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Alison Rhodes, "The Safety Mom"

National Child Safety Expert, Alison Rhodes, “The Safety Mom,” is one of the country's leading child safety authorities, providing tips and advice to parents on a broad range of issues facing all children - newborns to teens.
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Baby-Proofing Your Home

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that from 1982 to 1986, 4,500 children were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries sustained when chests of drawers, TVs, and bookcases tipped over on them. Eleven children died in these accidents. With some simple baby-proofing, you can avoid tragic accidents such as these and keep your little one safe and sound.

The best way to baby-proof your home is to spend some quality time on your hands and knees, or to ask someone who's not pregnant to do it for you. Crawl around your house and determine which locations and objects might be dangerous to your baby. What will your baby be able to reach as he grows? What will she be able to get into, pull down, put in her mouth, and climb into and onto?

Each home is unique, so there is no standard baby-proofing list, but the following are some general guidelines for making your home safe:

  • Apply plugs or safety covers in all electrical outlets.

  • Install latches on all cabinets and drawers within baby's reach and make sure that all knobs, pulls, and knockers are secure and can't be pulled off.

  • Wind up all dangling cords, wiring, and tassels. Move electrical cords and wiring behind furniture where they cannot be reached.

  • Install stove knob covers, stove top protectors, and oven locks if necessary.

  • Remove all heavy, small, breakable, or valuable objects that may be toppled off tabletops; and any space heaters, fans, or other hazards that can be reached.

  • Move houseplants out of reach.

  • Anchor all bookcases, shelves, dressers, and floor lamps to walls.

  • Use corner covers to pad sharp edges on furniture, railings, etc.

  • Use door stops to prevent open doors from slamming shut on your baby.

  • Install and use locks or hook-and-eye sets onto doors so your baby can't get into the pantry, bathroom, basement, or other rooms. Sliding door locks are also available.

  • Install gates to block access to stairways, fireplaces, and all other hazards. Some gates can be installed without drilling holes in walls or door jams.

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