Child Safety: Baby Proofing Your Home

By Carolyn Ziegler

Posted  August 11 2016 | 0 Shares

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Child safety is one of those topics that seems like a given. Of course we want to keep our children safe from injuries — what parent doesn’t? Unfortunately, this is also the reason that a lot of aspects of keeping kids safe is overlooked. We sat down with Carolyn Ziegler, child safety expert and Co-Founder/Product Development Director of Dreambaby®, for tips on baby proofing the home and more.

  • Many first time parents don’t know what to look out for when it comes to baby proofing the home — what advise can you give them?

Right from the beginning, invest in blind cord wind-ups. They keep blind cords out of the reach of babies in their cots and from older siblings in general, because overly long cords can be very hazardous. More importantly, remember to keep cots and beds away from windows and window fittings whenever possible.

Once children become mobile, there are the obvious steps – block off power points with outlet plugs and move sharp objects, knives and poisons including medicines out of reach, and watch out for the sharp corners on tables. Get down on all fours and look up at the world from the point of view of a crawling child. It’s amazing the hidden dangers you will immediately identify.

  • What would you consider to be a potential safety hazard in and around the home?

I don’t want to scare you, but there are many hazards throughout the home. With preparation, however, a lot can be improved on with regard to child safety. Move regular medications usually kept in the bathroom or beside your bed up and out of reach of a child, and preferably locked away. Keep children out of cabinets and drawers by properly securing them with child locks and latches. Prevent doors slamming on little fingers by securing them using a door stop or under-door gripper. Preparation and recognising the potential issues is what it’s all about.

Remember though, every house is different, and every child is, too. Your child may never even look twice at a cabinet, but what about that visiting cousin or friend? They may have other ideas so make sure your home is secured for all children, not just your own.

  • What should we look out for?

We need to look out for the obvious and the hidden dangers. Remember: children learn and discover the world by experiencing things and unfortunately, that can sometimes mean getting hold of a knife from the drawer, or unplugging the computer, or pulling on that tablecloth – so be aware at all times. Preparation, moving things out of reach, locking things away, keeping sharps and poisons out of reach, using a gate, keeping children within sight, and only allowing your child to be supervised by a trustworthy and loving adult are all important precautions.

  • When should we start to educate children about stranger danger?

From the beginning, teach them about taking general precautions that will help them protect themselves. For instance, when bathing them, you can say, “Let’s check the water temperature, is it too hot?” 

Teaching children about stranger danger should not be a specific learning event — it should be a part of everyday conversation from the beginning and identified as one of the precautions they need to take to protect themselves.

  • Are there any toxins found naturally around the home that could be particularly threatening if a child came in contact with it?

Plenty, including some plants in the garden and most household cleaners. Many people don’t realise that the residue left by everyday cleaning chemicals, particularly while still wet, can be quite bad. Likewise, the dishwasher drawer can be toxic even after the load is finished. Remember, children or pets can touch this as they go about their day.

  • Do pet doors pose a potential threat to small children?

Yes! The doors come in different sizes and children can get stuck in them. Many pet doors can be locked so that nothing can pass through and if this is an option, then do it!

  • How can we secure windows without losing access and compromising on the aesthetic appeal?

A lot of window locks are designed to blend with interiors now. Check out Dreambaby®’s Fold Down Sliding Door and Window Lock. Transparent and durable, this new lock helps keep children safe by helping to secure most sliding doors (including those made from glass and an extensive range of other surfaces) as well as windows. Once installed, the lock works by blocking any sliding action. While proving an enormous challenge for children, it is easily disengaged by adults for normal use when children are not around. This productive is adhesive which is also very attractive for those who rent.

Other ideas include Dreambaby®’s BREEZZ-LOCK Sliding Window restrictors in black and white, designed to restrict opening distance of sliding aluminium windows to a recommended 10 cm. This reduces the risk of injuries from falls.

Remember, there is a range of window safety solutions that work both externally and internal, so do your research. It’s very important to prevent accidental falls, some of which can cause serious injury and even death.

  • Do you create a range of designer safety solutions that match decor?

Dreambaby® has a range of traditionally-coloured white and black items that blend perfectly with white goods and a range of drawers. Other items are translucent and almost vanish into the background. We also have a ‘Style’ range, items that will blend into fashionable stainless steel appliances.

