Sunday, October 22, 2006

Baby Proofing

One of the most important things a new parent can do to welcome their new child into their home is to do a thorough baby proofing to avoid any dangerous encounters with every day household items. Baby proofing is fairly inexpensive, but the benefits definitely outweigh any cost that may be incurred.
When I was a child, baby proofing seemed to include basically just picking things up off of the floor that were deemed dangerous. My parents don’t remember outlet covers or anything of the sort, and in fact my husband was given a slight shock from sticking something into a light socket at his grandparents’ house. His parents say that he never did that again, so they had nothing to worry about! Now baby proofing is a huge business, and you can purchase items from outlet covers to splash guards that attach to the stove top to prevent burns.
Essentials of baby proofing can be purchased at a very small cost. Realistically, if you are attentive or if your child is not interested in items that can harm them, then you can get by with minimal safety items. Outlet covers are very cheap and just about every household should have them. In a split second a baby can insert something into an outlet, such as the instance with my husband, and it is certainly something that has the potential to be deadly. In addition to the outlet covers, there should ideally be cupboard and/or drawer latches to protect children from getting into things like household cleaning items and silverware, especially knives. While it is a pain for parents to have to open the latches each time they desire to get into a cupboard, the benefits of keeping your children safe definitely outweigh that inconvenience.
Essentially, the outlet covers and cupboard latches are all that is really needed for a safe and baby proofed household. If you would like to go above and beyond the essentials, you can purchase items like door handle covers that don’t allow little hands to turn knobs to open doors. Also available are latches for toilets, which might be essential if you have a child like my friends’ that is fascinated with the toilet water. These can prevent accidental drowning, but most houses do not need them. There are a myriad of safety items available, but if you know which items your child need protected from you can save a lot of money by not purchasing things you will not really need. However, if you get peace of mind from having all the safety items then they are worth the cost ten fold.