Answers to Questions Most Often Asked of a Baby Proofer
by Rene Appelbaum, co-owner of Baby Proofers Plus
Why hire a professional baby proofer?
- According to a December 2008 Center for Disease Control Childhood Injury Report, during the years 2000-2005, over 16,000 children under the age of four years, died from a preventable and controllable cause. More specifically, these deaths were caused by suffocation (choking, strangulation and entrapment representing a striking 40%), drowning (20%) and another 15% of fatal injuries resulted from being struck by or falling into objects such as sharp corners.
- The statistics for preventable injuries and deaths among young children is alarming --- for sure every parent wants to keep their children safe and help them live to their full potential.
- A baby proofer better understands and sees these problems and can help reduce the risk that your child will become part of these devastating statistics. For some things it is best to have a baby proofer provide protection while, for other situations the baby proofer can give parents practical tips for prevention. The combination of these two strategies can significantly help lower the number of casualties in and around the home.
- A professional baby proofer will recommend and properly install the best safety products to improve the overall safety of the children's surrounding environment. On average, a typical two bedroom, two bath apartment in NYC costs $500-$600 to baby proof, safety products and installation included.
When is the right time to baby proof my home?
- Before your child become mobile and inquisitive - age can vary, typically 6 months - 9 months.
- Start the process early and build on it - it is always best to be ready.
- Doing it in stages allows parents to baby proof their home incrementally as their child grows and develops. You want to be proactive not reactive.
- Get the obvious dangers taken care of initially and then see how your child develops --- crib to bed, a pet, moving to a new/larger home, etc. - all could be reasons for stage 2 baby proofing.
What are some surprising hidden dangers most often found in a home?
- Monitor wires near cribs. If a baby can pull the wire through the crib slats he/she can then bite into a live electrical wire or wrap the cord around their neck. Solution: Be sure the wire is out of reach.
- Because children mimic what they see (monkey see, monkey do) belts, neckties, dog leashes, scarves, and other typical household items 7" or longer should not be hanging around. You don't want your child wrapping one of these items around their neck.
- Common choking dangers include things like coins, jewelry, pills, buttons, bottle water caps, small refrigerator magnets, etc. You get the idea. Get down on all fours and check under appliance and furniture (your child's territory) for these and other small choking hazards. If it fits inside of a cardboard toilet paper roll it's probably a choking hazard.
- You might think your child is totally safe when being carried by an adult. But, now that your child is higher up, any distraction like answering a phone or checking the stove top means your baby can grab items like knives on a counter-top, dimmer light switches, window blind cords, dangling telephone cords, etc. Take notice and look at these typical household items from a new, educated perspective.
- Have a shoe fetish like so many Moms do? Be sure you remove the silica moisture absorbing packet that comes in the shoe boxes of all new shoes. They are the perfect size for little hands and little mouths.
- Keep plastic dry cleaning bags, plastic shopping bags, kitchen wraps with serrated edges on boxes and food storage bags out of reach of young children. Any plastic presents a danger to a youngster if they put it near their mouth.
- Don't forget grandma's house - before you put your baby down on the floor to crawl around and explore - make sure everything is safe and sound (i.e. make sure there are no pills on the floor that grandma/grandpa dropped and forgot to pick up).