Thursday, July 08, 2010

Top 5 Baby Concerns in the Home

One day an infant will transform from a relatively sedentary little person content to stare at the crib to an active adventurer satisfying his or her curiosity with just about everything in the home. Making sure the home is safe for baby's travels becomes essential.

While every child develops at his or her own pace, most parents can expect the day will soon come when their son or daughter will be exploring the home. While that notion can be exciting, it can also be a bit scary. That's because studies indicate more than 2,000 children die every year due to home-related injuries. Many of these children are under the age of 1.

Taking safety precautions around the house first requires knowledge of the top dangers. Here is a list of known safety hazards around the home.

1. Choking hazards: Infants and toddlers are often enamored with their older sibling's toys. These toys may have small parts or magnets, and can be choking hazards for little ones. Be sure that small toys are not left strewn around.

Choking can also occur when babies try to eat foods that are too sophisticated for undeveloped teeth. Pieces of food should be no larger than a dime to help prevent against choking. Children under 10 months old should only be given pureed food, or soft foods until molars for chewing and mashing develop.

2. Stairs: Falls account for many childhood injuries. Falls down stairs can be especially dangerous. Be sure to block stairs with sturdy gates from investigative children. There are gates that are designed for the top and bottom of stairs to make it easier to open and navigate for adults.

3. Water: It takes only a few inches of water to drown a young child. Never leave a baby unattended when water is around. Secure toilet seats and be sure to keep within arm's reach of the child when he or she is bathing.

4. Tipped-over furniture:There were 31 deaths in 2006 (and 3,000 injuries) resulting from furniture and other household items, like TVs, tipping over and crushing children. Don't place tempting items atop furniture. If furniture seems unsteady, always use anchors to bolt it to the wall.

5. Electricity: Keep all outlet covers plugged with plastic protectors. Secure cords so that they are not a tripping hazard or easily pulled out by curious kids. Also, don't leave cords dangling over the edge of counters. Little fingers are sure to pull at them.

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