Guide to finding the right Baby Gate
There are many types of safety gates on the market, and it can be confusing determining which one you might need. There are many factors involved such as location, frequency of use, mounting type, aesthetics, size, and cost involved.
Types of Baby Gates:
Hardware Mounted Gates
Hardware mounted gates attach to walls and banisters with hardware and screws. They are the most secure type of gate. They are ideal for the top of stairways, but can also separate rooms. They are available in wood or metal of various colors to match your décor. They vary in size and have add-on extensions for wider openings. They can be mounted between two walls, two banisters, or a banister and a wall. All latch securely, but are designed for easy adult use. Hardware mounted gates must be mounted to a solid surface, and not a hollow wall. If a wall stud is not present where you need to mount the gate, a gate mounting kit will be needed for anchorage. Often times tall baseboards will interfere with the installation of a gate and it will also require a gate mounting kit.
Pressure Mounted Gates
Pressure mounted gates are easy to install, and are great to block off doorways, and hallways. They expand to fit the opening width and secure with tension against the sides of the opening. Never use pressure gates at the top of a stairway, because it is possible for some children to dislodge them. There are also portable pressure gatessavailable with carrying cases for use on trips away from home.
Walk-through Gates are comprised of a fixed section, and a swinging door portion (walk-thru). Walk-through gates come in many sizes and may extend up to 20 feet or more with extensions. They come in hardware mounted and pressure mounted versions. Some can be configured in irregular shapes to fit individual needs. All walk-through gates have a bottom threshold and feature one-hand latching. Walk-through gates are not ideal for stairways but are most often used in doorways to separate rooms, or to block off large openings.
Steps in selecting your gate:
TV Tip-Overs: What Every Parent Needs to Know
Every home these days contains at least one television. More often than not, these are flat screen TVs as well. Though they definitely look great and come with a number of other modern benefits, it turns out that the televisions we all enjoy so much can also put your children’s safety at risk. That’s because a curious youngster can easily pull the TV down on top of them. What’s known as “TV tip-overs” can pose a real danger you have to be aware of as a parent.
A Serious Threat
It’s always easy to get carried away where your child’s safety is concerned. Many of us sometimes get worried we may be turning into “helicopter parents”, the type that never let our children get more than a foot or two away from us.
However, you have plenty of reason to be worried about TV tip-overs. Sadly, every three weeks, a child will die because of this preventable tragedy. Thousands more will be injured from a TV falling over each year.
An Alarming Increase
What’s worse is that these instances aren’t showing any signs of slowing down. It’s just the opposite, actually, as TV tip-overs have increased by 30% over the last decade. This is most likely due to the fact that, as we mentioned earlier, more and more households contain flat-screen televisions, which are much easier to accidentally tip over. However, that shouldn’t suggest that traditional TVs are completely safe.
Check the Stability of Your TVs
The easiest thing you can do to start ensuring your child’s safety against TV tip-overs is to actually check the stability of these devices. This is especially true for those units that are on top of furniture or other stands. While curious children often bring the TVs down on top of them, this accident could also happen if the furniture or stand was bumped the wrong way or otherwise shaken.
Mount Flat Screens to the Wall
Of course, you no longer need furniture or stands at all. With flat screen TVs, anyway, you can simply mount the device to the wall. This not only looks great, but it will ensure the TV never poses a risk to your child.
Do the Same with Furniture
You can also apply this tip to furniture too. If you have your TV on top of a dresser, entertainment center or book shelf, mount it to the wall and your children will be much safer for it. Not only will this decrease the chance of a TV tip-over, it will also keep the furniture from posing an unnecessary threat as well.
Put “Fun Stuff” Down Low
Children may be interested in your TV, but a lot of times, they’ll simply want to get their hands on a favorite toy you may have put up high, by the television. In an attempt to find the toy or other fun items in your house, the child could easily force the television to fall on top of themselves.
Don’t let something as enjoyable as a television give you cause for concern. Follow the above advice and TV tip-overs will be one less thing you need to worry about as a parent.
Top Household Hazards for Kids
Although your home should be the place your children feel the safest, this isn’t always the truth of the matter. Even parents who do their best to create a safe environment, may be missing some very important risks that could become dangerous to their most prized possessions. Today, let’s look at some of the top household hazards for kids.
Your dishwasher is a prime example of an everyday item in your home that seems innocuous enough, but can actually cause real harm.
For one thing, consider what you keep inside your dishwasher. Most days, it would probably be easy enough for your child to pull out a sharp knife or fork. Obviously, that’s never something you want to see in your child’s hands.
Detergent is another potential issue. While great for cleaning, it can irritate your child’s skin and even burn the inside of their mouth and esophagus should they ingest it.
Always keep your dishwasher closed unless you’re nearby and able to monitor it. Don’t add in detergent until right before you start it and make sure that all pointy objects face down in the basket, just to be on the safe side.
Although most of us may be aware that latex balloons are a risk to our children, it should be underscored how serious a threat they really are. Since 1973, over 110 children have died because they choked on latex balloons. Some were chewing on them while others died after trying to blow one up. Once they make it inside the throat, the latex is terrifyingly effective at closing the pathway needed for breathing.
Mylar balloons are a much better route to go. Nonetheless, you still need to supervise your children when they play with balloons, latex or otherwise. Until they’re eight years old, no child should ever be allowed to blow one up.
If your kitchen range isn’t properly installed, it can it can easily fall forward if your child tries climbing up the oven door or even just leans against it. Furthermore, if you have a hot pot on the stove, children can bring it and its contents down on top of themselves.
