A Safe and Happy Playroom
Babyproofing and organizing baby’s play area
Walk into a home where a baby or young child lives and you’re sure to find a room specifically designated as “the playroom.” Children aren’t confined to playpens or play yards like many of us experienced in our childhoods; instead they are given freedom to explore and play by their parents. While this may be great for Baby, it’s also important that any room you designate as a playroom (and the rest of the home, for that matter) be carefully examined and babyproofed accordingly through the eyes of a baby.
While it may be the furthest thing from parents’ minds, the best time to begin thinking about safety is before a baby is even crawling. “I advise parents to get down on their hands and knees and look around the room from a baby’s point of view,” says Brenda Nixon, author of The Birth to Five Book (Revell, 2009). “Every time parents do this, they discover a dangling cord, sharp corner, small choking hazard, or other safety risk.”
Tim Bowen, director of homeowner claims for MetLife Auto & Home, has worked with many families to file claims after the unthinkable happened by their children’s hands. When choosing the area for a playroom, he advises parents to avoid rooms with utilized fireplaces and hot water pipes exposed. “Children are inquisitive, especially when it comes to fire, increasing the potential of burns, as well as home fire,” Bowen says.
Creating a Safe Haven
Don Keenan, an attorney and child-safety advocate based in Atlanta, Georgia, also counsels parents to make sure all play areas have a carbon monoxide detector in them. Make sure they are located at least 15 feet from any heat source. “Be sure to check specifically for a model with the United Laboratories Rating,” says Keenan, author of 365 Ways to Keep Kids Safe: How to Make Your Child’s World Safer, Ages Birth to 16 (Balloon Press, 2006). It’s also best if you make sure any detector is hard-wired into your electrical system to prevent batteries from running low or curious children from pulling it out of an electrical outlet, rendering it ineffective.
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN