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Tips for baby proofing your home

Date Published 31.08.2018
Topic Family Article,Home Insurance

Tips for baby proofing your home | AIG Ireland

We are born curious. Interest is key to learning, so we evolved to explore our surroundings and try to understand everything in it.

This starts young; so, your bundle of joy may be a hazard to themselves sooner than you think. They learn about texture, temperature and gravity amongst many other things by tasting, touching and climbing everything in sight.

In Ireland, most injuries to babies and young children up to age 5 happen in the home. You can prevent many of them by being aware of and prepared for their curiosity:

Top tips for childproofing your home 

1. Get on your hands and knees

Crawling around your home will allow you to see from your child’s perspective and show you many of the potential dangers you need to baby proof. Work systematically room by room to identify potential hazards.

2. Use a stair gate

Block off the stairs with wall mounted safety gates at the top and bottom of the steps. In time teach your child to climb up and down safely, under supervision.

3. Child locks

Child locks are essential for cupboards containing hazardous materials. Ideally, cupboards containing poisons like cleaning products, dishwasher and laundry tablets should be locked and the key kept out of reach of children. You may have noticed many manufacturers of cleaning products have advertisements warning of their potential dangers because the brightly coloured liquids and tablets make them very appealing. In Ireland, 7,500 people a year are hospitalised as a result of accidental poisoning, many of them children. For remaining presses, child locks are a must, if you don’t want your worldly possessions spread out across the kitchen floor.

4. Blind cords

Although they may not be the first thing that spring to mind when you think of childproofing your home, children love to play with blind cords. In their eyes, it is an opportunity to learn about cause and effect, move the cord and the blind moves. However, the dangers are significant, every year a number of children injure themselves with blind cords and, sadly, over the years some have died from strangulation. Remove this risk by:

  • Cutting cords that are a loop as they are particularly dangerous
  • Keeping cots, beds and furniture away from blinds
  • Keeping cords at least 1.5 meters from the ground
  • Securing cords to the wall
Baby Child Lock

4. Furniture

Use screw mounted furniture straps to keep heavy pieces of furniture like bookcases, flat screen TV’s or chest of drawers from toppling on to babies and toddlers using them to pull themselves up.

5. Sockets

Low level and easy to get to, electrical sockets pose a fatal risk to crawling babies. Install socket guards around the house, a simple and effective solution.

6. Kitchen safety

Of all the rooms in the house, the kitchen poses most threat to young children. It really is a space designed for adults with a myriad of dangerous items for little ones. Everything from sharp edges of knives to hot water have the potential to do serious harm. The best advice, if you are busy in the kitchen, is to place your child in a high chair or a playpen to keep them out of danger.

7. Lower changing tables

Changing your baby on a lower table or even on the floor, will make sure that they cannot roll off the table and hurt themselves. If you are going to change them at a height, always hold them.

8. Child safety checklist

If you aren’t sure where to start, this child safety checklist from the HSE is a great way to get started.

Once your home is safe, it is a wonderful place to be. Help your child learn and explore in a safe way with these Things to do at Home.

When your home insurance is up for renewal, don’t forget to get a quote from us.

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