By Ashley Taylor, Disabledparents.org

Welcoming a child into your home is one of life’s greatest joys. We wish you all the best as you begin this exciting adventure. Of course, part of your parental duties is creating a safe environment for your little one. So in this post, we’ll cover how to protect your child from many of the potential hazards found in the average residence. We’ll also discuss resources available to disabled parents as they hone their child-rearing skills.

The Four Phases of Child Growth

The measures you’ll take to safeguard your new arrival will change as he or she passes through the stages of life development, according the website ChildproofingExperts.com. Here’s a look at steps you should take during each phase.

Tips for Protecting Newborns

  • Choose a crib that meets British safety standards.
  • Keep the crib free of blankets, pillows, stuffed toys, etc. Any of these items are potential hazards for newborn kids.
  • Replace corded window treatments with cord-free versions.
  • Keep the toilet lid closed. You may wish to install a latch as well.
  • Keep your water heater set at less than 50° C to prevent scalding risks.
  • Anchor all dressers, bookcases, TV stands, and anything an infant might tip over.
  • Store purses, bags, and any objects with straps attached to them in areas beyond your child’s reach.

Tips for Protecting Crawling Babies

  • Shield electrical outlets with covers.
  • Cover sharp furniture edges with rounded covers.
  • Move power cords out of easy reach.
  • Keep pan and pot handles turned in towards the stove.
  • Empty bathtubs and basins when not in use.
  • Block child access to fireplaces.
  • Keep cleaning supplies and other household chemicals out of your child’s reach.

Tips for Protecting Toddlers

  • Lock your windows and keep them latched.
  • Keep doors that lead to the outdoors locked and/or latched.
  • Avoid taking medications in front of young kids. Toddlers are very imitative.
  • Consider removing your stove’s knobs when you’re not cooking, and keeping them in a cupboard or locked cabinet. You should have a fire extinguisher on hand in your kitchen and in any rooms with a functioning fireplace.
  • Place hot foods in the center of a table or serving tray rather than the edges.

Tips for Protecting Kids Aged 3-5

  • Teach your child what to do if the smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector sounds.
  • Teach your child to stay away from the microwave.
  • Make sure any trunks or storage chests in your home have child-friendly interior latches.
  • Keep a latch on your refrigerator.

 

Adaptive Parenting

Parents with disabilities have access to hundreds of resources to make their parenting duties easier. These include:

  • Childcare products designed with physical handicaps in mind.
  • Books, pamphlets, and online resources that provide valuable information for parents with disabilities.
  • Message boards, blogs, and audiovisual material with useful tips and insights from other disabled parents.

 

Preparing Your Mind and Your Life for Parenting

The American Pregnancy Association recommends that all prospective parents take the following steps:

  • Enroll in a parenting and/or child-rearing class. You can also read books or watch videos on the topic if classes are unavailable in your area.
  • Learn how to set up a car seat.
  • Decide how you will diaper. Traditional cloth diapers can save money vs. the disposable kind, but securing them may present problems for the physically challenged.
  • Learn how to administer first aid and CPR to children.

Parenting will bring you both happiness and occasions for unease. It’s never easy, but using the tips in this post will help you to rise to the challenge. Best of luck, and congratulations on becoming a parent!