  • If the lounge/ living room is the child’s play area, do you recommend not having a coffee table at all?

Choose either a very round-cornered table that is really solidly made (NO GLASS), or nothing at all. Remember to also keep an eye on any food and coffee that you place on your table as they can be a hazard of their own.

  • What is the most unsafe; hazardous home environment you have ever encountered? How did you fix the problem?

I have encountered lots of unsafe environments in my time. Laundries, kitchens and bathrooms are the areas to watch. Block them all off with gates. It’s the best way to go. Try our new metal and timber sturdy Cosmopolitan Security Gate – it opens in both directions and features a one-handed operation for adults among other things – great when your hands are full!

In addition to a gate, move everything sharp or poisonous out of reach, and block off and lock cabinets and drawers that have things in them that you do not want children accessing. If you’re cooking, move handles to the side so kids can’t get hold of them and pull hot liquids on top of themselves.

Child Safety: Baby Proofing Your Home | KidsHealth Au

Keep pot handles out of reach. Image: Carolyn Ziegler

  • What can pregnant women do when driving to reduce the risk of pressure across the abdomen? Are airbags safe for pregnant women?

Well, we do not have the choice of having airbags or not in most cases. The Dreambaby® Bump Belt certainly has created huge interest for our pregnant Mums. It holds the seat belt below the bump and means that should the car have to stop suddenly, then at least there is no belt crushing over the tummy. It is a very exciting addition to Dreambaby® and we are thrilled to be able to help a mother-to-be feel more comfortable about travelling around in the car, whether as a driver or a passenger.

Carolyn Ziegler is currently working on a child safety book and app for all parents who may need help in that area. It’s due to be completed in mid-2017 and will be full of practical advice based on her many years of working in the area of child safety and developing safety solutions for Dreambaby®.

Reviewed by Carolyn Ziegler 11 August 2016 references
  • current version

  • PEER REVIEWER

  • document id

  • next review

This document has been developed and peer reviewed by a KIDS HEALTH Advisory Board Representative and is based on expert opinion and the available published literature at the time of review. Information contained in this document is not intended to replace medical advice and any questions regarding a medical diagnosis or treatment should be directed to a medical practitioner.

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Child Safety: Baby Proofing Your Home

Child safety is one of those topics that seems like a given. Of course we want to keep our children safe from injuries — what parent doesn’t? Unfortunately, this is also the reason that a lot of aspects of keeping kids safe is overlooked. We sat down with Carolyn Ziegler, child safety expert and Co-Founder/Product Development Director of Dreambaby®, for tips on baby proofing the home and more.

  • Many first time parents don’t know what to look out for when it comes to baby proofing the home — what advise can you give them?

Right from the beginning, invest in blind cord wind-ups. They keep blind cords out of the reach of babies in their cots and from older siblings in general, because overly long cords can be very hazardous. More importantly, remember to keep cots and beds away from windows and window fittings whenever possible.

Once children become mobile, there are the obvious steps – block off power points with outlet plugs and move sharp objects, knives and poisons including medicines out of reach, and watch out for the sharp corners on tables. Get down on all fours and look up at the world from the point of view of a crawling child. It’s amazing the hidden dangers you will immediately identify.

  • What would you consider to be a potential safety hazard in and around the home?

I don’t want to scare you, but there are many hazards throughout the home. With preparation, however, a lot can be improved on with regard to child safety. Move regular medications usually kept in the bathroom or beside your bed up and out of reach of a child, and preferably locked away. Keep children out of cabinets and drawers by properly securing them with child locks and latches. Prevent doors slamming on little fingers by securing them using a door stop or under-door gripper. Preparation and recognising the potential issues is what it’s all about.

Remember though, every house is different, and every child is, too. Your child may never even look twice at a cabinet, but what about that visiting cousin or friend? They may have other ideas so make sure your home is secured for all children, not just your own.

  • What should we look out for?

We need to look out for the obvious and the hidden dangers. Remember: children learn and discover the world by experiencing things and unfortunately, that can sometimes mean getting hold of a knife from the drawer, or unplugging the computer, or pulling on that tablecloth – so be aware at all times. Preparation, moving things out of reach, locking things away, keeping sharps and poisons out of reach, using a gate, keeping children within sight, and only allowing your child to be supervised by a trustworthy and loving adult are all important precautions.

  • When should we start to educate children about stranger danger?

