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 IN THE NEWS


Expert Advice to Babyproof Your Home
KFMB-TV News - July 25, 2003

Hidden Hazards Could Put Children At Risk
KFMB-TV News - September 23, 2003

How To Protect Your Kids From Home Dangers
KFMB-TV News - May 12, 2005

 

Expert Advice to Babyproof Your Home

(07-25-2003) - Accidents in the home are one of the leading killers of infants and toddlers. That's why many parents are seeking professional advice to babyproof their homes. Child proofing experts can point out hazards you never thought of, and recommend the latest gadgets to keep little ones safe.

Making your home safe for baby can be a time-consuming chore. Like many new parents, LOCAL 8's Renee Sanchez put it off until the last minute.

"I thought I had at least six months to do it and now she's seven months and I'm panicking," said Sanchez.

So she got some professional help from child proofing expert Mike Bost from Baby Home Safety.

He found potential hazards everywhere, from the dresser in the nursery to the door stops throughout the house. Even an innocent looking house plant can be unsafe.

"Any live plant is a possible danger because many plants are toxic," said Bost.

New innovations are making baby proofing easier. Spring loaded outlet guards are more convenient than those old plastic plugs. Child proof covers work great on standard door knobs, but for doors with handles, a slider lock is what you need.

Most parents know the stairs need to be gated, but the rails of the banister are a less obvious threat.

"They could get part of their body through and their head stuck and be dangling off the edge," said Bost.

He recommends covering the rails with Plexiglas.

Whether you do it yourself or hire a pro, get the job done before little hands can get into big trouble.

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Hidden Hazards Could Put Children At Risk


(09-23-2003) - If you have young kids, you probably know to cover your electrical outlets and put safety gates on the stairs, but your home could be full of other dangers you've never thought about. There are some hidden hazards that may be putting your little ones at risk.

At ten months old, Britlyn Smith is getting more mobile every day, and exposing hidden hazards her mom never imagined.

The pet bowls in the kitchen pose a double threat. Kids can easily choke on the food or drown in as little as an inch of water.

Mike Bost with Baby Home Safety says waste baskets are another potential danger. Make sure little hands can't get to what you throw out.

"An easy solution is to simply take the wastebasket, put it under the sink and put a latch on the door," Bost said.

In the nursery, crib bumpers pose a suffocation risk for sleeping babies. Everyday baby oil can be very dangerous if it gets into the lungs.

"It can lead to damage, disability, or even death," he said.

When you pick up your dry cleaning, remove the plastic bags, which often hang low enough for little ones to reach. Also, secure your TV to the wall so there's no way a toddler could pull it over.

Bost has a simple idea to help find other hidden hazards you may never have noticed.

"Crawl around your house and get the child's point of view of what things are in reach," he said. "A lot of hazards will stare right back at you."

One more hazard that's often overlooked is women's handbags. They can contain medicines, coins and other items that spell trouble if ingested. Be sure you - and your visitors - keep them away from curious hands.
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How To Protect Your Kids From Home Dangers

(05-12-05) Home Sweet Home or so the expression goes. But while your home may be sweet, it may not be as safe as you think - especially for your little ones.

LOCAL 8 asked two child safety experts to walk through the home of Sylvia and David Borgo, looking for hidden dangers that could harm the couple's six-month-old son Diego.

Kim Bost, the owner of Baby Home Safety, and Armando Locano, a California State day care inspector, offered some advice. They started in the kitchen, the site for many household accidents.

"We would be checking every single drawer to make sure that does have latches," Locano said.

Latches are critical because toddlers and children can easily get into drawers, getting their hands on sharp utensils, chemicals and cleaning products. But if you still need access to those dangerous items, make sure they're always kept secure.

"It's really inconvenient if it's something that you're using all the time to put it away... so we recommend that you put a really good safety latch under the sink," Bost said.

Other tips for keeping your kitchen safe -- Move the knives off the counter and put them in a secure cabinet or closet. And avoid using tablecloths or placemats. A baby will pull on them and could be hurt by what's on the table.

In the living and dining room, furniture may be comfortable, but not necessarily baby-friendly.

Sharp edges on furniture could harm a child. Consider removing or replacing those pieces with cloth versions. Electrical cords should be tied up or secured using a Baby Safe Box. And bookcases need to be anchored to the wall.

"Anything that's tall is really easy to tip over," Bost said. "So we recommend that you either secure that to the wall or kind of secure it behind furniture."

In the bathroom, our experts found hidden dangers. A medicine cabinet may seem too high for a child to reach, but if they pull out the drawers, they can easily get on the counter. And toilets are dangerous because a baby can fall in and drown. Our experts recommend locking or cleaning out the medicine cabinet, installing toilet locks, and putting latches on the bathroom drawers.

For those who have stairs in their home, gates are essential.

"Definitely a mounted gate because the danger is if you do have a pressure gate, the child pushes and the gate becomes dislodged and boom down the stairs," Bost said.

Baby-proofing a home can feel overwhelming, but to make the job easier, companies such as Baby Home Safety offer a variety of baby-proofing devices.

Above all, parents should think like a child.

"We actually recommend that you as a parent get down on your hands and knees... crawl around and you will see things that a baby will see," Bost said.

While these changes may seem like a lot of effort, the Borgos say it's well worth it.

"You don't want to say no all the time -- no don't touch this, no don't sit, no don't stand, no don't walk there," Sylvia Borgo said. "So you just have to make sure that everything is safe enough for them to explore."

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