Why You Need to Baby Proof Your Home
Tue, April 20, 2021

Why You Need to Baby Proof Your Home

Bringing home a baby--whether this is a family's first baby, second or third--is one of the most exciting milestones for any family / Photo by: famveldman via 123RF

 

Bringing home a baby--whether this is a family's first baby, second or third--is one of the most exciting milestones for any family.

It can cause one to feel a host of emotions, both good and bad. Whether one is feeling the joy of laying a baby on a crib for the first time or bringing them home after a long day, one could also feel worry and anxiety. Parents normally ask themselves thousands of questions a minute along the lines of, "Is it safe?" New questions and concerns are raised when caring for babies and children at home. Baby proofing expert Daniel Leeds shares that the ideal time to baby proof a house is when your baby is 6 to 9 months old.

By The Numbers

Baby proofing a home is as essential as having the house stocked with supplies, with more than 3.4 million children getting injured at home each year according to Consumer Notice, an organization that seeks to inform the public about general health and safety concerns. Approximately 2,300 children under the age of 15 end up dying from these injuries.

Thankfully, most injuries are actually predictable and preventable along with proper baby proofing to create a safe and secure environment for your child. Leeds shares that it’s best to have a house prepared before the child is able to play around or stand up. If not, professionals are available to fix it for you. As mentioned in PR Newswire, a platform for market news, the worldwide market for Baby and Child Proofing Products is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 6.96% during the period of 2016 to 2020.

Baby proofing a home is as essential as having the house stocked with supplies, with more than 3.4 million children getting injured at home each year according to Consumer Notice / Photo by: Graham Oliver via 123RF

 

It is estimated that 40% of children’s deaths and 50% of unintentional child injuries occur in and around the home, as shared by Childproofers.com, a professional child proofing company. 10.4 million emergency room visits by children are a result of home accidents, with more than 11 million visits to the pediatrician due to child injuries at home. The odds of a child being killed by a preventable accident in the home are 40,000 thousand to 80,000 times more likely than the possibility of having a negative interaction with a registered sex offender. A fatal injury in the home occurs every 16 minutes in the US. The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control states that, every year, 20% to 25% of children sustain an injury, which is severe enough for medical aid or bed rest.

Child injury and deaths between 1 to 4 years old are a result of motor vehicle-related accidents (31%), drowning (27%), other injuries (15%), fires or burns (14%), suffocation (8%), falls (2%), and poisoning (2%). For children aged 1 years old and under, 66% are injured or die from suffocation, while 14% are injured or die from motor vehicle-related accidents, 7% drown, and 6% experience other injuries. 4% are injured or die from fires or burns, 2% from poison, and 2% from falls. Other common injuries and causes of death include being struck by or against an object or person, choking, natural or environmental factors (such as allergic reactions, and health problems), and being cut or pierced by something, or overexertion.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that children under the age of one most often drown in baththubs, buckets, or toilets, with 30 to 50 toddlers and infants drowning each year. 

Crib Baby Proofing Guidelines 

As many as 90% of unintentional injuries to children in the home can be prevented with correct child proofing. Today, it takes an average parent 8 to12 hours to child proof a home, with almost an excess of 1 billion dollars spent annually on safety products. 

Sleep safety is among the first things that parents should look to in child proofing. Babies spend most of their time in cribs, with newborns getting an average of 16 hours of sleep a day, and up to 14 hours a day until they reach 12 months old. A few guidelines include crib slats no more than 6 centimeters apart (the width of a soda can), or a baby’s head could get stuck, with slats that should not be cracked or headboards with no cut-out designs, and are not splintered or missing. Mattresses should be fit tightly inside the crib so that the baby does not get stuck in between the gaps. More than this, sleep position is critical, with babies recommended to sleep on their backs.

Sleep safety is among the first things that parents should look to in child proofing. Babies spend most of their time in cribs, with newborns getting an average of 16 hours of sleep a day, and up to 14 hours a day until they reach 12 months old / Photo by: Katarzyna Białasiewicz via 123RF

 

There are many other guidelines and safety tips that are recommended to be applied in all homes to prevent injuries and accidental deaths--everything from furniture safety, fall prevention, window safety, cord hazards, electric hazards, choking hazards, batteries and magnets, poisoning prevention, water risks, bath and pool safety. It is best to start where babies spend their time the most, such as cribs in younger ages, but baby proofing must be branched out to other areas around the house within their reach.