Lights, camera, action. Baby proofing is hard enough on a good day, but during the holidays in a New York City apartment, it can be totally overwhelming! Below are 6 ways to baby proof during the holidays by Rene Appelbaum, co-owner & founder of Baby Proofers Plus.
Never leave candles unattended
Be sure candles are not near curtains, drapes or blankets. Keep matches and lighters out of reach from toddlers. You may want to consider flameless, real wax, or battery operated candles. They flicker and are scented like real candles without an actual flame. Great for creating the ambiance without the worry.
Don’t overload electrical strips, extension cords or outlets
Do not run an electrical cord under a rug. For wires that run across the floor in the middle of a room because that is the only way to reach an outlet, an on-floor cord protector cover will conceal and protect wires and cords, and create a smooth, trip-free surface, while preventing a crawling baby or toddler from touching or playing with an exposed cord. Most home improvement and hardware stores carry cord management solutions, which can be cut to any length and are available in a variety of colors.
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Decorate with children in mind
Do not use decorations that are sharp or breakable, have small removable parts or metal hooks, or that look like food or candy, where children can reach them. You should avoid edible decorations, including popcorn chains and candy canes, as well as trimmings that resemble candy or food, since younger children may think that all decorations are edible and they may tempt a young child to eat them. Remember the rule of thumb: if it can fit inside a cardboard toilet paper roll, it is small enough to be a potential choking hazard.
Keep alcohol out of reach
Remind guests and visiting relatives – especially those who are not around young children all the time – to be mindful of where they place their wine glass, eggnog and champagne. Also, as tired as you might be when the last guest has left, clean up food and all beverages to prevent an early rising toddler from finding leftover food, alcohol or tobacco (if you allow people to smoke in your home). And, remember that the homes you visit may not be childproofed, so you will need to keep your eyes out for danger spots.
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Remove bags, ribbons, bows and plastic
Baby proof your home against these items, as they can pose suffocation and choking hazards to a small child. Also, remember to watch for pull toys with strings that are more than 12 inches in length that an older sibling is playing with, as these could be a strangulation hazard for babies.
Hide magnets, buttons and batteries
Children can have serious stomach and intestinal problems – including death — after swallowing button batteries and magnets. Keep them away from young children and call your healthcare provider immediately if your child swallows one. Those small magnets found on many refrigerators that are used to showcase art projects, pictures, shopping lists, etc., are a potential dangers – especially if they can be pulled off by a toddler.
Baby Proofers Plus- The pioneer NYC/NJ child safety company. Keeping babies safer since 1993.