This weekend, a baby died after a stove fell on him
. While I'm unclear on how a stove can fall over, it's obviously possible. What an incredibly tragic event -- something falling onto a baby and crushing him. We should use this as a reminder to make sure we're taking the necessary precautions in our homes, because there are so many things that can go wrong -- opportunities for babies to sustain injuries. We need to do what we can to prevent them. We can't wrap our kids in bubble wrap and never let them explore, but we can make an effort to reduce the likelihood that they will get hurt. When I used to think of "baby proofing," I immediately considered taking steps to cover the outlets, lock the cabinets and place gates at the stairs -- because those are places that babies can obviously get hurt. But you shouldn't stop there. Here are a few other things to think about:
I was washing my window screens the other day and noticed a little note: "Warning: Screen will not stop child from falling out window." Duh! However, just because that is obvious doesn't mean we can't overlook safety hazards involving windows. Do you have furniture pushed up against or near windows so that you child could fall out if the window is open?
Furniture and lamps:
Do you have any furniture that could tip? Walk around your home and tug and pull on your furniture, but do it from a lower point. Your super heavy bookshelf might seem sturdy until your baby pulls up on it just right. And lamps! Tall laps that aren't very heavy can be knocked over easily. However, just because they're not heavy doesn't mean that your child can't be hurt if one falls on him.
Fireplace hearths and wood tables and television consoles often have very sharp corners. Cover them with rubber or foam furniture covers. "Tour" your own home from a baby's point of view -- especially if he is crawling and pulling up on furniture. If you see anything that even seems mildly dangerous, find a way to remedy it. I'm not suggesting you bubble wrap your house, either, but there are obvious and serious dangers that can easily be remedied. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!