Once you have a mobile baby in the house, safety becomes a number one priority.
You’ve probably gone through the house and babyproofed your home in the obvious ways: with gates, outlet covers, locked up the cleaning products under the sink.
However, there are other hazards that aren’t quite as obvious, and it’s very important that you know about them.
Here is a list of common safety mistakes parents make, and how you can avoid them.
1. Not Making Sure All Furniture & TVs Are Secure
According to a report from the CPSC, between 2000 and 2010 there were 245 reports of furniture tip-over deaths in children ages 8 an under, with the majority of them being under 5. It’s absolutely vital to make sure all TVs, furniture and anything else that could be tipped over is secure.
Many companies produce brackets or straps that you can use to secure furniture and TVs to the wall, which should all but eliminate the risk of this happening. Take the time to go through the house and think of any and every item that could potentially be knocked over by a child.
2. Using The Wrong Type of Baby Gate For Staircases
Baby gates are an excellent way to keep your child out of dangerous areas of the house, but it’s very important to make sure that the gate you use works properly.
As a rule of thumb, when choosing a baby gate for the stairs, only gates that physically mount to the wall should be used to secure the tops of staircases. Anything else, such as a pressure-mounted gate, is not secure enough to be sure that it’s not going to topple over if your child tries to climb on it. Do the safe thing and get a permanent gate installed.
3. Putting a Car Seat or Bouncer on the Counter
It might seem like a convenient spot, but you should never put your baby in their seat or bouncer on the counter. I’m sure you would never put your baby alone on the counter, but many parents don’t even think twice about doing the same thing when they’re strapped into a baby seat or bouncer. As a matter of fact, a good majority of car seat injuries happen outside of the vehicle according to this report on webMD.
These products are never meant to be used anywhere except on the solid ground. It doesn’t take much for a bouncing baby to wiggle themselves around, making it very easy for them to fall. Just don’t do it.
4. Forgetting to Strap Your Baby In
Most baby seats and mobile toys have straps meant to keep your baby secure. High chairs, car seats, bouncers, strollers and more all have them, and they’re there for a reason. They can make the difference between a safe and comfy ride and a terrible accident waiting to happen. Even if you’re keeping an eye on them, it’s not hard for them to slip out and face plant.
Even worse is that loose or improperly used safety restraints can pose a strangulation hazard. Take the time and be sure to always buckle your baby in.
5. Not Securing the Hot Water Tap In The Tub
Of course, you always check the water temperature before you give your little guy a bath, but there’s not anything stopping them from getting their hands on the hot water faucet and turning it on.
Many hot water heaters will allow you to set a maximum temperature to insure that even if something like this happens, the water isn’t going to be hot enough to scald your child. The water should still be hot enough for you to have a comfortable shower yourself, too.
Alternatively, if you don’t have physically access to the water heater, there are products that you can use to child-proof the faucets. Either way, keep an eye out for this.
6. Not Keeping Small Objects (Especially Batteries) Safe
I’m sure you have tons of little electronic devices in your home: remotes, calculators, and more. However, those little batteries can be an awful choking hazard to a child, and are extremely dangerous if swallowed. Thousands of children are admitted to the ER each year because of swallowed button batteries.
Do everything you can to keep such battery-powered devices out of the hands of your toddler.
7. Not Securing the Toilet/Tub
The bathroom can be one of the most dangerous rooms in the house to a curious toddler. The toilet especially is a dangerous drowning hazard. You can buy locks that keep the toilet seat shut to keep them out of it completely.
As for the tub: never, ever leave your child unattended around a tub with water in it. It only takes a split second for them to climb in and drown.
8. Not Securing Beauty Products & Cosmetics
Your makeup and other cosmetics are generally safe: after all, they’re meant to be on your skin. However, most of these products contain toxic chemicals that are not at all safe to ingest or get in the eyes.
Keep your makeup stash secure just like you would with household chemicals or other toxic items around the house. A good solution is to keep them in a high-up drawer: one they can’t reach. Failing that, you can always invest in some childproofing cabinet locks.
9. Not Being Careful With Power Cords
Babies love to chew on these cords, which in itself is an electrocution hazard, but they can also prove to be strangulation hazards, too.
Keep any low-hanging cables away from your baby’s reach. When you’re done charging your phone, be sure to unplug it and stash it away.
10. Dangling Cords & Overhanging Pot Handles Exposed
Curious babies will use almost anything they can to get their hands on for balance, and that includes things like plugged in curling irons, clothes irons, kitchen appliances and even laptops or other electronic devices. Be extra careful to keep anything like this out of reach.
Exposed pot handles should always be avoided, too. If you’re cooking on the stove, take the time to turn the handle sideways so it’s not protruding over the edge of the stove.
11. Leaving The Dishwasher Door Open
Toddlers can be very resourceful, and an open dishwasher presents itself as the perfect climbing exercise to the curious kid, giving them access to the tops of counters. What’s even worse is that sharp knives or other objects could be inside. Not to mention that detergents are highly corrosive and toxic; not something you want them getting into.
Always make sure to keep the dishwasher door closed and secure, and as an extra security precaution, place all sharp objects such as knives and forks sharp-end down.
12. Not Wearing a Baby Carrier Properly
Baby carriers are a great and convenient way to travel with your baby, but you have to make sure that they fit properly.
An improperly-fitting carrier can be a smothering hazard: be sure that the carrier you use is appropriate for both the size and weight of your child.