September is recognized as Baby Safety Month. When you have small children in your home, it’s important to be organized and keep dangerous items stored securely and locked away. Keep in mind that how you store things is equally as important as what you store.

cabinetLinen closets/medicine cabinets – Many parents don’t consider the potential hazards in their bathroom cabinets and linen closets. Hairsprays and hair gels, mouth washes, toothpaste and perfume can all be harmful if ingested. Be sure that these items are stored in a locked cabinet preferably on the top shelf. Rearrange linen closets to place safe items such as towels on the shelves that are within children’s reach. 

Armoires and cabinets – Closed cabinets are a great place to store DVD’s, CD’s and electronic equipment including TV’s. But make sure that heavy items such as stereo systems and TV’s are secured into the cabinet. Heavy duty Velcro, available at most hardware stores, is a handy way of accomplishing this. Additionally, secure the unit into the wall to prevent a tip over accident. There has been an increase in deaths due to heavy furniture and TVs toppling over onto children.

Pantries – Many potential choking hazards and poisons reside in our food pantries. Items such as nuts, hard candy and popcorn as well as spices including cayenne pepper, chili powder and other hazardous items need to be stored on the top shelves of the pantry. Keep pantry doors locked as added precaution.

Toy Chests/Linen Chests – While this is a great space to store blankets and toys, it also could be extremely hazardous. Install a slow-closing hinge so the top won’t fall on little fingers. Additionally, drill holes in the back of the chest so that in the event a child does get trapped inside they can get oxygen.

Garage and basement storage areas – Toxic chemicals such as bug repellant, lawn fertilizer and paint thinner should always be stores in their original containers so that in the event of ingestion you’re able to provide all of the information to poison control. Keep all items in a locked cabinet and place a lock on the door leading to the garage or basement as an added precaution. Don’t forget that items such as rakes, shovels, tools and lawn mowers are also dangerous for inquisitive kids! 

Laundry rooms – A laundry room is a high supervision area which means put a lock on the door to prevent a child from entering without your knowledge. Single load liquid laundry packets are a great product for saving time but need to be stored and used properly. Immediately store them in their original packaging on a high shelf, preferably in a locked cabinet.

Be sure to keep the number for the National Poison Control hotline posted somewhere prominently in your home – 1-800-222-1222

This afternoon the winners of the JPMA Innovation Awards were announced and featured some of the top names in the juvenile products category but also some smaller companies.  The products included high tech items such as a self-installing car seat as well as some products that are so smart and practical it’s amazing it’s taken this long for someone to think of them.

Here’s a list of the winners:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pop®, the cleaner pacifier, from Doodle & Co™

Project Nursery Smart Band

Fisher-Price® On-the-Go Baby Dome

Happiest Baby SNOO, Smart Sleeper

Aegis Sapacor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Explore and More Baby Skip Hop

Qdos Zero-Screw Furniture Anti-Tip Kit

A big congratulations to mifold who took Best in Show!

In addition to the above winners, JPMA is offering one lucky company a chance at a special Parent’s Pick Award – that you decide on!

View the list of products, vote for your top pick and be entered into a drawing to win a $100 gift card to the baby store of your choice!  Only 1 vote per person and voting ends Saturday, May 13th at noon! Find out which product won on Twitter/JPMA on May 13th! The winner of the gift card will be contacted via email no later than June 15th.

 

 

 

Disclaimer – I have a material and/or financial connection because I received a gift, sample of a product and/or compensation for consideration in preparing to write this content. All opinions stated within are my own.

How often have you watched your child precariously leaning back in his chair and just knowing he was going to fall?  It’s not just frustrating but can lead to serious injury.

Recently the folks at Yeti Chair Guardian sent me their product to check out.  It definitely is one of those why didn’t someone think of this sooner?” products.  Essentially the Yeti Chair Guardian helps secure chairs from tipping.  In fact, it reduces the risk of tipping by 50%.  It fits onto most chairs, can be easily installed and comes with pads that prevent it from scratching the floor.  What’s even better is that it can be taken with you when you travel so no more worries when visiting grandma’s house.

yeti

 

From now to the end of October, my readers can get a 15% discount on their order!  Just enter the code “safetymom” at check-out.

 

Disclaimer – I am a paid blogger for the American Cleaning Institute.  However, all thoughts and opinions stated within are my own.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASeptember is recognized as Baby Safety Month.  If you’re expecting or have a new baby in the home, now is a good time to make sure you’re fully prepared when it comes to safety. When you have babies and small children in your home, it’s important to be organized and keep all household cleaning products and medicine stored securely out of reach and whenever possible, locked away.  Keeping in mind how you store things is equally as important as what you store.

Linen closets/medicine cabinets – Many parents don’t consider the potential hazards in their bathroom cabinets and linen closets.  Hairsprays and hair gels, mouth washes, toothpaste and perfume can all be harmful if ingested.  Be sure that these items are stored in a locked cabinet preferably on the top shelf.  Rearrange linen closets to place safe items such as towels on the shelves that are within children’s reach.

