As a new parent there is so much to do, and even more to learn. Your new bouncing baby doesn’t come with an instruction manual, and between the loss of sleep and constant demands its no wonder child proofing is often either put on the back burner or forgotten altogether. Putting off or not child-proofing is a life or death matter as household accidents account for almost half of unintentional deaths and injuries of children under 19. Thorough child-proofing is one of the most important tasks that a parent should do, and it should be done as soon as, or before a new baby comes home from the hospital.
Although it may seem as easy as slapping covers on your outlets and adding a child-proof lock here and there, child proofing is much more involved, and should be undertaken with care and careful consideration. More and more parents are working to make their home a safe zone for their children, and professional child-proofers have stepped in to help, bringing with them a wealth of knowledge and experience. These pros are familiar with the top products on the market, and know the dangers lurking in most homes. We asked the top professionals what mistakes they commonly see, and what advice they would give a new parent engaged in DIY home child-proofing.
Robert Lockheimer – Founder of Baby Safe Homes, and an Advanced Certified Professional Child-proofer has been helping parents create safe environments for their children for over 18 years. His company Baby Safe Homes has locations in 12 US states, and five countries around the globe. He has this to say to those new to child-proofing:
“I would say the biggest mistake that parents make when baby proofing their home is purchasing incorrect or poor quality products. Most child safety products are NOT as universal as many would think. Baby Safety Gates and Drawer and Cabinet Latches are a perfect example.
With measurements of the stairway openings in hand and with the best of intentions, most parents make a trip to the local baby store or search on line for the perfect baby gate. Since most look very similar, the decision of which one to purchase comes down to cost and appearance. Although both are important, neither attribute will find you them the RIGHT gate. Gates are very specific to the opening where they are going to be installed. Too often I have arrived at a customers home only to be asked to install a gate that is not the proper fit, height or style (like trying to put a square peg into a round hole). The first step to a SAFE baby safety gate is purchasing the RIGHT gate and then installing it properly.
The same philosophy holds true for baby safety latches. There are a lot of them on the market (most of which are poor quality and hard to use). I carry five different latches with me (most of which are not available to the retail public) and even I don’t get to choose the latch I want to use, the way the cabinets are constructed chooses for me.
So again, purchasing the RIGHT product and then installing them properly is the first step to proper baby proofing. Baby Safe Homes has locations throughout the country. If anyone needs help choosing and installing the correct products, please have them give us a call. Safety is just a phone call away. Hope this helps!”
Robert Lockheimer – Advanced Certified Professional Childproofer – Founder of Baby Safe Homes – Since 1998 (888)481-7233. Roberts site www.BabySafeHomes.com has a wealth of information and resources to assist you with child-proofing, and should you decided to bring a professional, chances are, they have a location in your area.
One parent that knows the importance of thorough child-proofing better than most, is Kimberly Amato. After the tragic loss of her daughter Megan in 2004, due to a tipped dresser, she founded Meghan’s Hope to prevent these types of accidents from happening to other children. Kimberley Writes:
“My child is not a climber. My furniture is too heavy to tip-over. I’m not putting holes in my expensive furniture or the walls. I’m always with my child, so I don’t have to worry. Have you ever thought or said any of these things to yourself? Do you think that it can’t or won’t happen to your child? If you do, you could be wrong. Dead wrong. Literally. Trust me. I know.
I lost my beautiful daughter Meghan to a dresser tip-over when she was just 3. I buried her 3 days before Christmas. $5 and 15 minutes would have saved her life. Instead of holes in my walls and furniture, I must forever live with a huge hole in my heart and the burden of guilt that I failed to protect my daughter from something that could have easily been prevented. If only I knew…
Meghan and her legacy, Meghan’s Hope, is giving you a gift. A life saving message. Secure all your furniture and TV’s today. She lost her life, but your child does not need to lose theirs. 71 children EVERY DAY are injured by a fallen piece of furniture or a TV. Every 45 minutes a child is sent to the ER because of a fallen TV. On average, a child dies every 2 weeks from a tip-over
injury. Thousands more suffer serious and life-altering injuries every year. They can all be prevented by anchoring your furniture and TV’s to the wall.
For more information please visit www.meghanshoope.org and www.anchorit.gov. You can also follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/meghanshope/Please, anchor it. Thank you. -Kimberly Amato”
Meghan’s mom Kimberly’s tragedy has helped other parents, and her viral post Be with me. Just for Today. will make your heart break and you’ll want hug the incredible woman who continues to share her story in order to help others.
Daniel Leeds, owner of Full House BabyProofing in Tampa FL also notes the importance of securing your furniture to the wall, he writes:
“One of the biggest mistakes I see is using a pressure mounted gate at the top of the stairs. Pressure mounted gates will fail when a child pushes hard enough, and it will send the child flying down the steps. Additionally, pressure mounted gates reduce the width of the passageway and they also have a trip hazard at the floor. We only recommend and install hardware mounted gates at the top of stairs.
Another big mistake I see parents make is failing to secure furniture or mirrors into wall studs. Tip over accidents injure and kill many children each year, and most of those could have been prevented with the addition of a simple anti-tip strap or bracket.
Hiring a professional childproofer to do a thorough safety evaluation of your home is always a great idea, even if you plan on childproofing the home yourself.”
Visit Daniel’s site http://www.fullhousebabyproofing.com/ or follow him on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/fhbproofing
When hiring a child-proofer its important to find one thats certified by The International Association for Child Safety (IAFCS), a network of child safety professionals and baby-proofers. Visit the IAFCS site for a registered professional near youhttp://childproofingexperts.com/find-a-professional/
Child-proofing is an arduous task and hiring a professional will ensure that the job is done right, but even if you don’t hire a professional you can do a great job of child-proofing on your own. Just follow these tips from the pros, do a lot of research about the products that you purchase, and be diligent about securing your home to prevent injuries before they happen. Follow us for weekly safety tips https://www.facebook.com/doormonkeyUSA/.