New American Funding Blog

Baby-Proofing Your Home: Part 1

By Courtney Lynch   |  April 21, 2015

Before you bring your precious one home, make sure that you install safety features in your house.

First comes applying for a home mortgage, then come closing costs, then comes baby-proofing your home for that new addition to your family. After any major life event, you anticipate changes to follow closely behind. Having a baby is no exception. Your sleeping schedule will change, finances will be altered and even your house will require a few amendments. According to the National Safety Council, you can avoid common injuries that occur in the home by baby-proofing your home.

Advantages of baby-proofing your house

Unintentional injuries that occur in the home are often due to the lack of safety features in a home, noted the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Installing safety gates or guards and making sure spaces are equipped with sufficient lighting and non-slip surfaces can help protect your child and cut down on the risk of injury. 

When you become a parent, your kiddo's safety is your priority. Fortunately, you can help make sure your child is safe in your home with a few adjustments and keep expenses relatively low as well.

Identify risks present in your home

Children wander about the home and they may play with certain items or home features that may be dangerous. As infants and young children develop, their curiosity for the world around them intensifies. It is crucial that you take a look around your home and determine where potential risks and dangers are present. Make a list of areas in your home that could pose a threat to your child's safety. This is an important step to take before purchasing anything or installing any features that will enhance the safety of your house. 

Consider having a professional come in to determine whether you have lead-based paint present in your home. This is especially important if you own an older home. Lead poisoning is a threat for children and infants who may bite or chew on ledges and window trims that have been painted with a lead-based mixture. 

Babble, a parenting advice online publication, suggested patching and covering any lead in the home. In addition, vintage homes often have wiring that is exposed. Speak to an electrician to determine how you can ensure that your baby does not trip or chew on exposed wires. 

Vents, radiators and exposed pipes are additional threats that may be present in the home. They can cause serious burns and pose a substantial risk. Purchase a metal radiator cover or guard to protect your child from exposed hardware. You can easily build or purchase a guard.

It is always important to have fully functioning fire, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in every room in your home. It is especially crucial to ensure these devices work when you have children living in your home. Conduct regular checks to make sure that these are all working properly and that the batteries are not dead. 

According to the Association for Child Safety, you should identify any issues that may compromise your child's safety and if you are uncertain about anything you should consider hiring a professional childproofer for assistance. He or she can provide helpful information when you are evaluating the safeness of your house. 

Common hazards found in homes 

Extension chords, cables and electrical outlets can be found in all rooms of your home. These may cause electrocution if children chew on or play with these features. It is crucial that you purchase covers for all power outlets and seldom use extension cables and chords. In addition, Parent Guide recommended that you should cover any cables or wires appropriately and childproof your power strips with covers to discourage young ones from yanking chords out of electric sockets.

Another common risk found in homes is furniture that is not properly secured. Young children may pull down dangerous items and unsecured pieces of furniture may fall on them, causing injury. Fasten large items to the wall to help ensure your child's safety.

Window guards should also be installed. Even if children and infants are not tall enough to open them, they may use stools, chairs or other furniture to climb up and attempt to open the windows in your home. When you install window guards, do not forget to also have an emergency release to account for fire safety.

HUD also noted that you can help diminish the risk of burns and fire-related injuries by having a fire extinguisher present in your home, developing a fire-escape method and by not smoking inside of the house. These precautions can help protect you and your family.

Having a baby requires a number of changes to your lifestyle. Ensure the safety of your little ones and evaluate the current condition of your home to determine what features you should add or alter and what risks are present. Being aware can help you cut down on the chance of injuries and accidents substantially.

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