Armoires and cabinets – Closed cabinets are a great place to store DVD’s, CD’s and electronic equipment including TV’s.  But make sure that heavy items such as stereo systems and TV’s are safely secured in your armoire or cabinet.  Heavy duty Velcro, available at most hardware stores, is a handy way of accomplishing this.  Additionally, secure the unit into the wall to prevent a tip over accident.  According to a 2012 report by the Consumer Protection Safety Commission, there were 25,400 trips to the emergency room between 2009 and 2011 for children under age 18 due to tip over accidents.  And there have been 294 fatalities of children under the age of 8 since 2001.

Pantries – Many potential choking hazards and poisons reside in our food pantries.  Items such as nuts, hard candy and popcorn as well as spices including cayenne pepper, chili powder and other hazardous items need to be stored on the top shelves of the pantry.  Keep pantry doors locked as an added precaution.

Toy Chests/Linen Chests – While this is a great space to store blankets and toys, it also could be extremely hazardous.  Install a slow-closing hinge so the top won’t fall on little fingers.

Garage and basement storage areas – Toxic chemicals such as bug repellant, lawn fertilizer and paint thinner should always be stored in their original containers so that in the event of ingestion you’re able to provide all of the information to poison control.  Keep all items in a locked cabinet and place a lock on the door leading to the garage or basement as an added precaution.  Don’t forget that items such as rakes, shovels, tools and lawn mowers are also dangerous for inquisitive kids! 

Laundry rooms – A laundry room is a high supervision area which means you should put a lock on the door to prevent a child from entering without your knowledge.  Single- load liquid laundry packets are being used more and more by parents but need to be stored and used properly.  This product contains highly concentrated detergent and should be treated like any other household cleaning product.  If not safely stored, the laundry packets can pose potential hazards attracting dangerous interest from young children leading to injury from ingestion or exposure to the eyes.

As soon as you bring single-load liquid laundry packets into your home and immediately after you finish using them during the laundry process, store them in their original packaging on a high shelf, preferably in a locked cabinet, out of reach and sight.

In the event of an emergency, keep the number for the Poison Help Line posted prominently in your home – 1-800-222-1222.

The American Cleaning Institute is urging people to get involved with their laundry safety campaign and to take the pledge to be the KEY to a safe laundry room and routine.  KEY stands for:

Keep single-load liquid laundry packets out of reach of children

Educate your family and friends about the safe use and storage of these new laundry products

You serve a key role in laundry safety

Every pledge will be entered into a sweepstakes* for a chance to win a $2,500 grand prize to help makeover your laundry room!

Curious to know how your home state is doing in the KEY Pledge?  Check out the KEY Pledge Map:  http://www.cleaninginstitute.org/clean_living/key_pledge_map.aspx.

* NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Ends on December 31, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. ET.  Open to legal residents of 50 U.S. and DC, 21 and older. Void where prohibited.  For Official Rules, go to http://www.keypledge.com/Keypledge/TermsConditions.htmlSponsor: American Cleaning Institute.

Safety Mom Solutions Baby Proofing in Westchester, NY & Fairfield County

September has been designated Baby Safety Month and baby proofing your home should be one of your top priorities.  At Safety Mom Solutions, we have a team of trained baby proofers throughout Fairfield, CT and Westchester, NY available to assist clients with jobs large and small. Often this includes installation of stairway gates, window guards and cabinet locks, but we also advise on positioning of furniture to avoid strangulation hazards from cord blinds and wires in the nursery.

Here are a few things to consider when baby proofing your home:

  • Loose  coins and medication on the nightstand – Everyone always looks around the  nursery but think about how much time your toddler spends in your room.  Are they climbing in bed with you in the  morning?  Then they have access to all  sorts of items on your nightstand.
  • Scalding  water from the bathtub – Do you know that the majority of burns occur  because of hot water, not flames?  If you
    have access to your water heater turn it down to 110° F.  If you don’t, got to your local hardware store and purchase a scald protector which can be attached to your water  faucet.
  • Topple  over accidents – Heavy furniture and TVs falling over on children is more  common than most parents realize.  Over 245 children were killed in the past ten years due to furniture tip overs.  Secure all furniture to walls with furniture  straps or L Brackets and use heavy-duty Velcro to secure TVs into entertainment  units
  • Poisoning  from personal hygiene products – Parents often realize that cleaning  products need to be kept away from children but they don’t consider toiletries  such as mouthwash, hair gels and talcum powder.  All of these are toxic when ingested by a child.  Install locks on all bathroom cabinets as  well as kitchen cabinets.

To have a Safety Mom Solutions safety consultant do an assessment of your home, call us at 203-594-7452.

