Common Home Safety Hazards for Babies and Toddlers
As parents, the last thing we want is for something bad to happen to our babies. We bundle them up against the cold, get new home safety systems, do our best to choose healthy foods, and triple-check the recall lists to be sure their cribs, car seats, and highchairs aren’t on it.
But sometimes, threats to our little ones’ safety come from the most innocuous places, and those places are often inside our own homes. Fortunately, all you need to take corrective action to protect your children is an awareness of common home safety hazards for babies and toddlers.
Falling Furniture and Objects
If you have toddlers, you know that they are always getting into everything they can reach. And when they can’t reach it, they climb for it. That can create a horrible scenario if, as a child is climbing, they upset the balance of items on shelves or—worse—the furniture itself, causing it all to crash on top of them.
Toddlers are excellent at finding that one second we turn away to clamber up onto the furniture. For these moments, make sure you install anchors to attach the furniture to the wall. Additionally, installing child locks on drawers and cabinets can remove footholds that your toddlers could use to climb.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Most of us know that chemicals are dangerous for babies if they drink them. However, some chemicals can still hurt our babies just from being around them.
Such is the case with volatile organic compounds—gaseous chemicals that can exist in the air around us, causing health conditions such as breathing problems, headaches, and irritation to the nose, throat, and eyes.
Identify and Replace Items That Contain VOCs
Items we use every day can send VOCs into the air, including:
- Common store-bought cleaners
- Air fresheners
- Oil-based paints
- New carpet
If you identify the sources of VOCs in your home, it’s typically easy to find eco-friendly alternatives. An eco-friendly nursery isn’t just more sustainable; it’s also chemical- and VOC-free.
Yes, electrical outlets, knives, and small objects are all safety hazards for babies and toddlers. However, we often don’t think about how other people can prove dangerous to our babies, especially very young, well-meaning people.
Set Rules for Big Siblings
Siblings are often eager to play or help with their new baby sibling. But if your other children are still young, it’s important to sit down with them before the new baby arrives and explain baby safety tips, such as:
- Asking a parent before giving the baby food or water
- Picking up small toys that may be choking hazards
- Holding a baby correctly
- Making sure blankets don’t cover the baby’s face
- Not rocking the baby roughly
- Using “gentle hands” if they touch the baby
If you frame the instructions as you trust them to help them care for the new baby, your kids will take to them eagerly. Pretty soon, they will be reminding visitors to your home of the rules.