Once you’ve brought home a new baby, you may begin to think about all of the safety precautions you need to take to keep your little one safe and so the rush ensues to turn your home into the ultimate child-proof paradise. We turned to Chris Pegula, author of DIAPER DUDE: The Ultimate Dad’s Guide to Surviving the First Two Years, for a few ways to get started in what he’s dubbed “homeland security.”
Look outside. Install layers of protection over pools and spas. Ideally you want a barrier completely surrounding the pool, including a 4-foot tall fence with self-closing, self-latching gates. A pool alarm ain’t a bad idea either.
Latch it. Put safety latches and locks on all cabinets and drawers in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas to help prevent children from gaining access to medicines, household cleaners or sharp objects.
Grab a gate. Use safety gates to help prevent kids (or drunks adults) from falling down stairs or entering certain rooms.
Be user-friendly. Doorknob covers and door locks help keep children away from places with hazards, but make sure they allow the doors to be opened quickly by an adult in case of emergency.
Keep it steady. Apply anchors so furniture and appliances can’t fall over, especially if you live in high earthquake areas.
Stay cool. Install anti-scald devices for faucets and shower heads.
Check alarms. Make sure you have smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside each bedroom, and outside sleeping areas. Change the batteries at least once a year and check ’em once a month. Use carbon monoxide alarms too.
Stand guard. Window screens are not strong enough to stop a falling kid. Use window guards and safety netting to help prevent falls fro windows, balconies, decks, and landings. But make sure at least one window in each room can be easily used for fire escape.
Add bumpers. Corner and edge bumpers help prevent injuries from falls against sharp edges of furniture and fireplaces, so stick ’em on every table and desk you got, dude.
Shock proof. Outlet covers can help prevent electrical shock and possible electrocution. Make sure they are large enough so that children cannot choke on ’em.
For more overall safety information on baby-proofing, check out cpsc.gov.
Excerpted from DIAPER DUDE: The Ultimate Dad’s Guide to Surviving the First Two Years by Chris Pegula. © 2017 by Chris Pegula. TarcherPerigee, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
You’ll also want to read how Dads Who Change Diapers Get Lucky More Often or take some time to learn How to Raise Resilient Kids, According to Sheryl Sandberg.
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