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health care,
education  and
social services

7 Ways To Babyproof Your Home

September is Baby Safety Month. Our pediatrician Dr. Jessica Schroeder, a mother of three, shares seven tips to keep your precious little one safe and healthy at home:

1.  Watch your child at all times. I know that as a mom you are very busy, but you can never be too careful when it comes to your baby. Make sure you keep your eye on the baby while he or she eats and plays to avoid choking, and don’t leave the baby unattended in the bathtub or near buckets of water. Even the gentlest dog can bite suddenly, so don’t leave the baby alone with your dog, or any dog for that matter, especially unfamiliar ones. 

2. Choose your décor items carefully. Adorable little souvenirs from past vacations can be a choking hazard, so place them on high shelves or locked display cabinets. Larger décor items can also fall on and injure the baby.

3. Fix or replace any damaged furniture. Your baby can get splinters from chipped wooden furniture. Wobbly tables and dressers can also fall on top of the baby if he or she tries to climb on them, so make sure you repair those or replace them.

4. Hang your houseplants from the ceiling. Some plants (including rhododendron and popular holiday plants like mistletoe and holly) might be poisonous, so keeping them away from your baby is important. If you can’t hang them, be sure to put them on high shelves. You can also look for plants that are not toxic for your child.

5. Keep electrical cords out of baby’s reach. Curious babies might pull on the cords and have electrical items like lamps fall on their heads. The baby might also try to chew the cords, risking electric shock. Cords can also be a tripping hazard, so keep them tidied away.

6. Keep your child away from hot appliances, food and drinks. Make sure your baby stays away from hot oven doors. Use the back burners when cooking, so that the handles of hot pans are out of your baby’s reach. According to the Burn Foundation, over 500,000 scald burns occur annually in the United States, with children under the age of 5 and senior citizens being the highest risk populations. Don’t leave hot cups of tea or coffee unattended on the table and that you don’t carry hot liquids while carrying your baby too.

7. Use safety latches or locks on cabinets, the dishwasher and toilets. Cleaning products are dangerous if ingested, so put a safety latch on the kitchen and bathroom cabinets where you keep your supplies. Sharp forks and knives in the dishwasher can hurt babies, and dishwashing liquid can irritate their eyes, so make sure the dishwasher is closed and properly latched at all times. Put a lock on your toilet so that your child doesn’t open the lid and fall in.

Implementing these tips will help keep your baby safe, but remember that there are dangers everywhere for curious kids who love to explore! Look around your house to see what other items might harm your baby and always, always be watchful and alert to protect your little one.

Be sure to spread the word and share this post with your friends and family who have young children.

If you have more concerns about your family’s health, call 1-844-796-2797 to make an appointment with me or another one of our caring and highly-qualified providers here at Mary’s Center.

You can also request an appointment online.

Dr. Jessica SchroederAbout Jessica Schroeder, MD, MPH, FAAP

Pediatrician and Medical Director for our site in Adams Morgan, Dr. Jessica Schroeder attended Medical School at the Medical College of Virginia (VCU School of Medicine) and completed her residency at Children's National Medical Center. Dr. Schroeder has been a member of the Mary's Center team since 2002 and speaks English and Spanish. She has lived in Washington, D.C. since 1999 and has three children. In her free time, Dr. Schroeder enjoys running, gardening, and hiking. Dr. Schroeder says: "I love coming to work every day to see my patients grow and change. I also really enjoy helping children feel better when they are sick. We have great staff here and wonderful patients.”

 

References:

Household Safety: Preventing Poisoning – KidsHealth.org (page 3)

Safety Facts on Scald Burns – Burn Foundation

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