Category Archives: Baby Proofing

Backyard Safety Tips

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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Child Proofing Your Windows to Prevent Falls

Now that the weather is finally warmer, everyone’s just itching to throw open their windows and get the smells of spring into the house. If you have a baby or toddler, however, you need to be aware of the dangers of falls from windows. Every year 4,000 children are injured falling out of windows. At Safety Mom Solutions Babyproofing, we provide various options to make sure your windows are safe. This includes:

• Window Wedges – www.windowwedge.com – attaches to the side of the window to prevent it from opening more than a certain height
• Window Stops – mounted to the inside of the window to prevent it from opening
• Window Guards – covers the entire window which is the best solution if the window is low to the floor or there is a seat below the window. These can easily be removed in the event of an emergency.

In my new book, Honey I Lost the Baby in the Produce Aisle! The Safety Mom’s Guide to Child Proofing Your Life, I give step-by-step instructions on how to install these products.

Whenever possible, open your double-hung windows from the top. If they must be opened from the bottom never open them more than 4″. Also be sure furniture is not placed directly below a window.

Safety Mom Solutions Babyproofing proudly helps keep little ones safe throughout the NY Tri-State area including Northern New Jersey, Westchester, Fairfield County in Connecticut and NYC.

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Will my kid really do that?

When I send a baby proofer from my company, Safety Mom Solutions Babyproofing, out to do a consultation, half the time he is met with the question, “You mean, my son would actually climb into the toilet?” Yes, he will!

It makes me crazy when “experts” advise parents to get down on their hands and knees to see what their baby might get into. This assumes that a child will think like a rational adult. Here’s a news flash – They Don’t! In fact, your curious toddler will do things and get into situations you would never dream of.
Here are a few:

  • The clothes dryer isn’t just for clothes – Yes, they will climb into the clothes dryer. Laundry rooms should be an off-limit area. Install a surface bolt at the top of the door to prevent them from getting in.
  • The toilet makes a great place to sail boats – Not only boats but Cheerios, Lego’s and any other small object. And then they will lean into try and retrieve it. Install a toilet lock that will automatically lock into place when you close the lid.
  • They’ll try to re-enact the Home Alone stunt – Remember when Macaulay Culkin comes flying down the stairs? Yes, your kids will try this along with a host of other stunts they see on TV shows and cartoons. Make sure staircases are secured with gates and windows have locks on them.
  • DVD players make great storage places for PB&J sandwiches–Kids will try and fit a variety of food and objects into VCRs and DVD players. Secure all electronics and be sure that heavy objects are affixed to tables and entertainment units. Also be sure furniture is attached to the walls.
  • They will put anything and everything in their nose, ear….and other places – I’ll never forget the day my then 5 year-old son came home from school with his nose bleeding and explained he had put a bean up his nose during arts and crafts. Kids will do things you won’t expect. Small toys need to be kept away from older children and kitchen cabinets should be locked. Also consider a lock on the refrigerator.

Safety Mom Solutions Babyproofing provides baby proofing and child safety consultations in Fairfield County, CT, Westchester County, NY, New York City and Northern New Jersey areas.

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Childproofing for an Autistic Child, Safety Mom Solutions Babyproofing Can Help

Safe guarding your home is a top priority when you have an autistic child. My child proofing company, Safety Mom Solutions Baby Proofing, works with families with special needs children to identify particular concerns and offer some solutions that can either be done by the family or by our child proofer. Here are a few safety concerns to keep in mind:

Secure all windows and doors – Autistic children tend to wander. Place additional locks on exterior doors and windows. Window wedges, stops or window guards are all great options. Sensors should also be installed to alert you if one of the windows or doors is opened. Also consider installing motion detectors so you will be alerted if your child gets up in the middle of the night and wanders out.

Safeguard kitchens and bathrooms- Install cabinet and drawer locks in both rooms. Sharp objects and electrical items should be removed from counter tops and consider installing a refrigerator lock to prevent your child from ingesting something that could be a choking hazard or poisonous.

Strap furniture and TVs – Even seemingly light-weight furniture could cause a serious injury if it falls onto your child. Use furniture straps or L-Brackets to secure furniture to walls and heavy duty Velcro to attach TVs to tables or entertainment units.

Protect pools and hot tubs – Autistic children are attracted to water. Hot tubs should always be covered when not in use and pools must be completely surrounded by a fence with a self-latching gate. Insure that the area around the pool is free of any objects that a child could climb on to get over the fence. And, if your child is missing for even a moment check the pool area first. Even seconds could be the difference between life and death.

Inform neighbors and local authorities – In the event that your child wanders away, it’s important for neighbors to have contact information for you and to know that your child is autistic if they see him. Also, alert your local police to the fact that you have an autistic child in case he gets lost. You might need to educate them a bit as to his specific issues – Is he verbal? Does he have an aversion to touch? Will he run away from police car lights or sirens? Make sure that your child always has his address and phone number attached to an article of clothing that he’s wearing, an ID bracelet, or a chain or tag for his shoe.

While many of the child proofing items can be installed by you, it’s a good idea to have a professional come in to offer you some tips that you might not have considered. When hiring a baby proofer, find out if they have experience in safe guarding homes for autistic children.

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First time parents or “veterans” will love Honey I Lost the Baby in the Produce Aisle!

