Accidents around the house can be minor and amusing, but they can also be devastating. I remember trying to get my mother’s attention while my brother drank Old English furniture polish (he’s ok.) I also remember finding our toddler daughter sitting on the top of a tall armoire chowing down on medications. (She also survived the experience.)
These accidents happened fast. Mom had just turned to dust something. I had *thought* having medications in childproof caps nearly six feet off the floor would be preventative enough. Nope, that’s not how kids work.
I tell these stories first because there will probably be a time when something goes wrong when you least expect it. However, there are many steps you can take to avoid the worst.
Bath Time: Never leave a child unattended in the bath. Bring the phone in with you. Ignore the doorbell. Even if your child is securely strapped into a bath safety seat, tragedy can and has happened.
Cabinets: You won’t believe how clever little hands can be. If you don’t want them to have access to it, don’t put it within reach. Baby latches are necessary, but don’t count on them as the only means of protecting your child.
Cords: This includes both the electrical kind and the ones that open and close blinds, drapes, etc. When a cord is crawled over or jerked on, whatever it is attached to may very well come tumbling down, on your child’s head. On your drapes and other window covers, make sure they don’t have loops. Many children have accidentally hung themselves on this sort of cord.
Choking Hazards: This is another thing that could happen on accident quite easily. We had carpet about the same color as a penny, and I am not best known for visual acuity. Our younger daughter found one and inhaled it. Thankfully I knew how to do the Heimlich Maneuver, modified for a child her size. If it fits inside the cardboard core of roll of toilet tissue, it can choke your child.
Hot Pots: Always put the handles of any pot, pan, etc. that you use away from where it might be accidentally grabbed or knocked over. To be honest, you should do this all the time, not just because of the kids. It’s very easy to spill hot liquid and it can be very painful as well as scar for life.
Outlets: These are interesting little boxes just about eye level of a crawling toddler. Having the plastic plugs that prevent little fingers from sticking something in them could save your child’s life.
Poisons: This is for medications and the cleaners, garage stuff and other toxins you might have around. As far as I’m concerned, about the only way to make it foolproof is to keep it under lock and key. That’s what we did after we found the climbing abilities of our daughter.
Recalls: Yard sales may be a cost saving means of setting up your nursery, but you do need to use caution. Make sure there are no recalls on any of the equipment you purchase for the nursery. There are websites that can help provide this information.
Unsteady Furniture: Kids like to climb and that urge starts as soon as they become mobile. There have been many accidents where a child was trying to climb and the furniture chosen wasn’t steady. Falling furniture can do a lot of damage. Check to see if it’s wobbly, and if it is, anchor it to a stud.
This knowledge doesn’t just apply to the new parents. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and other people likely to entertain the new family member need to do the same thing. Working together, you can keep accidents to a minimum.