Health

Making your home safe for baby’s first steps

Blessing’s phone rang. It was her friend, Ngozi. Where are you? My baby almost died this morning. What happened, Blessing inquired, shocked.
 
She was trying to move her legs, but stumbled on the couch. Before we knew it, blood had covered her face. We are in the hospital now, quite close to my house. I’m sorry Blessing.
Excited as you may be about your baby taking the first steps, try to be patient. Every child has a time frame for reaching this milestone. The best help you can offer is to be encouraging, set up safety measures, and wait. Soon enough, the pitter-patter of little feet will be all over your house.
There is need to make your home safe for baby’s first steps.First, your newly mobile baby can get around faster than you think.
Remove low tables with sharp corners that are hard to cover well enough to prevent injury.  Reports have shown that lacerations above or at the eyebrows are so common among infants learning to walk. Put away furniture that topples easily.
Search thoroughly through your home for trailing cords or other items your child might trip on. Put away throw rugs, re-tack loose carpet, and have siblings pick up their toys.
Install safety gates at the top and the bottom of the stairs, and supervise your baby on the stairs. Lock up all potentially harmful household substances.
Should you buy a walker? The short answer is no. Some countries have banned sale of walkers. This is because each year, thousands of children end up in the hospital due to injuries from using walkers, such as toppling down the stairs or reaching a hot stove.
Indoors, it is best to let your child walk around barefoot. Baby’s feet can grab slippery surfaces, like wood and tile floors, better. Outdoors, baby’ll need a pair of shoes.
For a perfect fit, don’t shop for shoes first thing in the morning, since feet grow about 5 percent by the end of the day.
Your child should be standing when you check for shoe fitting. You should be able to press the full width of your thumb between the tip of the shoe and the end of her toe, and there should be just enough room at the heel.
 

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