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LESSONS LEARNED IN

CHILD PROOFING

When I started to embark on my “Never-ending Adventure of ‘Childproofing’ a Home“, the world of preventable injury was wide and vast and utterly overwhelming. The tips that I learned got me set with a working plan and a path to success. But, what I came to realize is that what I had planned for my then 6-month-old quickly became just the foundation as my crawler became a walker. A whole new world of injury risks and curious hands was ahead of me and here I was, putting the last child lock on the lowest cabinet.

But, in this transition, I started to learn the following vital lessons that have helped me breathe a little easier and work a little smarter.

 

  1. Be Attentive. Let’s start with a “golden rule” of child safety: supervision is the most important thing you can do. Now, it may be almost impossible to know what your kids are doing at every moment of the day, but knowing what they are doing, and what items to secure/remove, is a big step toward protecting your kids.
  2. Don’t Get Overwhelmed. It is OK to not have everything completely done in the first go around. Though the time between tummy time and crawling and walking moves faster than we realized, doing a few things at a time helps to break the process down into smaller, more manageable areas that we can tackle easily.
  3. Work with your child. This is not to say we were asking our toddler what risk areas she thought we should look at. But, when it came to protecting our daughter, we did have her interests in mind and looked to create separate play areas in and around our preparations. When we locked all the cabinets in the kitchen, we also created one just for her, unlocked and with items she could play with. Or, when we secured our large cabinet to the wall, but set up buckets and bins to the side and at her eye level so that she had a place to go that was her own. These preventable measures both address the risk area and created a safe space for our daughter to still be a curious little girl. Of course, she tests a boundary here and there, but we know that she has a place where she can play safely in and around the house.
  4. Keep Up the Good Work. You’re not done, and that is OK. When I tell friends or other parents that I work in a child safety non-profit, they almost immediately feel like they have to apologize. “We’ve been meaning to get another child lock for that cabinet.” “Sorry that the we don’t have our TV secured yet.” “Don’t go into the living room; sharp edges everywhere.” And to this, I always say, “don’t worry about it.” We’re all doing our best. We live busy lives and we all have the best of intentions. If you think through what your child needs, and are providing them a safe outlet for play and exploration, then you’re doing great.

In the end, the biggest thing I’ve learned is to approach each new childproofing task as chance to revel in my child’s development. Every lock I put on, every pot I move away from the edge of the stove means that my little girl is growing more and more into her own person. I am able to spend more time helping her explore because I put the time in to protect her. To me, that is an adventure I hope never ends.

 

INTERACTIVE GRAPHIC

 

To help parents remember important steps to keep their kids safe, Safe Kids partnered with Tide to develop a new interactive graphic focusing on a range of risks in the home. This 360-degree graphic takes you inside a toddler’s home to show some of the issues parents may have missed when trying to make their home safer for young children, including proper storage of laundry packets.

So how do you use it? Once you enter the home, click or press to drag the screen around to explore. Click on the question mark to find a spot you may have missed, then click on the checkmark to learn a safety tip.

Explore and share our new graphic, “Done Childproofing? Six Spots You May Have Missed!”

 

Our partners at Tide have created a new video asking how many risks you can find in an average home.

Watch the video and see how you do.

WHAT CAN PARENTS DO?

 

Remember these simple tips if you choose to purchase liquid laundry packets:

  1. Keep liquid laundry packets up, out of children’s reach and sight.
  2. Keep packets in their original container and keep the container closed.
  3. If a child gets into liquid laundry packets, call the Poison Help Number immediately:
    1-800-222-1222.

You can download a tip card here.

 

Safe Kids Oregon works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Safe Kids Oregon is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Oregon was founded in 1995 and is proudly led by Oregon Child Development Coalition.

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