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September is Baby Safety Month – Baby Proofing Musts

Safety Mom Solutions Baby Proofing in Westchester, NY & Fairfield County

September has been designated Baby Safety Month and baby proofing your home should be one of your top priorities.  At Safety Mom Solutions, we have a team of trained baby proofers throughout Fairfield, CT and Westchester, NY available to assist clients with jobs large and small. Often this includes installation of stairway gates, window guards and cabinet locks, but we also advise on positioning of furniture to avoid strangulation hazards from cord blinds and wires in the nursery.

Here are a few things to consider when baby proofing your home:

  • Loose  coins and medication on the nightstand – Everyone always looks around the  nursery but think about how much time your toddler spends in your room.  Are they climbing in bed with you in the  morning?  Then they have access to all  sorts of items on your nightstand.
  • Scalding  water from the bathtub – Do you know that the majority of burns occur  because of hot water, not flames?  If you
    have access to your water heater turn it down to 110° F.  If you don’t, got to your local hardware store and purchase a scald protector which can be attached to your water  faucet.
  • Topple  over accidents – Heavy furniture and TVs falling over on children is more  common than most parents realize.  Over 245 children were killed in the past ten years due to furniture tip overs.  Secure all furniture to walls with furniture  straps or L Brackets and use TV straps to secure TVs that cannot be mounted directly on walls.
  • Poisoning  from personal hygiene products – Parents often realize that cleaning  products need to be kept away from children but they don’t consider toiletries  such as mouthwash, hair gels and talcum powder.  All of these are toxic when ingested by a child.  Install locks on all bathroom cabinets as  well as kitchen cabinets.

To have a Safety Mom Solutions safety consultant do an assessment of your home, call us at 203-594-7452.

“Latch on NYC” – A Restriction on Baby Formula

Bloomberg Trying to Restrict Baby Formula in NYC Hospitals

 

The movement towards restricted formula use in 27 New York hospitals has women across the nation angered. It seems that this is almost an insensitive infringement onto the rights women have to feed their newborns formula.

This initiative will keep formula locked up in storage at hospitals in order to better monitor its use and discontinue free infant formula being distributed at the time of discharge, disallow the display of formula promotional materials in hospitals, and ensure the greater implementation of regulations forbidding the use of formula on infants unless medically required.

While breast feeding babies is undoubtedly the healthiest choice, and should always be urged as the first choice, the fact of the matter is that sometimes it just is not physically possible to nurse.

In speaking with other moms and their experiences nursing, it is apparent that many people do, in fact, suffer from desperately yearning to nurse their babies but simply not being able to.

“I knew it was ‘best’ to breast feed so the guilt I felt when I gave up at two weeks was awful,” said one mom about her painful experience – where her nursing attempts were hours long because her son could not latch on. Come to find out, her pediatrician ended up recommending formula because of allergic reactions her baby was having to her breast milk.

Another mom reported the intense pressure she felt in the hospital to breast feed her twin boys upon their birth. “They had the nerve to tell me I was ruining my boys’ lives,” she says of the nurses, sharing that she had a high fever and infection following delivery.

Clearly, in situations like these when mothers have been educated on the benefits of breast feeding and actively attempt to nurse their babies only for it to prove impossible, the criticism from nurses and hospital workers does nothing but catalyze stress and guilt in these new moms.

With that said, what are your thoughts on NYC’s “Latch on NYC” initiative? What have your experiences been with breast feeding, and furthermore, how would you feel if the hospital you birthed your child in had these same rules?

Baby Proofing in Connecticut

Babyproofing Services Make the Process Easier

 

Some may think that baby proofing is overly neurotic, and while it may seem to be a hassle, it is not only necessary but can be made painless and easy.  There are so many items in our homes that pre-baby seemed totally harmless and safe, but then once a new baby comes home from the hospital instantly become dangerous. Because babies and toddlers spend the majority of their time at home, your home must be safe. Nearly two million emergency room visits are made by children age four and under due to accidents in the home. Furthermore, Dr. William Sears, author of The Baby Book, says that one every three infant deaths happen as a result of an accident. Scary, right? Actually, more like downright terrifying.

But do not fret – baby proofing can eliminate many of the dangers that cause accidents …and best of all, it can be done easily! When you think of baby proofing your house it seems like this big, monstrous, overwhelming idea –like many other aspects of having a brand new baby. There seems to be an endless list of dangerous items that your child cannot touch, sit on, step on, or even look at for goodness sake. And with a million other things to do when you have an infant in the house, you might say to yourself, “Baby proofing my house can wait” or, “I don’t really need to do this”. And on top of that, there are dozens of baby proofing products on the market, and buying them all can start to add up. But, we have narrowed it down to a few simple tips to make your house baby safe and friendly in a simple way that does not break the bank:
Put all dangerous products (such as cleaning products and knives) in high cabinets and drawers that are out of reach to a crawling baby

Find out which plants in and around your home are poisonous or can be harmful and make sure a child could not get their hands on them. Remove magnets from refrigerator doors – they could fall and are small enough for a child to choke on

