Flames aren’t the only thing that can burn young kids—hot water can be just as deadly. To protect your little ones’ delicate skin, buy antiscalding devices for faucets and showerheads, and set your water heater at no higher than 120º F.
8. Window Wisdom
At least one window in your child’s room should open easily (in case of fire), but under all other circumstances, you shouldn’t crack it more than four inches, lest the baby slips through it. Another window-related hazard is pull cords, which frequently strangle small children, particularly babies of ten to fifteen months whose cribs are close to window hangings with a loop that they can tug on. Keep your infant’s crib across the room from the window, and replace all such cords with safety tassels. For more information, visit the Window Covering Safety Council’s Web site.
9. Safety Netting
Infants and toddlers are constantly at risk of slipping through openings, and when a second-story balcony is involved, the fall can be fatal. If your home has any kind of deck surrounded by a slatted fence, cover the inside with durable, fine-gauge safety netting, which is nearly invisible but will contain your little crawler safely.
10. Brackets and Anchors
You may think very heavy furniture in your home isn’t going anywhere, but you’ll need to use anchors and brackets to prevent your child from becoming one of the five thousand kids under age ten who end up at the hospital each year, according to the CPSC, because appliances, TVs, and other large items have fallen on them. Also keep in mind that toddlers love to climb on home furnishings, so keep an eye out for drawers, bookcases, and any other items your child might like to turn into a jungle gym.
Safe Baby = Happy Parents
When your infant starts showing you signs that crawling is imminent, don’t delay in battening down the hatches and childproofing your home. After all, crawling leads to walking, walking leads to running -- and once you get to that point, you’ll have a hard enough time keeping up with your bundle of joy in a roomful of pillows, let alone one with exposed electrical outlets and metal tables. When you’ve navigating the complex world of first-time parenting, the last thing you want to have to deal with is taking your child to the ER. Don’t you have enough on your mind as it is?