September is Baby Safety Month, brought to the world by the Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association. This year their theme is ‘A Room with a View,’ or safeguarding against hidden hazards in the rooms of your home. So we thought this would be a good time to review baby safety tips, especially around fireplaces.
Photo caption: Baby plus fireplace equals a need for constant supervision
- Cover electrical outlets. Baby’s little fingers do not belong in the electrical outlets, so outlet covers are a necessity.
- Turn pan handles turned toward the counter or stove, not sticking out where baby is likely to reach up and pull.
- Don’t use freestanding fireplace screens. These can topple on your baby. Or, worse, your baby can lean against it and fall towards the fire.
- Consider containing your child in a play pen while the fire is burning. Make sure he or she has plenty of toys to stay entertained.
- Contain the fireplace with a screen that encloses your fireplace and hearth. The screen should have a secure gate for when you need to start the fire or add wood. Remember, supervision is still necessary.
- Be sure your vents aren’t blocked. Carbon monoxide from burning coal and wood can endanger your baby just as much as the fire itself. Regular cleaning and maintenance of vents prevents carbon monoxide buildup. Keep a window cracked, just in case.
- If you own a fireplace, a carbon monoxide alarm is crucial. Since carbon monoxide has no odor, taste or smell, an alarm is your best friend.
- The sharp corners of raised hearths can bruise little bodies. A flame retardant hearth pad will be easier on your little explorer.
- The glass doors on gas fireplaces get very hot, and stay hot long after the fire is turned off. Put a baby fence in front of the glass doors to prevent burns.
How good are you at finding hidden hazards to your baby? Play the hidden hazard game here.
And if you need any advice on improving the look of your fireplace with a lovely mantel – or just need more fire safety help – give us a call at Old World Stoneworks today.