Taming the Household Jungle | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Taming the Household Jungle

If you don't have young children in your home, you may not realize how quickly a tiny mobile person can get into trouble with everyday household items. Before your baby starts to crawl, you should make a few changes around the house. Hardware stores and baby supply stores are a good place to search for baby-proofing materials.

• Declutter and move any objects that you don't want your baby to be able to pull down from a shelf or tabletop. This includes anything from heavy items to fragile objects.

• Make sure that the furniture your baby will pull him or herself up on is stable. Double check any household items that are propped on furniture, such as televisions, to be sure they are secure.

• Choose from the wide variety of outlet covers and cord devices on the market to reduce the risk of electric shock to a curious baby.

• Research your houseplants to find out whether they are safe for babies to ingest. Other-wise, figure out a plan to move plants up higher or outside.

• Assemble a secure gate to prevent your baby from climbing up the stairs unsupervised.

• Cover sharp corners. You can buy special items to protect your baby's head from things like tabletop corners, or you can cover the sharp edge of a brick fireplace with a heavy quilt.

• Install doorknob covers, which prevent young children from opening doors but allow easy access to older children and adults.

• Find an inflatable cover for the bathtub spout as soon as your baby is big enough to sit up and bump his or her head on the metal.

• For doors that baby is allowed to open and close, look for door guards that prevent pinched fingers by stopping the door from closing the whole way.

• Purchase locks for doors to cabinets that contain unsafe chemicals, such as bathroom and kitchen cabinets.

• Look for toilet locks that will deny access to babies seeking unsupervised water play.

• Move pet dishes outside, into the garage or into an area that is not accessible by your young children.

• Do not leave your children unattended with your pets.

• Shorten the cords to your window blinds to prevent strangulation.

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