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Babyproofing Basics

Dr. Baby ProoferInternational Association of Child Safety
Thom Golden RN, BSN ("Dr. Baby Proofer") is America's leading expert in the field of child and family safety. He is the founder of the International Association for Child Safety (IACS). A well-known personality seen on CNN, Fox News, TXCN Cable News, WFAA-TV, and KRLD radio, Thom
has provided child safety education throughout the major media, is a specialist in child safety product installation in the home, and is widely renowned as a leading authority on car seat safety. Thom has prepared a basic guide to baby proofing f
or readers of MetroplexBaby.com.

BABY PROOFING BASICS

Why baby proof  •  Best time to baby proof  •  Where do I start
Top 10 baby proofing basics  •  Can I do it myself


Why baby proof?

Did you know that more children die from home-based trauma than from ALL childhood diseases combined? Baby proofing is designed to primarily benefit the child by preventing trauma/death. But baby proofing also benefits the parents who suffer emotional trauma if their child is injured - especially when that injury could have been prevented.

Before your baby is born
. Baby proofing products require a period of transition for you to become comfortable with their use.

The “Next Best Time”
is before your child crawls. Long term effectiveness is enhanced if your child never knows that the cupboard under the sink “ has pretty stuff in it”.

Before the baby walks is next best.

WORST time? After an Emergency Department visit.

Where do I start?

Here is a basic (at a minimum) room-by-room “What-to-do List“
Use high quality slide-by style outlet covers on ALL electrical outlets.
Lock ALL cabinet and drawers - from hip level down.
Hide or shorten all electrical cords.
Turn hot water tank to 120 degrees or less.
Use only Installed gated at stairs - never pressure gates.
Use the all metal door top locks.
If an older sibling is in the home, be aware to separate the baby from the toys of the older child to prevent chocking hazards. Injury rates increase as the family adds members. It’s much more difficult to watch two children than it is to watch one child. Remember: Baby proofing is on duty 24 hours a day.

Top 10 baby proofing basics

1. PROTECT BABY’S FINGERS: Lock ALL cabinets and drawers from hip level down, in every room. We’ve tested them all and can only recommend latches by Mommy’s Helper, the Tot Lock, and the European Super Latch.  

2. KITCHEN ALERT: Apply Appliance Locks to oven & dishwasher doors. Stove top Shield-A-Burn acts to prevent many types of burns. Stove Knob-Locks should always be in use. Use only back burners.  

3. Cover all electrical outlets, especially the high ones. NO PLUG INSERTS (possible choking hazard) We recommend the Care Cover (The best slide-by style cover), the box type outlet covers, or one of our other custom designed electrical safety products. Avoid rotating-type covers.  

4. Lock up all toilets to prevent drowning, loss of valuables and huge plumbing bills. We recommend only two of the twelve on the market. This is your child’s FIRST swimming pool. LOCK IT UP!  

5. Make sure you always have at least one hand on your baby at all times. Use our safety Tub Tray that way your baby and everything you need to bath your baby is right in front of you. Lower your hot water temperature to 120 F or less to prevent scalding.  

6. Use only installed gates at stairs. Never use pressure gates at stairs. We use Kidco and Summer Infant gate products. Apply Safety Mesh (never Plexiglass) to all railing to prevent climbing and falls. Mesh is easier to install, easier to clean and doesn’t affect your home’s A/C or heating.

7. A raised hearth fireplace requires a professionally installed surrounding safety gate. We can help with professional installation.

8. All care providers need to be trained in CPR and first aid.

9. All care providers should SEE where the following important items are stored: Your child’s Authorization Letter, Your Emergency Telephone and Reference Chart, Fire Extinguishers and your First Aid Kit. (All forms are available free from Dr. Baby Proofer)

10. Not sure if something is a choking hazard? If the item is small enough to fit through an average cardboard toilet paper tube, then it poses a choking hazard.

Can I do it myself?

There are hundreds of baby proofing devices on the market. Unfortunately, not all are effective. An in-home evaluation by a trained child safety expert gives you not only knowledge on what and why safety measures should be implemented, but also how to maintain the long term effectiveness of the measures taken. Information on which products are dependable and which are of poor design/quality is basic to every Dr. Baby Proofer evaluation visit. The initial audit/evaluation in your home gives you the opportunity to gain insight as to which product will work most effectively in each room. The “ABC’s of Long Term Effectiveness” should be discussed.

A room by room assessment of hazards found around your home will be very rewarding for you and your child. Many seemingly innocent, common items will be noted as dangerous. Trauma prevention is much more than mere use of a few common safety items. Many common child safety products are actually a hazard themselves!

No parent wants their child to suffer the consequences of an unintentional injury. Nothing is more effective at preventing an injury than an in home safety audit by Dr. Baby Proofer. In our 20+ year history, there has never been a severe traumatic event in any home where we have provided our services. Nothing takes the place of close, constant parental supervision. “But I just turned my back for a second” are the most frequent words spoken by a parent in the emergency department. “He/She has never shown an interest in that before”, is usually the next statement. Now, do you see why you, or anyone else, can’t possibly watch your child every minute of the day? Yet, baby proofing is “ON DUTY” 24 hours a day to protect both baby and you!

This article can only touch the surface of the whys, whats and wheres of baby proofing. We encourage you and your friends/family to contact us with your questions and /or challenges. Schedule an in-home safety evaluation today. Waiting may lead to forgetting which may lead to a preventable traumatic event occurring in your home. Please don’t take a chance with your child’s safety. It may cost far to much!

To learn more about Dr. Baby Proofer or to schedule an in-home evaluation, please call (972) 380-1116 or visit http://www.drbabyproofer.com.

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