This is part one in a series about preparing for having a baby. Don’t miss part two, 4 Reasons to Have a Child Proofing Expert Assess Your Home. This article on child safety and baby proofing is brought to you by a partnership with Home Safe Homes. Home Safe Homes is a sponsor of the Indy with Kids website and their efforts to get families out and about, making memories in their communities.
We take our kids out and about and we travel so frequently that we hear a lot of comments about how brave we are or how crazy we must be. Our favorite time to travel is when the kids are about two weeks old — we hit the road and explore different cities and states. We’ve never felt that this was unsafe despite the reactions and comments from other people. In fact, as we learned through experience and through having children, it is our home that can be the most dangerous place for our family.
Like most new moms, when I was pregnant the first time, I registered for EVERY baby safety item that our local stores offered, and I got it all. We spent several (very frustrating) days installing and reinstalling gates, plugging every electrical outlet, putting those annoying door knob things on our doors, adding padded corners to our tables, installing window blocks and cabinet and drawer locks. Now that we’re on our fourth pregnancy, these things have been knocked off, lost forever, broken or figured out by our resident toddler and preschooler.
If I had known back then what I know now, I would have called in Home Safe Homes to baby proof my home. It’s not that we aren’t capable of doing it ourselves — we just went and installed every single thing that was out there. We’d never had a baby before, we didn’t know what we needed to do. Home Safe Homes is a local family owned company that works with your family (and other professional staff when applicable) to customize your child proofing efforts based on your lifestyle, your home and your needs.
As we prepare for the birth of baby number four, we asked Kent, owner of Home Safe Homes to come out and provide an evaluation of our home. While he was here he asked questions about the ages of our children, what our lifestyle was (level of supervision, who else cares for them, etc) and looked around our home for child safety hazards. With his background as an educator, Kent was very helpful in showing me quite a few things I wasn’t aware of and he gave me a few tips for safeguarding my older children, especially in the kitchen. After taking measurements, sharing some great products with me that I’ve never seen before and conversing about what types of safety measures we might need, I was very surprised to learn that the bottom line for installation and materials was far less than what we had spent over the past few years on safety.
The motto that Home Safe Homes lives by when they prepare your home for your child is Learn, Explore, Grow. All of their products and all of their recommendations are based on those three things. Here are some great things I learned from Kent as he prepared his assessment of what we might need for a house full of babies and kids at various stages of development and supervision:
1. When you are using the oven or the stove, turn your oven light on (if it has a window). Teach your child that when the light is on, they are not to touch the unit.
2. Whenever possible, cook using the back burners on the stove instead of the front burners. This will protect curious children from burns if they were to reach up or if something were to boil and spill over.
3. Empty the dishwasher as soon as the dishes are clean. This will help prevent injury if a child was to open the door and stick their hands in.
4. Have a fire escape plan with your child. If you live in a two story home, you need at least one fire escape ladder and know how to use it.
5. Child safety equipment isn’t meant to be in place forever. In fact, the very things meant to keep them safe can become dangerous as they age. For example, as soon as a child is old enough to climb on or attempt to climb over a gate, it is time for that gate to be removed.
Home Safe Homes (Carmel, Indiana) is owned by Kent Kent McCool, a member of the International Association for Child Safety as well as a Certified Aging in Place Specialist, father to Ella and Jake. Call for a $75, pressure free, in-home evaluation to help you prepare for your child to safely Learn, Explore and Grow. The cost of your assessment will be credited should you choose to have Home Safe Homes prepare your house for your baby or child. All modifications are done through experienced installers and designed to be aesthetically pleasing specifically in your home. In many cases, the solutions installed by professional child-proofers will bring more value to your home and will always give you peace of mind. Home Safe Homes is an Angie’s List Super Service Award Winner. Call for more information and visit the Home Safe Homes website.