Keeping baby safe

Essential information to rememberBabyproofing reduces the risk of injury.

Photo: Alexandra Linteau

Your babyproofing checklist will change as your child grows and develops. Take electrical outlets, for example. Though they are not dangerous for newborns, babies who are crawling could suffer electrical burns if they touch them. So from time to time you need to re-assess the dangers that may be lurking in your child’s surroundings.

Childhood injuries are a leading cause of death and doctor’s visits. It is essential that you be vigilant and never under-estimate your child’s natural curiosity, which drives him to constantly explore his environment. As soon as your baby can move about and pick things up, you need to pay special attention to his immediate surroundings. Any objects, big or small, can pique his interest.

Get in the habit of looking around your home from your child’s vantage point. See what could be done to reduce the risk of accidents. A good tip for inside the home is to physically get down to your child’s level and examine every room from his perspective. Are there any toxic products within his reach? Store them in a secure location he can’t get to. Don’t forget the outside of your home. Do you have a pool your child can access easily? Install a gate so children can’t get to it without your knowledge.

Babyproofing your home is well and good, but what about when your child is visiting grandparents or family and friends who don’t have small children? Is it best to teach babies about potential dangers?

Yes! If your baby doesn’t know the dangers, he is likely to stick his finger in the first uncovered electrical outlet he finds.

As soon as your child can move around on his own, you can teach him some basic rules (see Setting limits). That way your baby will be safe not just at home, but everywhere else too.

This chapter includes

  • Advice on keeping baby safe at all times, wherever you are
  • Babyproofing tips

Photo: Roseline Olivier-Pilon

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