Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Childproofing: Are you ready for your little explorer?



Before you setup your home for a fun environment, the absolute first priority should be childproofing your home area. This would include indoor areas and outdoor areas. If you are a first time parent with a newborn, plan on childproofing your home before he starts crawling. I would start as early as your little one is four months. Why so young? It takes time to go through your home and to install all equipment and supplies needed. Think about how and where you store your cleaners and items that could be dangerous to little ones. Infants and toddlers are very curious beings. You will need to think ahead
as to what they are capable of and any potential hazard that could occur. The older preschoolers like to have smaller toys and crafty supplies out during the day of play. Even when you thought you covered all the areas, they will find something that you didn’t think of. So be alert and supervise at all times. 

Here is a check list that I go by as it has proven to be successful: (Go ahead and print out this list to take with you and check off as you go through your house)

The Rooms listed below are where the kids roam or are allowed to play in:

To look for potential hazards start by sitting or even laying down to infant and toddler level. Crawl around the room and look for potential hazards. Take a full thorough look of each room in your home. Use the check list offered on the proceeding pages.

Main play area where the kids are free to roam
  __ Clear of pet food? Litter box?
  __ Plugs covered?













 __ Lower cabinets locked? Or have safety latches?












  __ Sharps (like knives) stored out of sight and high?
  __ Breakable items placed out of reach?
  __ Furniture secure? Not a potential hazard to tip over?













  __ Table surface clean of clutter? No table cloth?
  __ Floor clean? And vacuumed?

Your notes: 
_____________________________________________________
______________________________________________________

General Safety
  __ Cords are inaccessible to children
  __ Fans inaccessible and permanently mounted
  __ Every day toys and floors are clean?
  __ Are toys age appropriate/choking hazard? Some toys could be too small for infants and toddlers to play with. They love to explore by putting objects in their mouth. My suggestion is to create a separate area for infants and toddlers to play apart from where preschoolers are allowed to have out the smaller toys and craft supplies. See article on: Separate Play Space or Playroom Setup for Little Ones
  __ If you have older playmates or siblings, my suggestion is to create a separate area for infants (age newborn to around six month) and their toys until they are crawling. See article on: What Does an Infant Area Look Like?
  __ Exit doors to front and back of house should be locked, as well as doors accessible to the garage. If locks are accessible to little ones in the play areas, add an extra lock that is higher or out of reach from the toddler/preschool age group.

Your notes: 
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________

Stairs?
  __ Are the stairs where the children roam or are allowed?  
  __ Secure safety gate made for stairs?

Your notes: 
__________________________________
__________________________________
___________________________________





Bathroom used during care
  __ Bathroom cabinets and counters free of cleaners and free of any harmful items?
  __ Step stool (sturdy and wide)?
  __ Safety latch on door or safety latch on toilet seat?
  __ Potty seats kept in bathroom for sanitary purposes?
  __ Trash in separate area or hidden?
  __ Plugs covered?
  __ Medicines stored high and behind locked cabinet?
  __ Sharps like razors are stored out of sight and high?
  __ Liquids that could be harmful if swallowed stored high?


Your notes: 
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________

Gun storage?   Do you have guns in the house?  
  __ It’s highly recommended to lock up the gun unloaded with the bullets kept separate in a lock-box.

Your notes: 
_______________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________

Where are diapers changed? (for sanitary purpose)
  __ Not located in kitchen or eating areas; accessible to soap and running water (w/in 15 ft), clear of unrelated items like toys and cups?
  __ Clean, sanitized and dry diaper changing surface?
  __ Remember to wash hands before and after each diaper change?
  __ Single-use disposable non-porous gloves worn during messy diaper change?
  __ Remember to wipe child’s hands after diaper change
  __ Disposable diapers in covered, lined containers, and removed daily?

Your notes: 
_______________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________

Where do the children eat meals? Where is the highchair setup?
  __ Clear of pet food? Litter box?
  __ Plugs covered?
  __ Lower cabinets locked?
  __ Sharps stored out of sight and high?
  __ Breakable items placed out of reach?
  __ Furniture secure? Not a potential hazard to tip over?
  __ Table surface clean of clutter? No table cloth?
  __ Floor clean?

Your notes: 
_______________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________
My suggestion is to keep pets in a separate area during meals.
_______________________________________________________

Where are the highchairs, toddler chairs, and folded or portable cribs stored when not used?
  __ There is a potential hazard of equipment tipping over if little ones are playing around them.
Your Notes: 
______________________________________________________
______________________________________________________

Where is the trash located?
  __ Food waste stored in waterproof container that is covered and lined with a plastic bag?
  __ My suggestion is to keep the trash in a separate area out of reach of the children.

Your notes: 
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________

Where do the children sleep?
  
  __ Lower cabinets locked?
  __ Sharps stored out of sight and high?
  __ Breakable items placed out of reach?
  __ Furniture secure? Not a potential hazard to tip over?
  __ Blinds or curtains out of reach in sleeping area?
  __ Plugs covered?