I’ve been doing a series of TV segments the past several days on helicopter parenting but the subject always turns around to crib bumpers.  Yesterday the Maryland Department of Health held a press conference proposing the ban of crib bumpers due to the risk of strangulation, asphyxiation and even death.” 

While Maryland is the first state to propose such a ban, I’m sure many others will follow suit.  Of course the juvenile bedding companies will not be pleased with this. 

As a mother who lost her child to SIDS and a child safety advocate here’s my thought – crib bumpers do nothing to enhance the well-being of a baby and definitely could pose a risk so why use them?  The argument is that a baby could get her arm or leg stuck in the slat.  Even if this is the case – this isn’t going to kill them!

Nothing should be in a crib except a firm mattress with a tight-fitting sheet.  Get rid of blankets, pillows, stuffed animals and crib bumpers!

As a family safety expert and owner of a baby proofing company, Safety Mom Solutions, I’m constantly challenged as to whether parents are too neurotic about their child’s safety when they baby proof their home.  I got to thinking about this question even more this morning after reading an article in The New York Times about playground safety.  Some researchers in Norway contend that we’re making our playgrounds too safe.  They contend that safer playgrounds may stunt emotional development, leaving children with anxieties and fears that are ultimately worse than a broken bone.  It is their belief that risk-taking helps kids overcome their fears and avoid phobias in adulthood.

OK, if we’re to go along with this logic, then should we also encourage our kids (and ourselves) to drag race, not wear seat belts and do 360’s on the highway?  Will this “risk-taking” behavior help us overcome our fear of being killed in a car crash?

The researchers feel that playgrounds have become too tame for older kids and they will consider them boring with nothing to master. The problem is that playgrounds are for kids of all ages.  And, unfortunately, if we had more dangerous areas in the playground, the 2 and 3 year-old toddlers would be climbing up to the highest point because their babysitters, nannies and even moms are too busy talking to each other to appropriately supervise them. 

Different and safer playground equipment is now being made.  Kids can still get thrills but do they really need to risk third degree burns from metal slides and concussions from falling from monkey bars?  

Which brings me back to the initial point about baby proofing.  Just like safer playgrounds, baby proofing isn’t just for neurotic parents.  It’s for parents who want to eliminate serious and potentially life-threatening hazards.  We can’t keep our kids in a bubble and yes, they do need to explore and learn the meaning of the word “no.”  But we can eliminate those hazards that can cause serious harm.  There are ways to allow our children to explore and take risks in a safe manner.   Dangerous staircases, open windows and unsecured furniture don’t help our children overcome fear, they lead to injury and even death.  Ask any ER doctor their thoughts on this need for “risk-taking” and I’m sure you’ll hear a much different view than these researchers have.

Now that schools are letting out soon, kids are going to be playing in the backyard more than ever. So, now is a great time to look around your backyard and make sure it is safe. My babyproofing company, Safety Mom Solutions includes a review of the backyard area as part of the home consultation. However, for those of you that are past the stage that you need to a professional babyproofer, or are a do-it yourselfer, below are great tips to help keep everyone safe.

• The plastic and metal on slides and swings can get extremely hot in high temperatures causing serious burns. It is the same rule as with bath water, test it! If the play area is not in a shady area, look into installing a shade covering.
• As part of your spring lawn clean-up be sure have your trees checked. Rotting or dead trees can fall and cause serious injury. Especially make sure any trees that are close to the swing set are healthy and pruned.
• Clear the area of large sticks as kids love to play with them and can hurt others or themselves.
• Be sure everyone, including your pets stay off the lawn following lawn treatments, for the time period recommended by the manufacturer. Read the labels and safety warnings.
• Children need to be dressed properly. No flip-flops or open toed shoes when climbing or swinging. And, never let them wear loose clothing or anything with drawstrings that could get caught in the equipment resulting in strangulation.
• Make sure that there is still 6 to 9 inches of wood chips or other protection underneath the playground equipment. If not, call your local tree company, many times they are willing to give chips away if you pick them up. Also, check all connections and bolts to make sure nothing came loose.
• Check your fence to see if any damage has occurred during the winter. Be sure to fix areas that can be an escape route and make sure the locks still work properly.
• Keep all yard tools and lawn materials, like fertilizer and seed in a shed with a lock.
• Make sure your grill is not too close to the house. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, the grill should be at least 10 feet away from the house.
• Bees love to make hives in wooden play sets and in outside lamp fixtures. Check these areas frequently. If you find a hive, call a professional!
• Check your pool fence and make sure it has a child proof lock. Door alarms that chime when someone has left the house are a great layer of additional safety. There are also pool motion detectors that will alert you when someone or thing falls in the pool. Make sure the drain suction is working properly and has a cover that is up to code. Also, make sure that the pool treatments are done correctly, too much chlorine can cause skin irritations, eye irritation, and both short and longer-term respiratory problems.

Have a safe and fun summer!
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