Anti-tip brackets are a great way to minimize this risk. In fact, any range built after 1991 is legally required to come with them. However, you can order and install your own if your unit doesn’t have them.
Of all things, you wouldn’t expect nice, comfortable bedding to be a cause of concern, but the truth is bumper pads and fluffy comforters in your child’s crib are potentially very dangerous. They can all too easily mold around their little faces, resulting in suffocation. Every year, somewhere around 900 infants will die from these features of their cribs.
Use a firm mattress in your baby’s crib that fits it perfectly, with no space on the sides. The pad and sheet should also be as tight as possible. Place your baby in the crib on their back and until they’re a year of age, leave out any pillows, bumper pads, comforters or toys.
Keeping your child safe doesn’t have to be difficult. Implement the above advice and it will be even easier though.
Top Furniture Safety Tips for Kids
Every home needs furniture, but if you have children, it’s important to recognize how these important items can actually put their safety at risk. Fortunately, keeping your children safe doesn’t mean sitting on the floor for years to come. Just implement the following tips and your furniture and children will be able to coexist peacefully.
Ensure Furniture Stability
Between 2000 and 2011, close to 300 children under the age of nine were killed when TV, appliances and furniture were turned over on top of them, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). 2011, actually saw the highest rate of the years surveyed, which speaks to how this problem isn’t just going away on its own.
Instead, you need to make sure that the furniture in your home is stable and not capable of being knocked over by a child. One easy way to greatly reduce the chances of your child getting hurt (the CPSC reported thousands of more injuries every year from this problem as well) is to mount your flat screen TVs to the wall. Your child will most likely be unable to reach them, then, and therefore be unable to tip them over. Keep kitchen appliances pushed back against the wall, far from where your little one can reach up and grab them.
Basically, you should take a tour of your home and look for anything your child could reach or otherwise fall victim to. This even includes the kitchen range as, if not properly mounted down, your kid could pull it over.
Cover Sharp Edges
There’s plenty of damage a toddler can do to themselves without knocking anything over. Furniture like coffee tables, desks and certain chairs all feature sharp edges that your child can run or trip into. Fortunately, the risks they pose are far less serious than the ones we just covered, but this type of injury is still very painful.
These days, though, you can buy all kinds of products that will cover these sharp edges with rounded corners. Kids can still land against them, but the harm caused will be greatly reduced.
Consider Their Bedding
Although your baby’s crib may seem as safe as it gets, it might have a number of hidden dangers. For one thing, you need a mattress that fits perfectly without providing margins on the side. Otherwise, your child could get their head stuck between the mattress and the crib and suffocate or otherwise hurt themselves. This is also why you want tight bedding. Until your child is about one, they shouldn’t have any pillows, toys or comforters. Lay them in bed on their backs too and always have a baby monitor nearby so you can hear if anything goes wrong.
It’s recommended that you use a crib that has an adjustable height to its platform. This way, as your child gets older, you can lower the mattress level, making it impossible for them to escape their crib without you knowing.
Implementing the above furniture tips is of the utmost importance in order to ensure your child is safe inside your home.
Toilet Safety Tips for Your Child
Most parents can hardly wait for the day that their child is potty trained and diapers become nothing but a bad memory. However, toilet use comes with its own risks too. Children can easily hurt themselves with toilets (this includes the possibility of drowning), meaning even before they become potty trained, you want to be careful about your child being around them. Here are some easy ways to do this effectively.
Keep Bathroom Doors Shut and Locked
Always keep the doors to your bathroom shut, as this will go a long way toward stopping the problem before it ever becomes one in the first place. A child who can’t get in the bathroom is under no threat from the toilet.
Instead of merely keeping the door shut though, consider installing latches or locks to make sure it stays that way. While they’ll certainly keep your child from going anywhere, childproof latches and locks don’t need to slow adults down in the least.
Another great way to do this is with a doorknob cover. It essentially works like child safety lock, meaning only adults who understand how it works and can apply enough pressure are ever able to get the knob to turn and the door to open.
Do the Same with the Toilet Seat
You know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men, so it’s important to take things one step further and lock down the toilet seat too. Again, this doesn’t have to take much. Nowadays, you can find all kinds of products capable of keeping the seat locked to babies, but easily opened by adults.
Many people have had the best success with the same types of latches that are made for cupboards and cabinets. Unlike most toilet latches, they are multipurpose, meaning you’re practically guaranteed a good fit. With toilet latches, it can often be difficult finding one that works properly with your specific lid.
Install Bolt Caps
Installing a toilet means bolting it down to the bathroom floor. This means your toilet can potentially pose the same threat as many pieces of furniture in your home: sharp corners on which children can bump themselves.
Check your toilet to see if bolt caps are covering these sharp edges. Older toilets may never have had them. Fortunately, a quick trip to your local hardware store is all it should take in order to get the caps you need so these bolts once again become harmless.
Guard the Toilet Paper
Someday, your child may very likely discover the wonders of a toilet paper holder. They’ll grab one end of the toilet paper and away they’ll go. Obviously, this is a frustrating day for any parent. It can also be a dangerous one for your child though. Toilet paper is a choking hazard if your little one puts it in their mouths. With a toilet paper guard, they won’t be able to get that far though.
Installing safety measures on your bathroom door will be a big step toward keeping your child safe. However, consider the other measures listed above too. They’re affordable and easy, yet could make all the difference.
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