  __ Floors clean and vacuumed?
  __ Mats? low on the floor?
  __ Sheet covering clean?
  __ Cribs? Out of reach of any hazards

  __ Beds? Out of reach of any hazards

Bare is Best
Directly quoted from U.S. Customer Product Safety Commission @ http://www.cpsc.gov/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/cribs/
With any crib, bassinet, portable crib or play yard, follow a few simple rules to keep babies sleeping safely. Bare is best!

   To prevent suffocation, never place pillows or thick quilts in a baby's sleep environment.

   Make sure there are no gaps larger than two fingers between the sides of the crib and the mattress.

   Proper assembly of cribs is paramount - Follow the instructions provided and make sure that every part is installed correctly. If you are not sure, call the manufacturer for assistance.

   Do not use cribs older than 10 years or broken or modified cribs. Infants can strangle to death if their bodies pass through gaps between loose components or broken slats while their heads remain entrapped.

   Set up play yards or portable cribs properly according to manufacturers' directions. Only use the mattress pad provided with the play yard; it’s not recommended to add extra padding.

   Never place a crib near a window with blinds, curtain cords or baby monitor cords; babies can strangle on cords.

Your notes: 
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________

Where are the cleaners stored? This includes dish/clothes washing detergent and room deodorizer.
  __ High out of reach?
  __ Not visible from children?
  __ Behind locked door?

Your notes: 
____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________

Where are medicines kept?
  __ Is it locked? High out of reach?

Your notes: 
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________

Where are the First Aid supplies located? Is it stocked?
  __ Sterile bandages: adhesive bandages, gauze pads, rolls?
  __ Antiseptic solution or antiseptic wipes?
  __ Re-closeable 1-gallon plastic bags?
  __ Single-use non-porous gloves?
  __ Scissors?
  __ Adhesive/self-adhering tape?
  __ Thermometer
  __ I also find it handy to have a First Aid kit in the diaper bag or in the car glove box

Your notes:
______________________________________________________
______________________________________________________

Fire Safety, Gas Safety and Emergency Standards
  __ Smoke detectors installed/operable?
  __ Portable fire extinguisher(s), one rated 2A-10-BC, one 1A-10-BC (in kitchen)?
  __ Unused electrical outlets covered with a safety plug or insert (in every room children are allowed)?
  __ Open-flame space heaters not used?
  __ Fireplace screened securely?












  __ Gas inspection? It’s highly recommended by Arizona Department of Health Services to have your gas appliances inspected by a licensed plumber. Check your local state’s recommendation.
  __ Prepared fire/emergency plan?

Your notes: 
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________

Have pets?
  __ Pet dishes are inaccessible to children?
  __ Litter boxes are inaccessible to children?
  __ Pet feces cleaned up from outside before children go outside for activities?
  __ Dog/pet door should be located inaccessible to children?

Your notes:
_____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________

Backyard/playground:

Have a pool?
  __ Pool water is clean?
  __ Pool is enclosed by a fence at least 5 feet high, secured to the ground, has no openings over 4 inches?
  __ A self-closing, self-latching, lockable gate?
  __ Pool gate locked? At all times.
  __ Chemicals stored in a locked area, inaccessible to children?
  __ Wading pool emptied when not in use?
  __ Gates and exits from backyard - gate is kept closed and latched/locked?
  __ Shed locked?
  __ Play equipment height – It’s recommended by Arizona Department of Health Services to have equipment with 24”-48” height. Equipment should be surrounded with green grass or resilient surface ground cover in case of falls. Check your local state’s recommendations.
__ Children have no access to irrigation ditches, abandoned mines or wells.
  __ Hot tubs, spas, ponds, fountains, portable wading pools, or any body of water more than 1 inch deep on the premises are inaccessible to children.

Your notes: 
____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________

  __ Fence height – It’s recommended by Arizona Department of Health Services to enclose the outdoor play area by a minimum 4 foot high fence that is secured to the ground and has no openings that exceed 4 inches at any point
  __ Plants should be free of thorns and not poisonous
  __ Hot tubs, spas, ponds, fountains, portable wading pools, or any body of water on the premises inaccessible to children. These should be gated and locked.

Your notes:
____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________

HELPFUL NOTE: *****My suggestion is to get your supplies ready before your little one starts exploring and crawling. It takes time to go through your home and to install all equipment and supplies needed.

Childproofing supplies ~ are found in stores that sell baby supplies. Childproofing supplies are also available online:








Arizona Pool Guard @ http://poolfencesinphoenix.com/


Ironman Pool Fence @ http://ironmanpoolfence.com/

Parents Central (Car Seats safety) @ http://www.safercar.gov/parents/index.htm
For further preparation read article on: CPR & First-Aid Classes
Think ahead and be safe with your little ones,
*Iva

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