Remember the days when furniture was just something to sit on? A bath was there to get you clean and stairs were the easiest way from point A to point B? Then you had a baby, and everything in sight suddenly went from everyday utility to flashing Code-Orange-danger-potential. When you have a child, nearly everything in your home can become a safety hazard. How prepared are you for an emergency situation with your little one?
What's most important in a scary situation is that you're calm and reasonable, and the key to level-headedness is being prepared. Check with your local Red Cross and find a class on CPR and first aid, for starters. There are also many helpful resources online to determine if a particular situation is, indeed, an emergency, how to handle that emergency and hints to bulk up on practical advice for potentially scary situations so you're ready for just about anything.
It's a given that life changes when you have a child, but if you take the right precautions and prepare yourself you can relax a little and enjoy the toddling first years of your baby's life. The following steps will help you prevent and prepare for common accidents.
To help set your mind at ease, make a list of emergency numbers and place it by the phone. Include on the list your child's pediatrician, your health care provider, your family doctor, a 24-hour nurse-on-call number, the police department, the fire department and poison control. That way, you're ready for anything.
Kids like to grab/climb/push things of all shapes and sizes, and that often leads to furniture toppling over. To prevent this, bolt high chests and other potentially unstable furniture to the floor or wall and keep cabinets closed. Otherwise, shelves tend to look like steps to a toddler, who could climb them in a matter of seconds. Also, keep up with the latest product recalls.
You want your baby to experience a wide variety of flavors and textures as they grow and learn. But many foods can actually be a choking hazard for the small ones. It's important that you cut round foods, such as grapes and melon balls, into small pieces. Also be extra vigilant when it comes to firm foods, like hot dogs, hard candy and nuts, and sticky foods, such as peanut butter and caramels. Always make sure your child eats while sitting up.
First, learn what to do in an emergency. Swimming pools can be tempting and dangerous to kids. If you have a pool, it's important that it's bordered on all sides islolation fencing that is at least five feet high with self-closing and self-latching elements.
But it's not just swimming pools that pose a drowning risk. It takes just one inch of water for a child to drown, so always supervise bath time. Buckets of water around the house can pose danger, too. Empty all containers after use and store out of reach.
--Article by Kate Silver for Parents.com
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