Archive for February, 2009

Child Proofing Your Home

In today’s economy, every dollar counts. There are many “child proofing” experts out there that would be happy to charge you hundreds and even thousands of dollars to child proof your home.  The big secret is that you can do it yourself for very little cost.

The first step in the child proofing process is to draw a basic layout of your home.  Identify areas in your home that  present a child safety concern.  Include electrical outlets that are low to the ground, outside doors and stairs.  Identify big hazards which would include a pool, sauna and any area where your child might be tempted to climb to an unsafe height.  Identify environmental hazards by red marking any rooms where your child might find unsafe things to play with such as matches, guns, knives and sharp scissors. Each danger area is a red zone until you make it safe for your child.

Good Work! You have designed your layout, now go room by room and make a list of items that you will need to childproof each area.  Some of the items may include:

  • Protective Covers:  One for each electrical outlet.
  • Stair Guard:  A protective barrier that can be purchased at a local store. It is designed to fit snugly against a wall and is tall enough to prevent babies and toddlers from climbing over.  You will need two, one for the top and one for the bottom of the stairs.
  • Plastic Tubs or Storage Bins:  For putting away dangerous objects and keeping toys organized.
  • Door Knob Covers:  Covers that make it difficult for a child to open an outside door.
  • Door Alarms: They sound off when a child has opened a door.
  • Cupboard Locks:  These will keep your child out of cupboards that contain dangerous substances such as household cleaners.
  • Pantry Lock:  To keep your child from getting into the food and climbing up the pantry.
  • A Cabinet and/or Lock:  For storing and protecting guns or locking up a pool gate.
  • A self swing and self locking gate:  For those areas that are difficult to constantly monitor such as a pool area or any dangerous area in your back yard.

With your list of the childproofing items you need, make some trips to your local department and hardware stores.  Look for deals, but do not compromise on safety.  If a lock or barrier seems too easy for you to open, chances are that your child will eventually figure out how to open it too.

Once you have made your plans and purchases, enlist the help of your husband, brother, uncle, or manly friend.  Give them an opportunity to show off their muscles and “tool time” skills.  While they are busy installing, you can cover electrical outlets and enlist other family members to help put away all of the dangerous stuff.

Put your sewing needles in a protective plastic container that your child cannot open.  Store the scissors and matches in high places that your child cannot reach.  Barricade your stairs and play safety police once a week where older siblings can scour the house while looking for potential safety hazards.  Set it up with colors or numbers for the different levels of danger.  A super danger zone could be labeled as red or a five, while a safe zone could be considered white, or a zero. While playing this game, give out ideas on how older siblings can help keep little brothers and sisters safe.  Pick up the toys just before bed and have family stranger danger and fire escape plans in place.

Protecting your child both inside and outside of the home is a challenging parental goal.  With a little masculine help and family team work, you will soon be able to declare your home a safe white zone.  Happy childproofing!

See our recent  post and protect your child from school germs!

By: Debby Hoffer

3 comments February 24th, 2009

Causes of the Common Cold in Babies

You’re expecting a baby soon or just had one. You’re babysitting an infant or toddler for the first time. You’ve just set up your toddlers first playdate. These three scenarios have one thing in common beyond the obvious. With over 100 viruses that cause the common cold lurking about, the very real possibility of catching the common cold awaits babies no matter what the scenario. Knowing the causes of the common cold in babies is, as they say, half the battle. Following are some instances to help enumerate the most common causes for the common cold in babies.

Common Cold Viruses Adrift in the Air

You just had a baby not long ago and someone visiting you and the baby is, unbeknownst to him or you, infected with a common cold virus in its most contagious part of the cycle, the shedding stage, and suddenly without warning sneezes into the air. Roughly, 40,000 droplets of what just came out if his nose is now set adrift in the immediate surrounding air. No actions are taken by anyone to avoid the contaminated snotlet droplets now floating around the baby, because it was just a little sneeze and doesn’t mean much. Two days later your baby has a 101.5º temperature and can’t breathe but out of his mouth.

Common Cold Viruses Stick To Your Hand Like Glue

You just landed your third babysitting gig for your mom’s friends who have a two year old toddler. You only get to watch her for two hours, but that’s twenty dollars you didn’t have before, right! Come 6 pm you arrive at the Smiths’ house and just before you ring the doorbell you cover your mouth with your hand like you’ve been taught when you cough. A quick passing though crosses your mind, ” I wonder if I’m getting sick, since I started coughing at school today and just now, again.” Just then the door opens and the Smiths are so happy you’re there and you follow them inside to the adorable waiting baby whose outstretched hands have been waiting for yours. It wouldn’t matter if it had been a couple of hours after you coughed into your hand, because you couldn’t get to the crook of your arm or into your shoulder fast enough, or just before you started holding hands with the baby. Common cold viruses stick to your hands like glue.

Common Cold Viruses Contaminate Innocent Playthings

You’ve been awaiting your little toddlers playdate with greater anticipation than your toddler. Finally, you and toddler in tow make your way to where the other three parents and toddlers are meeting. All sorts of toys have been collected together for the occasion, and all of the parents have been very conscientious about disinfecting whatever they brought to the toy pool now in the center of the room. All of the toddlers have been enjoying themselves playing with the toys, but you notice your toddler has since gravitated toward one of his favorite things to play with-the remote control-and has it in a death-grip because he knows at some point you’re going to suddenly pop up and take it away. You wrestle your friends remote control away from your toddler, and innocently enough neither you or your friend realize that someone contaminated it with a common cold virus only a couple of hours earlier. Every toy in the place is clean, but not that one innocent plaything toddler just has to have in his mouth whenever he gets a chance.

Whether by air, human touch or contaminated surfaces, the causes or situations where a common cold virus can make its way into your baby’s or toddler’s system are quite numerous. While most everyone is aware of how a baby can catch a cold, how many of us are as avidly conscientious about protecting the baby or toddler from catching the common cold as we should be.

For treatment of your baby’s cold here is help and for fighting off RSV infection see Child n’Parent.

By:  T. H. Pankey

For the best ebook to guide you through pregnancy see “My Bloomin Belly.”

Add comment February 9th, 2009


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