Although it will be a few months before your new baby is mobile, your goal will be to keep your precious child safe. Sooner than you think, your baby will be reaching for things, and most likely putting them straight into his mouth, so it’s important to make your home safe right away.
A checklist has been provided below as a guide to help you keep your home safe. In addition to the points provided, be sure to look carefully around your home to see what else you can do to ensure your child’s safety. By doing this, when your baby does start to reach for things or crawl to things, you won’t have to worry about baby’s safety.
Use the following checklist as a guide to help you keep your home safe. You may want to print a copy of this checklist and keep it close by as an easy reference.
- Post all emergency numbers by the phone.
- Post the emergency number for poison control centre.
- Post the emergency number for police.
- Post the emergency number for fire department.
- Post the emergency number for ambulance.
- Post the emergency number for local hospital.
- Post the emergency number for the hydro—in case of a power outage.
- Post the emergency number for gas—in case of a gas leak.
- Put safety coverings on all electrical outlets.
- Lock up all hazardous products.
- Lock up drugs and medications (many children can take off childproof safety tops)—don't forget those that are in purses or jackets of guests, such as grandparents.
- Lock up cleaning solutions.
- Lock up cigarettes, tobacco, matches and lighters.
- Lock up alcoholic beverages.
- Lock up garbage.
- Lock up soiled diapers and diaper pails.
- Lock up skin care products and container caps, cornstarch and diaper pins.
- Lock up plastic and dry cleaning bags.
- Lock up cat litter boxes and pet food.
- Lock up electrical, computer and telephone cords and cables.
- Lock up batteries.
- Lock up breakable materials.
- Lock up items that are personally valuable.
- Lock up all guns in a cabinet that is secured to the structure of the building.
- Lock up the ammunition in a separate container; secure the gun with a trigger lock that needs a special key or wrench; and keep the key or wrench locked up separately from the gun.
- Ensure that all cleaning materials, medications and toxic substances are clearly labeled. Never store hazardous products in drinking bottles.
- Remove all objects that your child could use to reach dangerous items or climb out of the crib or playpen.
- Remove all locks on the inside of doors so your child cannot lock himself in a room.
- Keep all hanging curtain or blind cords out of reach.
- Keep free-standing lamps behind heavy furniture.
- Ensure all windows that open have screens and locks.
- Secure loose flooring or rugs.
- Check for tiny objects buried in rugs.
- Toss a towel over the top of the door—this prevents doors from slamming shut and hurting fingers.
- Ensure furniture is sturdy, splinter-free and without sharp edges.
- Block open stairway—do not use pressure-mounted gates at the top of a staircase—one good punch by your child or pet and all will go tumbling down.
- Keep purses out of reach, including those of visitors; they may contain medicines or sharp objects.
- Block wet areas (such as, freshly washed floors) so your child doesn’t slip and fall.
- Ensure you child is safe while you are answering the phone or door.
- Use a seat belt when your child is in a highchair, stroller, portable swing or any other piece of equipment.
- Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detector(s) in your home. (NOTE: smoke alarms are now required by law in Ontario.)
- Supervise your child constantly.
- Never leave your child alone on a change table or bed.
- Never leave your child alone with a bottle.
- Never leave your child alone in the bath (children can drown in as little as 4 cm (1 1/2") of water).
- Never leave your child alone in a highchair.
- Never leave your child alone on a bean bag chair or water bed (children can roll over and smother in the soft fabric).
- Never leave your child alone on a balcony.
- Never leave your child alone with a pet, including sleeping with a child (jealous or curious pets can hurt children).
- Never leave your child alone in a car—not even for a very brief time.
- Never leave your child alone in the house—not even for a very brief time.
- Remove all poisonous plants from your home and yard.
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We all likely have strategies to cope with the stress in our lives. Are you looking for some stress relief strategies to try? Check out the list below and try one the next time you are feeling stressed.
Contact a Support Person. When we are feeling stressed or down, it is often helpful to talk to someone who will just listen and be positive and supportive. When you want to de-stress, make sure you are connecting with someone you feel secure with – someone that will provide positive support. You can call, e-mail or visit, depending on where your support person is. You may want to start the conversation by simply saying, "I am feeling stressed and just need someone to listen
Explore Nature. Nature is all around us in many forms, but we often get caught up in our busy lives and do not take time to stop and "smell those roses." A great way to de-stress is to slow down and take a moment to enjoy and explore nature around us.
As you go through your normal day, take a moment to see how amazing nature is. Notice the grass growing through the asphalt and wonder about the amazing power of a blade of grass. Notice the colours of the trees, leaves, flowers, sky, etc. Look up and appreciate the shapes of the clouds or how the wind picks up a piece of paper.
You can also explore nature in books, in magazines (such as National Geographic or Canadian Geographic) and on websites. If you find something that particularly catches your interest, take time to explore that interest further.
