Bringing home a newborn from the hospital for the first time can be an exciting and sometimes intimidating experience for new parents.  In addition to caring for their new bundle of joy, new moms and dads have a responsibility to provide a home environment that is safe and nurturing once their little one becomes mobile.

To help ensure your home is ready for the pitter-patter of little feet, we’ve prepared a few tips to help you make the most accident-prone areas in your home safer for your little one.

BATH TIME HAZARDS

Most babies and toddlers love bath time. Without careful child-proofing and close supervision, their curious, fun-loving nature could lead to painful slips, falls or other more serious bath time accidents. To keep this daily ritual fun for your child, be sure to:

  • Install a slip-free liner in your bath tub.
  • Keep bathroom cleaners and adult shampoo and bath products safely out of reach.
  • Place a bath rug at the foot of the tub and be sure your child’s feet are completely dry before they walk on tile or slippery floor surfaces.
  • Never leave a child unattended in a tub of water—no matter how low the water is.
  • Use tear-free shampoo and bubble bath.
  • Never use hot water to draw a child’s bath. Warm water is best for a child’s sensitive skin.

KITCHEN PRECAUTIONS

With a complete supply of “toys” like pots, pans, skillets and spatulas, the kitchen is another fun playground for mobile children. While many of these kitchen “toys” seem harmless, they are often too heavy for little ones to carry and can cause unnecessary falls, bangs and bruises for little fingers and toes. Installing locks or latches to your drawers and cabinets is a fairly quick and easy solution that will keep your kids safe and give you peace of mind while you are busy cooking or washing dishes.

There are also a number of easy-to-install appliance guards and locks that will keep your child protected around kitchen appliances like stove-tops, ovens and dishwashers that are within reach of little fingers.

HOME OFFICE CHOKING HAZARDS

Although working from home is an increasingly desirable option for more and more Canadian parents, a home office is ripe with choking hazards for small children. When you are child-proofing the rest of the house, do not forget your office—even if your office is supposedly “off limits” to your child. In particular, be sure to:

  • Safely tuck away cords and wires from all office machines so they are tripping or choking hazards.
  • Unplug your office shredder when you are not using it.
  • Place safety latches on office drawers and file cabinets.
  • Keep paper clips, push pins, rubber bands, scissors, sharp pencils and pens, and other small or sharp office supplies out of reach.

By taking these precautions to child-proof your home, you can help ensure that your child will not be in harm’s way while at home

Insurance and Risk Management Advisor at Toronto-based Marhen Insurance Brokers, a firm that specializes in providing insurance coverage and risk management advice to business owners, professionals and active families/individuals who have more complex insurance needs.
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