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Making A Safe Home

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Exploring the world is the innocent delight of childhood. It’s also the ongoing challenge of parenthood. For those families who were recently in the news due to fatal accidents, I am so sorry.

For expectant and new mothers, fathers, partners, grandparents and care providers, here are three basic tips for being vigilant about safety as your family grows.
• Do a safety check every six months in your house.
• Take a CPR/Baby Safe class.
• Reduce chemicals in your environment.

Crawl around your house on your hands and knees. That’s what your children will do.  Lift up rugs, cushions, pick up items on shelves. (If it’s loose, it can be edible.) Pull on anything within reach. Lean on anything 6 inches or taller.

Do this every six months. That’s when you change the clocks and smoke alarm batteries. Every six months, your child will be a little bigger and heavier and have new dimensions to explore. This quiz about furniture safety and tip-over risks will help you determine what you need to do.

CPR for children and infants is easy to learn. Take a class so you can practice on a mannikin. Here are some local places to learn CPR:
In Jamaica Plain, at Newton Wellesley hospital. For Beverly Hospital’s Baby Safe classes, register by calling 978.927.9103: Parent Education Department.

• To avoid poisoning risks, reduce chemicals in your environment. Everyone benefits from that. “Safer For Your Baby” provides less toxic alternatives to chemicals in the home. And again, I recommend the EWG consumer guides for information about pesticides, skin care products, sunscreen, and more.

Having said this, we all have stories of silly things we got away with as kids. My sister in law, at the age of three, drank a bottle of Chanel NO. 5. An expensive drink that is! Fortunately, she was okay and I’m glad for that. The point is, what you are used to seeing, your child is fascinated by and will use in a different way.

Being a parent opens your heart wide and your eyes, too. As your children moves along their paths, you can be three steps ahead to safely guide them.