How to Protect Infants and Toddlers

How to Protect Infants and Toddlers

Caring for a new baby is a joyful experience, but at times it can feel overwhelming. There's so much to remember, so many things to do, and chances are good you're going to be somewhat sleep-deprived, especially for the first month or two.
That's why it's a good idea to get things organized before the baby arrives. Among the list of essential things to do is childproofing the house. It's hard to stress how important this is; according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC), about 2.5 million children are injured or killed by accidents in the home each year.
Safeguarding your child against electric shock is an important part of making your home kid friendly.
With many safety-conscious products available at your local home improvement or hardware store, it's easier than ever to prevent these kind of injuries. Here are some safety measures recommended by the Leviton Institute.
Child--Resistant Wallplates
These install right over standard receptacles, keeping little fingers from getting into unused outlets by guarding them with springloaded plates. They're easy for adults to open, hard for kids.
Tamper--Proof Outlets
These replace regular outlets. An internal barrier in the outlet prevents insertion of anything but a properly rated plug.
Outlet Caps
Plugged right into the outlet to cover up their slots, outlet caps are easy for adults but tough for kids to remove.
GFCIs
These are required by the National Electrical Code in any room with a water source or dampness. Installed in place of a regular outlet, GFCIs help protect against shock or electrocution by turning off power at the outlet in case of a ground fault. This is a hazardous condition where current leaking from a faulty appliance can travel through a person.
Accident Prevention
We've all heard the saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Be sure to keep small appliances like hair dryers and curlers, shavers, and the like unplugged and stowed away, out of reach of small hands. When old enough to understand, kids should be taught that water and electricity don't mix.
Switch Locks
Handy for installing over most regular wall switches, these prevent kids from turning on lights, appliances, or anything else controlled by a switch.
Cord Shorteners
Not only prevent children from pulling down and possibly damaging appliances, but also eliminate electrical and strangling hazards.
Nightlights
Provide a reassuring soft glow in the night for your child. Available in styles like dinosaurs and teddy bears, some cover both outlets in a standard receptacle as an added safety measure.
Extension cords
Remember that babies and toddlers experience the world through their hands and mouth. Make sure all extension cords within their reach are in top condition, without any fraying, cuts, or electrical tape. Remove all but the most essential cords.
Child's-Eye View
Get on your hands and knees and have a look around; the best way to spot potential dangers is from the perspective of the child.

Article provided by Leviton Institute