Laugh. Laughter is the natural way to de-stress. It diminishes muscle tension and increases endorphins dramatically. One of the simple recipes for reducing stress is to inspire yourself and others to laugh. Try one or more of the following ideas: Read a joke book. Check out a joke website. Watch a comedy show on TV, on video or live. Think about something funny that happened to you or someone else. Take a Bath -taking a warm bath is a great way to de-stress... Nothing soothes the body more than relaxing in a tub of warm water. And pay attention to your comfort – a towel or plastic cushion behind your neck can help you to relax more fully. Add candles, music and/or a book to maximize the experience. You may want to blend in some aromatherapy at the same time.
Massage. There’s nothing like a great back rub or a foot rub to relieve the pressures and stresses of life. Pick a day each week and commit to each other this wonderful gift of relaxation.
Moviethon. Close the curtains, turn off the lights, make some popcorn and create a double or triple feature – day or night. Escape alone or together with your partner to another world, a different world and feel the tensions leave your mind and body.
Music. The beneficial qualities of music have been known for centuries. Music has been used to help cope with pain, promote relaxation, decrease stress and anxiety, and promote healing. When selecting music, consider whether you wish to produce feelings of energy, calm or relaxation. Find a comfortable position and give yourself permission to enjoy the music for 5 to 10 minutes.
Visualization (imagery use). This activity requires conscious effort. It takes daydreaming to a new level, consciously imagining a situation or anything else you can conjure up in your mind’s eye. The technique of visualization has been used for years and has helped people to manage pain, counter stress and anxiety and promote positive perceptions. Imagery involves using more than just mental pictures. It can include the use of all the senses; vision, hearing, smell, taste, movement, position and touch.
To begin your visualization, always find a position that allows you to be comfortable. Relax and start by taking a few deep breaths.
Walking. Walking is well accepted as a great low impact exercise, much easier on joints and bones. It is also a great stress reducer. Walking, like any exercise, is associated with the release of endorphins, which both relieve pain and stimulate relaxation. When walking, create a rhythm of movement and set your own pace. Walking alone or with a companion is a wonderful way to ease tension and create a positive outlook.
Have you used these methods to cope with stress? What stress relievers do you use? Let us know and leave a comment below!
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Your home is your cocoon, where you feel safe and secure. However, it also contains a variety of things that can have an impact on your health and the health of your baby.
Lead is a very soft metal that can be easily worked, does not rust and is difficult to break. Lead is cheap and, in the past, was frequently used in pencils, paint and gasoline. Lead accumulates in the body, especially in the liver and the bones.
Here are some things you can do:
- Where possible, buy canned foods from Canada or the U.S. where the cans are not made with lead solder.
- To avoid tracking lead into the house when you clean floors, do not wear your outdoor shoes in the home. Use a high-efficiency filter vacuum or damp mop floors.
- Do not use power sanders or power scrapers when removing lead paint.
- Do not plant fruits and vegetables near the road, especially along major streets or highways, as they may absorb lead left from traffic exhaust.
- Do not store food and drinks in lead crystal containers.
- Gardens and play areas should not be near peeling paint surfaces or other possible sources of lead.
- Never burn painted wood or coloured paper; paints/inks can contain lead.
- Run taps for one minute when the water has not been used for a number of hours as lead might have been used in the water system.
- Use cold water for drinking, cooking and making baby food because lead leaches into hot water more easily.
Adapted from Hidden Exposures, Reproduction and the Environment Fact Sheets. Produced by South Riverdale Community Health Center in collaboration with Toronto Public Health, Copyright Dec 2001 with permission from South Riverdale Community Health Center.
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For many years, your child will not be able to understand the concept of danger. As your very curious child continues to develop through different stages and explores every corner of your home, you will need to keep him safe from all harmful things – especially poisons. As a parent, you'll need to set up effective safety barriers. To do this, you should learn about the products in your home. Do you know which products are dangerous for children?
Infants and toddlers often explore their world by putting things in their mouths. Babies and very young children often put things in their mouths as a way of exploring the world.
You should keep cleaning products safely locked up from the moment you bring your baby home from the hospital. Many children are able to get into cabinets before their parents realize that they have learned to do this.
Products should always be stored in their original containers. It’s much easier to make a mistake about a harmful substance if it’s not in its original container. Poisonings have occurred because an item such as paint thinner was stored in a soft drink bottle. Keep items in the container they came in and make sure the labels are clear.
Keep drugs safely out of reach - including over-the-counter drugs that may be in your purse. Swallowing medicine is the most common cause of poisoning in children, even birth control pills or vitamin pills can poison your child. Avoid taking medication when your child is watching - this is one of the ways they learn. Otherwise, he may try to find your medication and copy you. Keep in mind that child resistant safety caps are not childproof. In fact, many children can open them.
Don’t assume that because something tastes bad your baby will not consume it. Babies and young children frequently swallow things (i.e. perfume) that do not taste or smell good to adults. Perfume is a poison. If your child swallows this, it can be very dangerous.
If you smoke, be sure to store and dispose of your cigarettes, butts and ashtrays somewhere your child cannot get access to them. If your child swallows just 1 unsmoked cigarette or 2 cigarette butts, he could get sick.
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