As soon as your toddler begins to lift him or herself up on the coffee table, you know it is time to make a mad dash around the house, looking for places that could be potentially dangerous to your mobile child. Childproofing your home is an important part of keeping your toddler safe from unintentional injuries, which are the leading cause of death of children in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While you may think that childproofing your home means childproofing cabinets, buying wall outlet covers, finger pinch guards, and countertop corner guards, you may be leaving one of the most important parts of your house out of the conversation; do not forget that babies love the bathroom.
Bathrooms offer a whole new world of textures and sights for toddlers, and can also be one of the most dangerous places for your child to explore.
Here are a few ways you can babyproof your bathroom.
- Wind Up Cords. The easiest place for your child to find something to grab is on the floor. If you have a hair dryer, a curling iron, or a straightener sitting on your bathroom countertop, be sure to wind the cords for these appliances up and store them far away from the front of the counter. It may not even help putting them away in a drawer, because your child could just reach into a drawer and pull them out. As you know, toddlers like to experiment with different textures in their mouths as well, and electric shock can be deadly. The same goes for electric razors that have cords, as the blades can be extremely harmful to the soft skin of a child.
- Medication Relocation. You may think that your vitamins and prescription medications are safe in the bathroom, but a toddler is perhaps one of the greatest adventurers, and will try to get into anything. Keeping your medications stored away in a linen closet or as close to the mirror as possible could prevent a potentially fatal accident. The American Association of Poison Control Centers reports that of the 2.4 million unintentional medicine ingestions in 2002, more than half were by children under the age of six.
- Hot Water Tempering. Hot water can quickly scald the skin of your toddler. The level of heat your body can withstand is quite different than a child’s, and if you reduce your water heater’s overall temperature, you can ensure that this will never happen to your baby. For example, if you set it to heat water at a temperature no higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, your child will be safe. Research shows that it only takes a few seconds for a child to sustain a burn.
Childproofing your home and your bathroom will be the best way to safeguard your toddler from most dangers in your house. There is always a chance that he or she will get into something potentially hazardous, but that is a part of a toddler’s natural growth. Just be vigilant, and do your best to babyproof every possible corner of your house.