September is Baby Safety Month, which makes it the perfect time to improve on your safety plans. Whether you’re expecting a child, or you already have a few, you can really benefit from taking a step back and evaluating the safety inside and outside of your home. Many people pour a small fortune into their child’s safety measures, but there are many things you can do to help protect your child that won’t cost you a bundle. These ten tips should help you get a good plan in order, so you can rest easier that your children are as safe as can be no matter what you’re doing.
1. Sign Up For Lost Child Programs
No one wants to imagine their child as missing, which is why many people don’t take advantage of these amazing programs. Generally, you find programs like this at local fairs, but you can also go to the police station in many cases to join. The program will take your child’s image, basic details and fingerprints. Once entered into the system, it is much easier for police to get your child’s information out if your child does go missing. It also makes it easier to identify your child if found in a location outside of the region being searched. These programs are free of cost too. There also programs that you can register for online that will give you a GPS tracking device in the form of a watch, backpack and so on. These programs do cost money but are great for younger children or those with disabilities, especially if they are known to wander off.
2. Register For Recalls
More often than not, we don’t expect a product we purchase in stores to be dangerous. However, there are more recalls on products designed for babies and children than we’d like. Often, these recalls go unnoticed, because you have to check back on the company’s website to find out if there has been a recall. That is, unless the recall is incredibly dangerous, and it makes headline news. One of the best things you can do to learn about recalls as soon as they happen is register all of your products. Most products will come with a card to fill out in order to register it. All you have to do is drop it in the mail and you’ll receive an email or letter if the item has been recalled. This will ensure you are in the loop before something can go wrong.
3. Practice Safe Sleeping
The concept of safe sleep has become a lot more popular now due to a rise in SIDS prevention. Many parents don’t know the proper way for their baby to sleep. When you lay an infant down, it should always be on the baby’s back. Tummy time is great for building muscles but should only be done in small spurts based on the baby’s age and should always be monitored. Even as the baby begins to roll, you should still lay the child down on their back. Babies should also have their own sleeping area that is flat and features a breathable sheet. Babies that sleep in a parents’ bed could be crushed or suffocated, so it is best to keep your child out of this area altogether. There are special sleepers that can be placed on the side of your bed if you want your child in the same space. Baby boxes are also becoming increasingly popular thanks to free programs.
4. Bolt Furniture
Another huge problem that is often overlooked is the furniture. Many parents spend quite a bit of money on things to block children from getting into chemicals and harming their fingers, but the furniture in the home often goes unnoticed. This isn’t a huge problem for infants, but as children get older and begin to climb on things, you might be in a world of trouble. Dressers, entertainment centers, shelves and anything can be knocked over should be bolted to the wall. Furniture can easily kill a child or cause serious injury if it falls over on a child, so take precautions before it is too late.
5. Move Chemicals Up
Certainly, it is always wise to find locks for your cabinets, especially those in the bathroom and kitchen. However, one of the wisest things you can do when it comes to your chemicals is move them to a high up place. You might consider storing them in the garage or basement if these areas don’t get too hot. It is best to place them in a high place that can be locked too. This will help prevent problems if your child does figure out how to bypass your child safety locks during their toddler years.
6. Door Protection
Doors can be another source of stress for parents. There are many things that can go wrong with a door. For starters, toddlers begin to learn how to use doors which can grant them freedom to come and go as they please. Unless you want your child leaving the house without your permission then you might want to consider safety precautions for the door. You can buy childproof locks for the door, but these can also be made cheaply with Tupperware. You should always leave exteriors locked, if not deadbolted, at all times though to prevent incidents. In the home, you might consider removing the locks to doors inside so your child can’t lock themselves in. This can be especially dangerous in rooms like the bathroom. Another problem is doors slamming shut on your child’s fingers. This problem is easily remedied with a door stop. One of the easiest options is to use a pool noodle to prevent your doors from closing completely.
7. Car Safety
Your home isn’t the only place that you need to worry about. In fact, your car can be just as dangerous. The first thing you should worry about is your child’s car seat. You can actually take your car seat to a police or fire station to have it inspected. This should allow you to feel more secure about traveling with your child. Of course, your child will have to be in a car seat or booster seat for longer than you expect, so make sure you brush up on safety guides. While driving, you should always keep your doors locked and windows should always be up or at a safe level. This will not only prevent your child from exiting the vehicle but can also prevent abductions. In the car, you should remove choking hazards too and make sure your child doesn’t have food, drink or toys that could choke your child while driving. It is also crucial to have a safety kit in the car. This should include a suction device for potential choking as well as common first aid items.
8. Screen Childcare Providers
Trusting someone with your child can be tough, which is why finding a childcare provider should always be on your safety list. If you don’t have a trusted family member to watch your child, then it is important to go through many screening procedures in order to find a good match. You should always look at reviews of childcare providers and try to talk in person to one or more precious customers. You should also have a background check ran on your potential provider. Of course, this isn’t quite enough to ensure the safety of your children. You might attach a recording device to your child or set up a nanny cam so you can monitor what goes on with your child when you’re away.
9. Food Safety
When it comes to food, it is important to know the precautions needed to keep your child safe. To begin with, you shouldn’t feed your child solid food until they are at least four months old. You should talk to your pediatrician about this though, to ensure what is best for your child. When you do begin the feeding process, always make sure to introduce one food at a time. You should wait seven to ten days to move on to your next food item to make sure your child isn’t allergic. Also, make sure you keep an eye on food recalls, which can include your child’s formula. As your child grows, make sure solid foods are cut into small pieces. Slicing food into thin strips, especially when it comes to grapes and hot dogs is also an important step you can take. If you maintain a healthy diet at a young age, then you are more than likely going to have healthier children that grow up to eat right as adults.
10. Remain Attentive
Without a doubt, one of the best things you can do for the safety of your children is be attentive. This can be hard, especially when you’re tired but you will feel more at ease just by knowing your child is okay. It doesn’t matter if your child is at rest or play, you should be watching and listening as well as you can. One way to do this, especially at night, is to have a baby monitor that you know will wake you up. There are even special anklets to help monitor infants breathing and heart rate while they sleep. It is especially important to be attentive when you’re outside of the home. Child abductions are more common today than ever and there are many dangers your child could stumble upon, even in parks. If you’re worried about your child wandering, then you might consider a baby leash. Of course, you should also watch your child’s personality and behaviors. If you notice something unusual make sure to call your pediatrician. Autism and other disorders happen more frequently today, so catching symptoms early is important.
Baby safety is one of the top things you should consider before and after having a child. These tips should offer you a little extra support to ensure your children will be safer than ever without forcing you to spend a lot of money on child safety. This should help you stress less, especially as your child grows and explores more of the world around them.