The home safety visit starts off surprisingly low-key and informative. Within minutes, Dylan of Baby Bodyguards has talked about how a small child sees the home, how to teach toddlers about oven safety, and why those little round outlet plugs can be hazardous. All the while, he’s making notes about upgrading child safety in each room.
The point, he says, is not to stifle children. “Kids are going to play and learn. That’s how they grow. We don’t want to take away their chances to explore; we just want to safeguard the environment they explore in.”
After the home walkthrough, safety measures are installed. Babyproofing devices are simple but effective–designed to protect small children without limiting older children and adults.
The trick is in knowing what to do, and why. “Changing tables and bookcases look like ladders to a small child,” said Dylan. “Those need to be anchored to the wall.” Tops of coffee tables should have corner guards–children falling downward will have momentum that can cause serious injury–but the bottom corners don’t. “Bumping the underside of a table happens when a child is standing up. It’s a minor encounter with the furniture, and it helps the child become better aware of her surroundings.”
Stair gates? Don’t bother with those pressure-mounted or spring-loaded gates. “Those can pop loose when a small child leans on them, and carry the child right down the stairs.”
The whole experience is about educating parents–teaching them to see their home in a new way as their children grow and explore.
Having a home babyproofed is the right thing to do, according to a 2011 study by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. In it, injuries to small children were reduced 70% in homes that had been babyproofed. “The home environment is the most common location of injury for younger children,” according to Dr. Kieran J. Phelan in the medical center’s news release. “However, parents may not have the time, training or resources to obtain and install the best safety products.”
That’s where the professional baby proofers at Baby Bodyguards can help. A complete home childproofing–from doors to cabinets to furniture to electrical outlets, windows, stairs and bathrooms–can be done in less than a day for a few hundred dollars. A safety evaluation is just $75, and can be applied toward any work done.
So why are those round outlet plugs I mentioned earlier a hazard? “We see those in lots of homes,” said Dylan. “But it’s really easy for parents to leave them on the floor when they plug something in. All of a sudden they become a choking danger.”
That’s exactly the kind of unexpected hazard that Baby Bodyguards of SW Ohio can help parents recognize. To schedule a safety consultation or for more information, contact Baby Bodyguards at 513-573-9390 or www.babybodyguards.com.
Baby Bodyguards serves the Cincinnati/Dayton region, and also offers certified car seat installation and in-home CPR classes.