Bringing a baby home is a great way to find out just how many potentially dangerous traps lie in wait around your everyday living space. Now that I have a wildly curious, and surprisingly dexterous, little human making her way around the house, I see them.
Childproofing can cause worry and become an obsession. Thankfully, the experts weighed in for this Homegrown with Hope for a foolproof way to childproof
Lauren Nelson is doing her best to lay a foundation for a happy and healthy childhood for her three-year-old, especially when that means spotting an accident before it happens.
"She's my first child. I thought she was going to be in my eyes at all times. I'm going to know everywhere she's at. After a couple months when she started crawling, I realized that was absolutely impossible," Lauren said with a smile. "Even if you're a stay-at-home mom, you're around 24-7, they're going to get out of your eyesight at some point. So, it's just a matter of being prepared for them when they are."
A study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham shows lots of parents are the same way. Researchers asked first-time moms of kids one to three years old to identify potential hazards. The parents missed more than half of them.
We took a 40-year veteran of the construction industry and father to five children and five step-children through this home to pick out a few more areas of improvement. Many parents are overconfident their children won't get into some dangerous places, but Bruce Shaw speaks from experience.
"You will, from time to time, find them doing something that just absolutely alarms you," he said.
His best advice is to be prepared anyway.
"I would consider things like furniture tipping, drawer locks, cabinet door locks, maybe making sure that just a regular door know works appropriately," he runs through a list of must-do's.
The scary truth is that more than a third of child injuries and deaths happen at home, according to kidshealth.org. The CDC says the highest risk zones are where there is water, heat, toxic substances or a potential for falling. That's why Bruce recommends baby gates that attach to the wall, rather than pressure-placed gates.
Although, he says, there is no lock or barrier that can make up for your own supervision and teaching.
"Bear in mind, the goal is to prevent the child from being injured until you have enough time to teach the child what they need to learn to not be injured," Bruce said.
Eventually, you'll take the gates down and your busy children will just have the building blocks you gave them to make it through life in one piece.