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Playing It Safe

Parents can never be too safe when it comes to their child’s safety. Learn infant/child and adult CPR from certified American Heart Association instructors at the MoonSoup Early Childhood center. This essential course covers CPR for infants, children, and adults as well as choking and other emergency procedures. With the course registration, a book and take home materials will be provided. —This extensive class is critical so that parents can be prepared to save the life of a child or another family member. This 2.6 hour course is taught by excellent instructors in a small group environment to ensure maximum attention and practice for each participant. Enroll in this hands-on course by phone or register in person so that you can feel confident when it comes to safety and emergency procedures. There are two opportunities to partake in this seminar. One will be held on Friday, April 1st at 6:30pm and the other will be held on Saturday, April 2nd at 6:00pm. Sign up soon as space is limited! $75/person. MoonSoup Early Childhood Center 1059 Second Avenue @ 56th Street. Call 212-319-3222; moonsoup.net.

Playing It Safe

 

With the seemingly endless array of childproofing items on the market, preparing your home for a new baby can seem like a daunting undertaking. However, it doesn’t have to be, according to James Hirtenstein, founder of Baby-Safe Inc.

“Think about what you are looking to accomplish in terms of safety, as well as maintaining the aesthetic of your home,” Hirtenstein says. “There are ways to make your home safe without turning it upside down aesthetically.”

Hirtenstein recommends all parents invest in a professional childproofing consultation, which can help you determine exactly what you need for your home.

“Every home is different, and every child is different,” says Hirtenstein. “An assessment is extensive and covers anything that could be a potential hazard.”

Fred Ilarraza of Brooklyn’s Baby Bodyguards advises parents to look at their home from a baby’s vantage point. “Get down and look around and see the world the way your kid is going to see it,” he says.

Once you know what you need, do a bit of research before you hit the stores and sites. Talk to other parents about their favorite products, read customer reviews online, and ask store owners for recommendations. Finally, look for items that are approved by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. If an item is JPMA-approved, “you can rest assured that it will do the job it is advertised for,” says Hirtenstein.

Here are some of Hirtenstein and Ilarraza’s best safety tips.

BUILDING BASICS: Talk to your landlord or building management about carbon monoxide alarms—every apartment should have one. Also, install a fire alarm in every room in your home, and consider buying a personal fire extinguisher. Older buildings should also be checked for lead paint. If yours was built before 1978, discuss lead poisoning prevention with the owner. Finally, make sure all your windows are equipped with proper window guards, which are recommended until your children are 10-years-old.

LOCKS AND BOLTS: All parents should install cabinet and drawer latches, toilet locks, furniture anchors and stair gates (for both the bottom and top of staircases). Place covers on all outlets and power strips, even those that you think are out of the baby’s reach. Use a one-piece plastic door stop instead of a door stopper with a removable plastic tip, which can be a choking hazard.

TABLE TOPS: To make your tables baby-friendly, cover corners with corner guards (if you install them upside down they won’t be in the way). However, Ilarraza says that tablecloths are actually the greater danger. “We have at least 10 incidents of this a year in Brooklyn—you put a cup of coffee on a small table and the kid pulls the tablecloth down,” he says. To be safe, remove all tablecloths that hang within the baby’s reach, especially those on tables that might hold a heavy or sharp object.

SMALL PIECES: Put away refrigerator magnets that are smaller than business cards, advises Ilarraza. Replace tack message boards with boards made of felt or Velcro.

CRIBS: While every parent wants to find the perfect, stylish crib for the nursery, crib safety is the most important factor when making this key purchase. Consumer Reports offers a free online crib buying guide that includes information on mattress, sheet and bedding safety. Keep baby monitors and wires secured to a wall and away from the crib, and never leave the monitor in the crib with the baby.

BATHTUBS: Washing your baby in a slippery sink can be unpleasant for the baby and a lot of work for you! Invest in a baby bathtub with a slip-proof interior to make bath time safer and less stressful. In addition, Safety 1st, Munchkin and Especially for Baby all make rubber duck bath thermometers, which can gauge if the bath water is too hot for an infant’s sensitive skin.

Additional reporting by Teresa Tobat.