Baby Proofing Your Staircase with a Safety Gate – How to Install a Baby Safety Gate

How To Install a Baby Safety Gate

Don’t be confused by the term baby proofing – it’s as much about toddlers who are tearing around the house as it is about crawlers. And securing your staircase by installing a baby safety gate is the number one consideration when preventing accidents in your home. As the owner of Safety Mom Solutions, a baby proofing company in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, I receive too many calls from parents after an accident has occurred. Emergency room doctors agree – the time to call a baby proofer is before you even bring your baby home for the first time. But, if you’re going to try to install a baby gate for a staircase yourself, here are a few things to consider:

Hardware-mounted gates are the best and most commonly used. They are the only gates that should be used at the top of the stairs. A gate at the top of a staircase is the most critical one that you will install and must be hardware mounted. It needs to be drilled and attached to both sides of the gate location. Here are a few things to look for:

  • A gate that’s easy to use with one-handed operation.
  • A safety mechanism that prevents it from opening out over the stairs and will only allow it to open toward you.
  • A gate that automatically locks when you shut it to reduce the chance of “user error.”
  • Some of these gates are self-latching, which means you will not have to turn around to close the gate. Simply swing the gate behind you until it hits the latch, and it will lock itself.

Gates installed at the top of the stairs should have a special safety bracket or mechanism that prevents them from opening out over the stairs. Most often, stairway gates are attached with the hinged side to the wall and the latch side to the post. Instructions for installation are as
follows:
■Assemble gate
■Hold at top step. You do not want the gate to be out over the step in any way. You also want the gate to be straight across the step
■Mark the hinged side and measure up 7” to mark the first hole
■Check for studs.
■Install wood rail, if necessary, and attach hinge to rail/wall/doorway.
■Attach gate to hinge.
■Use level to make sure gate is level.
■Extend gate to proper size.
■Mark gate contact point on latch side.
■Install post kit/baluster kit/ wood rail, if necessary.
■Mark latch holes and pre-drill.
■Attach latch.
■Adjust gate so it latches well and is secure.
■You can use Velcro squares on the latch to cut down metal on metal noise and on the gate itself where it hits the wall
■Lean hard on the gate to be sure it’s secure and can withstand a child pushing on it.

Gates at the bottom of the stairs will follow the same instructions as those for the top of the stairs. Sometimes, the gate at the bottom of the stairs will need to be installed one or two steps up to achieve a cleaner, more secure install. Many staircases have radius banisters that make a bottom step install more difficult.

The pressure-mounted walk-through gate is an extremely popular style of gate because it can be installed in a few minutes without the use of special tools. As its name implies, it adjusts to the width of the opening to tighten against two solid wall surfaces. These gates should never be used at the top of the stairs. They are generally used in low traffic areas that aren’t often entered. While they are easy to install and relatively convenient to use, these gates do have drawbacks. Each time you walk through the gate, you will need to turn around and realign it to lock it. If you have a baby or packages in your arms, this may not be easy to do. All pressure-mounted gates will loosen over time, depending upon how frequently they are used, so they need to be checked often and adjusted as necessary. Also, the bar under the portion of the gate that opens to maintain the pressure can be a tripping hazard.

Dealing with the 500-pound gorilla in your aging parents’ home

The relationship between an adult child and her aging parents can best be described by the word “denial.” We ask the right questions – are they safe, are they taking their meds – but we often don’t dwell too much and we take them at their word. Because, if we really looked at them and saw how they are aging, it would require us to acknowledge that we ourselves are getting old and we have become the caretaker.

From their perspective, our parents really don’t want to discuss with us what’s going on with them or their spouse. First, they don’t want to burden us. They think we have enough on our minds as it is (they’re right.) But they also don’t want to be told what to do or to admit that their spouse might be in worse condition then you realize. They’ll deny as long as possible that they need help.

This relationship is the epitome of “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell.” Neither side wants to bring up the tough questions that must be asked. Unfortunately, all too often, financial and legal issues such as power of attorney, end of life decisions, estate planning are not discussed. It’s heavy stuff and certainly not a fun conversation but far better to discuss these things with your parents when they are capable of making decisions rather than being forced to guess what they really wanted.

Seniors also become so comfortable in their own home that they refuse to see the dangers that exist as well. The carpet that has some holes or the step that’s broken present serious safety hazards. One fall could mean the loss of their independence yet they can be stubborn as heck about allowing someone to come in and make repairs. Their rationale is that they’ve never fallen before, why should they worry now? It’s pretty much the same as a teen saying why should he worry about getting in a car crash while texting as it’s never happened before.

Bringing up these subjects with your aging parents is never easy and sometimes requires a third party mediator such as their clergy member, a geriatric social worker or a trusted friend. As the CEO of Safety Mom Senior Solutions, I work with adult children to understand the safety risks their parents face and how we can help modify their home to allow them to “age in place.” My team listens to seniors and understands their objections and concerns. We review emergency plans, conducts safety assessments and install products such as grab bars, wheel chair ramps, stair rails and automatic lighting.
Having these conversations with your parents might not be easy but helping them stay safe and having a plan is key to avoiding future problems.

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