This giveaway is now closed. Thanks for stopping by. The winner is Michelle F. Congrats!
Today, I’m delighted to bring you a guest post from Kimberlee Mitchell, Child Safety Expert & Founder of Boo Boo Busters. I first met Kimberlee nearly 4 years ago when we partnered to childproof our home. I credit her with making our home a safe place for our children to grow, develop, and explore.
It’s rare to have a guest post here on Rockin’ Mama, but Kimberlee is so knowledgeable and an incredible resource for parents, I couldn’t help but share her valuable tips.
5 Things Your Forgot When Babyproofing
Childproofing has become the norm for families with babies. In fact the safety movement has made a huge difference for millions of families. A recent Safe Kids Worldwide survey reports that many developed countries have reduced child injury deaths by 50 percent in the last 25 years. Below are some often-neglected areas that require the attention of any new mom, dad or care provider.
1) The Baby Monitor – You can babyproof your home like Fort Knox, but supervision is still the best way to ensure your child’s safety. One innovation in technology that allows parents peace of mind and eyes on their babies is the VTech’s Safe&Sound® Pan & Tilt Full-Color Video & Audio Monitor. Wondering if he’s sleeping? New infrared LED lights allow for better viewing even in the dark. Have multiples? Connect your monitor to as many as four cameras in different rooms. CAUTION: Many parents don’t realize that the monitor itself should never fall into the hands of the baby. I’ve seen monitors placed into the bassinet and crib or on the crib rail right next to baby, which is a strangulation risk. By installing your monitor according to the manufacturer’s instructions and the tips below you can childproof your monitor.
- Install the monitor more than 3 feet away from crib, bassinet, play yard, etc. and adjust as your child grows; you’ll move it further away over time.
- Never place monitor in or on the side of the crib giving your baby access to cords.
- Plug the monitor into an outlet that has been childproofed with an auto-close sliding outlet cover.
- Use wire cover molding to conceal excess electrical wire to prevent entanglement. Or use a monitor with a cord wind up feature.
2) The Laundry Room – Deem the laundry room area “off limits” to little ones. Keep all cleaning products stored up high and out of reach behind locked or childproofed cabinets. Why? In 2011, poison control centers received more than 6,000 reports of unintentional exposure of children 5 and under to single load liquid laundry packets. Educate your family about safe laundry routine habits provided by The American Cleaning Institute and never allow your baby or child to handle the laundry packets. Join me and 16,000 proactive parents and take the pledge to be the KEY to a safe laundry room and routine today!
- Lock laundry room door and never allow children to play in the laundry room.
- Install locks on front load washer/dryer appliances to prevent children from climbing in.
- Store all cleaning products in a childproofed and out-of-reach cabinet.
- Educate your family about proper use, handling and storage of the laundry packets.
- Never let children handle laundry packets or any cleaning supplies.
- Do laundry when children are not present.
3) Second Story Windows – I see too many kids in my neighborhood with their sweet little faces pressed up against window screens. A window screen is NOT a childproofing device, but many folks mistakenly think they provide protection. According to Safe Kids, window falls account for approximately eight deaths and 3,300 injuries among children ages 5 and under annually. Parents, the only way to properly childproof a window is with a window guard or lock. Guards are installed like gates into the window jamb but choosing the correct guard can be challenging. Guardian Window devised a great online tool to help consumers match a specific window type and size to the correct guard(s). You also can opt to use a window lock (or two), but keep in mind not all locks work on all windows. If you find a lock that works for your window, my recommendation is to install two.
- Choose a window guard with an emergency release mechanism.
- Install a guard according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- If you prefer to use window locks, install two.
- Only allow a locked window to open 3 inches at the maximum.
- Keep furniture (including cribs), or anything children can climb, away from windows.
4) Electrical Cords – We‘re living in a digital age with handy wireless technology, but we’re still buried in electrical cords. Our cellphones, laptops, iPads, tablets, iPods — you name it — all have charger cords to which babies should never have access. Little ones are creative outside-of-the-box thinkers and like to play with these items in imaginative and often unsafe ways. I’ve had many parents share stories of their babies getting entangled so quickly. Strangulation or cutting off circulation in extremities is a potential hazard along with electrical shock so being sure your baby does not have access to these cords is key to his or her safety.
- Bundle all electrical cords into a cord control kit.
- Move charging stations to high counters so cords are out of reach of children.
- Make sure all cords in the home are out of reach of babies or have cord molding.
- Be aware that babies can reach up higher than they can see, so keep items pushed far back on counters or to the center of a table.
5) Blind Cords – According to the CPSC, corded window coverings are among the top five hidden hazards in American homes, so when designing your baby nursery be sure to address the safety of the window coverings. I recommend using the new child-safe cordless window treatments and to refrain from using Roman blinds, which have hidden long cords that are very hazardous. Once the nursery is safe, assess every window covering in your home. Click here for free retrofit kits to make older window treatments child safe.
- Check your window coverings for exposed or dangling cords and childproof them or replace them with today’s safer products.
- Move all furniture, cribs, beds and climbable surfaces away from windows and cords.
- Keep all window cords well out of reach of children by childproofing them.
- Install only cordless window coverings in homes with young children.
- Make sure tasseled pull cords are adjusted to be as short as possible.
- Continuous-loop pull cords on draperies and vertical blinds should be pulled tight and anchored to the floor or wall with a tension device.
- Be sure cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit movement on inner cords on blinds and shades.
- Remove and discontinue use of all Roman blind window coverings.
Injury prevention education and implementation is an ongoing job for all parents until we send them off to college! For parents, taking on the role of a practitioner with a mindset that’s open to continued child safety information is key. We can’t prevent every bump or bruise, however, a keen eye and honed safety perspective can help prevent unnecessary visits to the ER.
A huge thank you to Kimberlee for her valuable tips! And to help get you started on your way to child safety, Kimberlee has a fantastic giveaway for one of you!
Win It! One of you will win a Safe & Sound Pan & Tilt Full-Color Video & Audio Monitor from VTech. This is the latest monitor which features side-to-side and up-and-down camera mobility. When my kids were younger, we found that a video monitor gave us a lot of peace of mind so that we could keep an eye on our children at all times.
To enter, tell me one thing you learned from Kimberlee’s post and complete the Rafflecopter form by December 31st, 2013.
US Residents only. Duplicates and comments not including the above information will be disqualified. Comments are moderated. If you don’t see your comment in a reasonable amount of time, send me an email. Bloggers and non-bloggers may enter. If you don’t want to leave your email address, please be sure to check back for my announcement on the winner. Please note that winners must respond within 48 hours of being announced/contacted or another winner will be drawn.
Images: Kimberlee Mitchell/VTech