Ignore the doorbell or phone if it rings.  Just enjoy some fun time with your baby.

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