Panama City, Fla. – Caution and uncertainty are natural emotions for any new parent. But for some – such as parents worried about the health or development of their infant – raising a happy, healthy baby can be overwhelming. September is national Baby Safety Awareness Month, a great opportunity to educate all parents on how to keep their infants safe and developmentally on track.
On average, babies begin to crawl at 6-10 months and take their first steps around 9-12 months. It is important for parents to prepare the house ahead of time to keep their baby safe. Here are five ways to help childproof a home:
- Tipovers are a leading cause of injury to children. Make sure televisions and furniture that can easily topple over, like bookcases and dressers, are secured to the wall.
- Cords connected to window blinds and home appliances can pose strangulation hazards to children. Keep cords tied up, out of reach, and away from cribs.
- Keep choking hazards out of reach, such as loose change, small refrigerator magnets and button batteries like those found in TV remotes or flameless candles, which can pose serious risk if ingested.
- Don’t hold your baby while cooking at the stove. Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Secure the oven door with an appliance latch.
- Thousands of children each year are poisoned or suffer eye injury injured from laundry and dishwasher detergent packets that are easily mistaken as candy by young children. Keep these packets out of reach of children or opt for more traditional detergent products.
“In Panama City, we are dedicated to empowering families to create safe, healthy homes for kids. But that goes beyond traditional baby safety tips,” said Charles McDonald, executive director of Children’s Home Society of Florida. “Here in the Big Bend, we are the only organization throughout the region to serve families through the Early Steps program, which provides life-changing services and support to families who have infants and toddlers with developmental delays. This program is about empowerment – we believe in the potential of these families and their kids, and we are there every step of the way as parents and their children find hope with each new milestone that’s accomplished.”
Parents interested in learning more about Early Steps can call 850-747-5411.