I’m so excited to announce that my first book, Honey I Lost the Baby in the Produce Aisle, The Safety Mom’s Guide to Childproofing Your Life will be available April 27th.

Over the years I’ve heard from so many parents who have said “we wish we would have known…” So now I’m letting everyone in on some of those secrets you just don’t learn until after the baby arrives. But hey, none of us are perfect and accidents do happen. That doesn’t mean we love our kids any less or aren’t terrific parents. That’s why I’ve also included some of those “I can’t believe my kid did that!” stories because, let’s be honest, we all have them.

Whether it’s figuring out how to make your vacations a little safer, understanding the additional concerns of a special needs’ child or selecting the right nanny or daycare, you’ll find some great tips and advice here.

And, for any of you who have tried to install a baby gate or cabinet lock and ended up destroying your house, I’ve included step-by-step instructions from Safety Mom Solutions baby proofer extraordinaire Chris Benedict.

Plus, I’ve listed some of those myths that have been handed down from well-meaning grandmas that just aren’t accurate. Now you can go back armed with the accurate information.

So whether you’re expecting your first baby or are on to number four, check out my new book for some great safety advice along with some humor. And be sure to pick up an extra copy for any of your friends who are expecting their little bundle of joy!

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Selecting And Installing A Baby Gate For Your Stairs, By Alison Rhodes, Founder Of Safety Mom Solutions

By The Safety Mom

As you’re setting up your nursery for your new arrival, consider some of the baby proofing items that should be in the home as well. One of the first items you want to have in place is baby gates. There are two kinds – pressure mounted and hardware mounted. I constantly hear the argument that hubby doesn’t want to drill holes into the wall so he’s going with a pressure mounted gate. While pressure mounted gates in certain situations are the way to go, at the top of the stairs it could be deadly. If a child pushes on the gate it could topple right over. And, you can ease your mind – the holes are no larger than the tip of a pencil and can be easily filled in with painter’s caulk. A top-of-stair gate is the most critical one that you will install. Here are a few things to look for:

• A gate that’s easy to use with one-handed operation
• A safety mechanism that prevents it from opening out over the stairs and will only allow it to open towards you
• One that will automatically lock when you shut it to reduce the change of “user error.”

While our clients at Safety Mom Solutions will usually attempt to do some baby proofing work on their own, they often times become frustrated when trying to install a gate. Unless you are installing it into two flat surfaces it can be difficult. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

• Determine whether you will want a wood or metal gate. There are many that come in a variety of finishes to match your décor.
• Measure the opening to be sure you purchase a gate that will fit. Check that the gate you select is specifically designed for staircases and/or banisters, that it is auto-locking and has a safety mechanism to prevent it from opening in both directions.
• If you do not have two flat surfaces you will also have to buy one or two mounting kits to create one. If you do have a flat wall, be sure that it’s not hollow (without a stud). If it is you will need a mounting kit on that side as well
• Make sure the gate is not installed more than 2” from the ground or your baby could crawl under it!
• Once the mounting kit and gate are installed apply pressure to it to check that it will withstand your baby pushing on it.

I recently did a segment with George Oliphant for LXTV’s Open House. Here’s a clip of me discussing a gate at the top of the stairs with him.

Alison Rhodes is the founder of Safety Mom Enterprises and Safety Mom Solutions, the premier baby proofing and child safety company in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area. Alison is a family safety expert, TV personality and consultant.

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Bath Tub Safety by Alison Rhodes, Founder of Safety Mom Solutions Baby Proofers

By The Safety Mom

Undoubtedly, one of the most hazardous rooms in your home is the bathroom.  While bath time should always be a time for fun and bonding, it’s important that parents take extra precaution to make sure their child is safe and the bathroom is baby proofed.  The following are several things to keep in mind for bathroom safety when baby proofing your home.

Never leave your child alone in the tub!  A child can drown in a matter of minutes in less than 2” of water.  If you must leave the bathroom for any reason, take your baby with you. Keep a cordless phone in the bathroom with you at all times.

Check the temperature of the bath water.  The appropriate temperature is between 96°F and 100°F. Use a bath thermometer to check the temperature and install a scald protector on your faucet.

Bath rings and baby bath tubs should not be considered safety devices.  As with baby proofing items, these products should not replace constant parental supervision. Rather, they should be considered a bathing aide. Bath rings and tubs should not be used in non-skid or slip resistant surfaces.

Cover the edges of marble tubs – Purchase foam guard that can be used on marble surfaces to protect the rim of the bathtub.

Install a tub spout cover – Babies are extremely slippery when wet – make sure that hard surfaces such as the tub spout are protected. If bathing two children together be sure that playing does not get out of hand.

Keep bath toys clean – Be sure to allow all bath toys to air dry in a mesh bag and clean weekly with bleach to prevent mold.

Remove adult items from the tub.  Be sure that razors, decorative soaps, candles, glass jars and other hazardous items are locked away when bathing your baby.

Don’t forget about other hazards in the bathroom.  Place locks on toilets and install slow closing lids. Also, make sure trash baskets are kept in a locked vanity or at least make sure they are tall with a lid.

Learn CPR – Even if you’ve taken a course in the past, take a refresher course once you’ve had a baby.  This could be the difference between life and death.

Alison Rhodes is the founder of Safety Mom Enterprises and Safety Mom Solutions, the premier baby proofing and child safety company in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area.  Alison is a family safety expert, TV personality and consultant. 

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