Caution and uncertainty are natural emotions for any new parent.

But for some – raising a happy, healthy baby can be overwhelming. September is national Baby Safety Awareness Month, a great opportunity to educate all on how to keep infants safe from harm.
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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

“Children’s Home Society of Florida strongly believes in the potential of Marion County’s families. Through our Healthy Families program, we partner with parents so they can raise their children in safe, healthy, nurturing homes,” said Jennifer Anchors, executive director of Children’s Home Society of Florida. “And beyond this proven program, we also offer another avenue of support for parents through our counseling services, specifically infant mental health. This unique specialty focuses on establishing strong, trusting bonds between parents and their babies – a key component of keeping young children safe.”
Parents interested in learning more about Healthy Families or counseling can call 352-732-1355.