How to make your new home child friendly.
The arrival of a new baby changes so many things, your sleeping pattern, your diet, your availability and so much more. One huge change that I found I wasn't ready for with my first child was the challenges of safety proofing my home.
Over a million children a year are admitted to hospital because of an accident at home, the majority of these accidents occur on children under the age of 5 (source Bathroom Supastore).
Drowning, suffocation and burns are the main causes of accidents in the home with children and because of this, I have researched the best methods for keeping your little ones safe at home.
Reduce the risk of drowning.
Unlike adults babies, won't make a noise if they slip into the water and they can drown in less than 5cm of it, therefore it's very important that you keep an eye on your baby at all times when they're in the bath.
There are many gadgets that you can use in the bathroom to prevent drowning, but for me, these pose a risk in themselves. Gadgets can fail and baby bath seats can tip over as they are not regulated safety devices.
To be safe, never leave your child unattended in the bathroom and always give them your full attention. When you remove your baby from the bath make sure to empty it right away, this is especially true if you have more than one child. Parents can often become distracted when looking after a baby and forget what their other children are up to, especially with slightly older children.
Reduce the chance of suffocation.
Babies should have their own sleeping area and should be placed on their back when sleeping. Some parents choose to co-sleep and this can increase the chance of suffocation. We recommend that babies should be kept in their own sleeping areas such as a cot or a Moses basket, but if you do choose to co-sleep you will want to make sure that all pillows, blankets, sheets and any other loose materials are kept away from your baby.
You should not co-sleep if:
- You smoke.
- You are drunk.
- You are extremely tired.
- You have taken drugs.
You should also never sleep on a sofa or chair with your baby as this increases the chance of suffocation by 50 times.
When sleeping it's important for your baby to sleep in a comfortable temperature, not too hot or too cold. The chance of sudden infant death syndrome is much higher in babies that get too hot. You should not dress your baby in too much baby clothing either when putting them to bed.
A room temperature of 16-20°C with a lightweight baby sleeping bag is recommended. To test the temperature of your home you should invest in a baby thermometer.
All of the above is general advice, your baby will be different so it is important to check your baby regularly to see if they are too hot or cold.
Reduce the chance of burns.
Burns are another risk to small children in your home. To prevent the chance of burns you should make sure that children are kept away from any open fires and if you do have a fire be sure to place a fireguard around it.
Smoke alarms should also be fitted at home, and you should install them in the kitchen and all the bedrooms in the home. Be sure to check the smoke alarms every month to make sure the batteries are still working.
Finally, all children should be kept away from matches and lighters as they pose a risk to themselves and others. Children who play with matches and lighters can start house fires.
Having a new baby or a small child at home can be worrying and difficult at the same time. Keeping your baby safe is a constant process and constant supervision is one of the best tips to keep your child safe.
With that said, the tips above are a good start to baby-proofing your home. Do you have any tips on keeping your baby safe at home? If so leave them in the comments below.