Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A couple safety reminders

Okay, now that the baby is walking a lot...


video

... it's time to review some safety rules for "into everything" babies!

*Check everything that comes in a bottle in your house. Is it toxic? Then it should be BOTH in a childsafe container AND out of reach in a locked or high-up cabinet. Marko likes to rummage through the bathroom cabinet, and I thought there wasn't anything toxic in there. Today he discovered the bottle of camphor for the humidifier and was toddling around with it. It's in a childsafe container, but when he shook it, it leaked! Camphor is very toxic and causes seizures, so you better believe I grabbed it away from him and washed his hands right away. Camphor is also the active ingredient in Vicks' VapoRub, which generally does not come in a childsafe container. Keep it out of reach.

As for things not specifically marked "keep out of reach of children" or "toxic," you may still want to keep them out of reach. Just today, Marko figured out how to open the snap tops of lotion bottles. I was fine with him playing with them up to now, but lotion isn't exactly edible and I don't want it smeared into the carpet either, and so I'm going to have to gather up all those bottles and put them away too.

*Go around the house and try to wobble all of your heavy furniture: bookshelves, dressers, small tables, etc. Can you make it wobble? Imagine your baby's whole weight on one side of it ... could it make that dresser tip? Then bracket it to the wall. A particular danger is anything with drawers. If the drawers are left open, the center of gravity shifts forward and it may be much more unstable -- and a temptation to climb. When I heard the story of a toddler who died from a dresser tipping on him, I immediately checked everything. And even so, Marko managed to pull over our two-foot-tall printer table onto himself by yanking out the drawers and tugging! Luckily he was unhurt, but it gave us a scare. Wall brackets are the safe way to go.

*Brush up your first aid. Choking is not terribly uncommon, but a quick reaction can make all the difference. It will give you a boost of confidence to know that you have the Heimlich down and won't forget it all in a tense moment.

*Give only the recommended doses of medications. I read in supposedly reliable sources that it's okay to give a double dose of Tylenol. It isn't. Tylenol (acetominophen) is pretty safe in the doses marked, but it's one medication that is very harmful to the liver in higher doses. Give the amount suggested in the time suggested -- never any more. If it's ineffective, try baby ibuprofen instead, if you must, but don't ever give more than the recommended dose of Tylenol. The same goes for adults -- if the container says "two tablets every six hours," that's how much you should take. Tylenol overdose accounts for many deaths and hospitalizations every year.

None of this is to scare you, because you all should know by now that I'm not an overprotective mother and I try not to live in fear. A little dirt won't hurt your child, and a pinched finger or bumped head now and again is part of being a kid, but the above tips are important things that everyone should do. Yes, even if you're watching your child constantly -- toddlers are FAST!

Any tips to add?

1 comment:

Fidelio said...

Our solution is just to keep doors shut. Door to bathroom? Closed, has been since V started crawling. Door to my room (i.e. the room with the computer desk, dressers, etc)? Closed. Door to utility room (with cleaning supplies and cat litter box)? Gated. Doors to kitchen? Gates.

I also put cabinet latches on all the kitchen cabinets, for when the gates have to come down and he's in the kitchen whether I like it or not. There's no "occasional" furniture in the house, benches and chairs stay completely pushed in to the table AT ALL TIMES. Nothing out on flat surfaces to be decorative. No curtains in reach. Etc etc etc.

I've got a climber...not fun!

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