Dr. Elizabeth Meade, a Pediatrician at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, recently spent time with KING 5 discussing babyproofing tips for parents.
“I think the first thing that parents think about what needs to be babyproofed in their house, there’s kind of three big questions. Can my baby or my child get to it, two, is it something that’s going to be appealing to them that they’re going to want to go after? And three, is it something that’s going to be particularly dangerous to them?” Dr. Meade said.
“One of the first things that parents notice in the house are really sharp corners. Once kids are able to pull to stand or to cruise around or start to walk, they can really hit their head on these sharp corners” Dr. Meade said. “So you can buy little bumpers that can go around the corner. So that way if a kid falls against it, they won’t get a laceration from the sharp part of the corner.”
“Electrical sockets are something parents need to watch out for,” Dr. Meade said. “There are some sockets that actually plug into there. Those are ok, but babies can actually pretty easily pull those out so if you really want to get crazy they actually make socket covers that you can replace these with where there’s a panel that slides over to plug something in so that’s not something a baby can pull out and put in their mouth.”
“Blind cords and curtain cords are another thing that can be really dangerous to kids,” Dr. Meade told us as she looked at a blind cord. “They can get stuck in them, their neck can get caught if there’s a loop at the bottom, so this one is nice because it’s actually kind of secured at the bottom. But if you have these at home and there’s a curtain or a blind cord that ends in a loop, I actually recommend that parents cut them open so that there’s just two strings hanging down.”
“Anything that’s really heavy like a television or a bookshelf should really be secured to the wall,” Dr. Meade said. “If you have a home sized tv or a bookshelf that your child could pull on top of them, it’s really important to secure those tightly to the wall so they can’t be toppled over.”
“Cupboards are another thing that everyone has in their house that kids can really get into quite easily,” Dr. Meade added. “So they make little kiddie locks that will kind of secure this together. But I always say to parents, it’s not enough just to have the lock, kids can always get through barriers that they have no idea how to get through so it’s really important in addition to the locks to always have anything that’s dangerous up in an upper cupboard where kids can’t reach it. “
“Crib safety is a huge one, especially for infants. It’s so tempting to put cute animals and extra soft blankets in the crib with the babies. But really as pediatricians we say that boring is best for a babies sleep environment. So you want a flat mattress, with a flat sheet, and really nothing else in the crib. Because what happens is, especially with infants, if soft things fall over their nose and mouth they can have difficulty breathing and they can suffocate.”