Babyproofing 101: 10 Household Safety Hazards

Kitchen and Bedding

3. Kitchen Ranges

baby in crib

The danger: You know that your child can get burned if he touches a heating element or a hot pan, but did you know that an improperly installed range can fall forward if he leans on the front of it, or if he climbs on the open oven door? Toddlers have been critically injured when they tipped over a stove and were doused with a pot of scalding water.

Safe strategy: Make sure your free-standing or slide-in range is properly installed with anti-tip brackets that secure the rear legs to the floor. Manufacturers are required to provide these brackets on ranges made after 1991, but you can also contact the company for the parts, or order them from an appliance-parts store. Keep the oven door closed whenever you're not using the oven, and never allow your child to lean on or climb on the range or the open oven door.

4. Soft Bedding

The danger: Fluffy comforters and bumper pads may make a crib look warm and cozy, but soft bedding can mold around your baby's face and suffocate her. Although deaths from SIDS have dropped dramatically thanks to the widely publicized "Back to Sleep" campaign introduced in 1991, as many as 900 infants suffocate in soft bedding each year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Safe strategy: Place your baby on her back on a firm mattress covered with a tight-fitting mattress pad and sheet. Don't put pillows, comforters, thick bumper pads, or soft toys in the crib until your child is a year old. Keep her warm with a lightweight blanket that's tightly tucked around the mattress, or just dress her in a blanket sleeper.

Babyproofing Your Home: Crib
Babyproofing Your Home: Crib

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