From the beginning, teach them about taking general precautions that will help them protect themselves. For instance, when bathing them, you can say, “Let’s check the water temperature, is it too hot?” 

Teaching children about stranger danger should not be a specific learning event — it should be a part of everyday conversation from the beginning and identified as one of the precautions they need to take to protect themselves.

  • Are there any toxins found naturally around the home that could be particularly threatening if a child came in contact with it?

Plenty, including some plants in the garden and most household cleaners. Many people don’t realise that the residue left by everyday cleaning chemicals, particularly while still wet, can be quite bad. Likewise, the dishwasher drawer can be toxic even after the load is finished. Remember, children or pets can touch this as they go about their day.

  • Do pet doors pose a potential threat to small children?

Yes! The doors come in different sizes and children can get stuck in them. Many pet doors can be locked so that nothing can pass through and if this is an option, then do it!

  • How can we secure windows without losing access and compromising on the aesthetic appeal?

A lot of window locks are designed to blend with interiors now. Check out Dreambaby®’s Fold Down Sliding Door and Window Lock. Transparent and durable, this new lock helps keep children safe by helping to secure most sliding doors (including those made from glass and an extensive range of other surfaces) as well as windows. Once installed, the lock works by blocking any sliding action. While proving an enormous challenge for children, it is easily disengaged by adults for normal use when children are not around. This productive is adhesive which is also very attractive for those who rent.

Other ideas include Dreambaby®’s BREEZZ-LOCK Sliding Window restrictors in black and white, designed to restrict opening distance of sliding aluminium windows to a recommended 10 cm. This reduces the risk of injuries from falls.

Remember, there is a range of window safety solutions that work both externally and internal, so do your research. It’s very important to prevent accidental falls, some of which can cause serious injury and even death.

  • Do you create a range of designer safety solutions that match decor?

Dreambaby® has a range of traditionally-coloured white and black items that blend perfectly with white goods and a range of drawers. Other items are translucent and almost vanish into the background. We also have a ‘Style’ range, items that will blend into fashionable stainless steel appliances.

  • If the lounge/ living room is the child’s play area, do you recommend not having a coffee table at all?

Choose either a very round-cornered table that is really solidly made (NO GLASS), or nothing at all. Remember to also keep an eye on any food and coffee that you place on your table as they can be a hazard of their own.

  • What is the most unsafe; hazardous home environment you have ever encountered? How did you fix the problem?

I have encountered lots of unsafe environments in my time. Laundries, kitchens and bathrooms are the areas to watch. Block them all off with gates. It’s the best way to go. Try our new metal and timber sturdy Cosmopolitan Security Gate – it opens in both directions and features a one-handed operation for adults among other things – great when your hands are full!

In addition to a gate, move everything sharp or poisonous out of reach, and block off and lock cabinets and drawers that have things in them that you do not want children accessing. If you’re cooking, move handles to the side so kids can’t get hold of them and pull hot liquids on top of themselves.

Child Safety: Baby Proofing Your Home | KidsHealth Au

Keep pot handles out of reach. Image: Carolyn Ziegler

  • What can pregnant women do when driving to reduce the risk of pressure across the abdomen? Are airbags safe for pregnant women?

Well, we do not have the choice of having airbags or not in most cases. The Dreambaby® Bump Belt certainly has created huge interest for our pregnant Mums. It holds the seat belt below the bump and means that should the car have to stop suddenly, then at least there is no belt crushing over the tummy. It is a very exciting addition to Dreambaby® and we are thrilled to be able to help a mother-to-be feel more comfortable about travelling around in the car, whether as a driver or a passenger.

Carolyn Ziegler is currently working on a child safety book and app for all parents who may need help in that area. It’s due to be completed in mid-2017 and will be full of practical advice based on her many years of working in the area of child safety and developing safety solutions for Dreambaby®.

Reviewed by Lisa Kelly 11 August 2016
references
  • current version

  • PEER REVIEWER

  • Doc id

  • next review

This document has been developed and peer reviewed by a KIDS HEALTH Advisory Board Representative and is based on expert opinion and the available published literature at the time of review. Information contained in this document is not intended to replace medical advice and any questions regarding a medical diagnosis or treatment should be directed to a medical practitioner.

make a comment

0 comments

latest articles

view more

MEET THE EXPERTS

view more