Becoming a parent is a wondrous if challenging time. However, it’s also a time when you can feel a little lost and unsure of how to ensure the best safety around. One of the best ways to provide practical help is by making your life baby-ready. Below we list five helpful hacks to get you started on the journey to ensuring your precious cargo stays safe, no matter where they are.
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1. Car Seats
Possibly the most essential safety item that you will ever buy for your child is a quality car seat. A car seat is not only required by law but is vital to your child’s safety when travelling. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of injury and death for children.
A properly fitted car restraint system is often the difference between life and death in a car crash. Safety experts recommend that you always buy a new seat (this is not a product you should purchase second-hand) and get it professionally fitted. Remember the best car seat is a correctly installed car seat.
Seats are grouped by age so be sure to change them as your child grows. For the first two years of your child’s life, you will need a rearward facing child seat. After that, the child should be put in a forward-facing seat with a harness. Once the child exceeds the weight and height limitations for a forward-facing seat they should use a belt-positioning booster seat up until the seat-belt fits properly. Typically, this happens when they reach 4 feet 9 inches in height and are between 8 and 12 years of age.
2. Safety Gates
Whether you’re a first time dad or multiple time dad, going up and down stairs is fraught with worry for parents of young children. By installing a safety gate at the top and bottom of the stairs, you effectively stop your child from reaching the stairs.
Safety gates are also of use in other parts of the house, i.e. to divide off the kitchen safely from young kids. The gates fall into two categories; hardware-mounted, and pressure-mounted. Pressure-mounted gates adjust in size to accommodate different dimensions.
They are sufficiently sturdy to keep out your toddler and crucially they are also portable. Hardware-mounted gates act as more permanent structures. They are safer and more secure than pressure-mounted gates, but you must screw them into the wall. Make sure that you buy a safety gate even before your baby starts walking – even a bum-shuffling baby can make it up the stairs!
3. Bed Rails
Every dad dreads the thought of their small child falling out of bed at night time. End your worries by installing a simple bed rail. That way no matter how much tossing and turning your child does at night, they won’t fall out of bed. Another benefit of a bed rail is the feeling of security it gives your child. Knowing they are safe and secure in their bed will give a child great comfort.
4. Safety Locks
No parent wants to think about what might happen if their child opens a bedroom window or a cupboard full of dangerous household products. Avoid these worries by installing a variety of child safety locks around your home.
These are child-proof locks for use on windows, cupboards and doors. Remember it is entirely natural for children to be curious and have no sense of danger. Cases involving children poisoning themselves after getting into kitchen cupboards are frighteningly common, so lock up to ensure safety.
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One of the oldest and most straightforward dad gadgets out there is the traditional playpen, which has been keeping children safe for generations. Of course, no child should be left in a playpen for hours at a time. However, there is a lot to be said for having a safe place to leave your child when you need to prepare dinner or take a shower. The peace of mind a playpen can give to a busy dad should not be underestimated.
So, there are our five safety hacks for all you new dads out there. Remember, getting your home baby-safe is one of the first things any new father should do.