This first appeared in The Standard on 30 October 2016
I have been to the hospital a few times for interesting reasons when I was a small girl. One of the visits was to remove the chickpeas I had put in my nostrils. Once your baby starts moving around, you will be in for a surprise with the kind of things they can get themselves into. Your house is filled with items that can potentially harm them. Therefore, you will need to baby proof it.
What to pay attention to
It is ideal for you to be at your baby’s level and crawl. You will be in a better position to see what they can come across.
- Mouth – There are many poisonous things they can swallow and easily choke. Pay attention to anything that fits in their hands. Coins, medicine, tiny toys, electric cords, any toxic substance etc.. need to be out of their reach. The nose and ears are also places they might use for storing interesting objects.
- Fingers – those cute fingers are a curious bunch. Cover electrical outlets, fire and hot things, jiko, stove, etc… You will also need to have latches on doors and drawers.
- Legs – if you have stairs in your house you will need stair gates. You also need to tighten any loose furniture they might use to pull and stand. Pay attention to water in any container as they can easily drown in a small amount of water.
These are the basic steps to baby proofing your house but they are not enough. Whoever will spend time with them will need to be vigilant, supervise their every move and have emergency numbers ready in case of an accident. It is also good to start teaching them early about dos and don’ts at home.
Household injuries are one of the top reasons kids under age 3 visit the ER, and nearly 70% of the children who die from unintentional injuries at home are 4 years old and under.1