What Is Baby Proofing?

What is baby proofing? Explanation and history of baby proofing. Baby proofing is making a safe environment for children. Nothing is foolproof or guaranteed to be absolutely without risk, but in baby proofing...

Baby proofing is making a safe environment for children. Nothing is foolproof or guaranteed to be absolutely without risk, but in baby proofing a home, the goal is to maximize safety and minimize risk.

"Baby proofing is a broad statement as there is no right or wrong way to baby or child proof a home, because every parent approaches it very differently," says Mark Altman, an expert on baby proofing and founder and owner of The Childproofer.

"Some parents, depending on their background prefer a heavier level of protection and address more areas. There are other parents who choose to do very minimal things. When it comes to child proofing, every parent approaches it differently," says Altman.

However, the goal is to keep our children safe, as best we can. "At a minimum, you need to always be aware and address the more life-threatening issues," Altman says.

"Typical injuries that result from not baby or child proofing are burns, choking, drowning, entanglement or strangulation. Those are the different risk categories," says Altman.

While attaching foam guards to a coffee table may prevent a nasty cut from a fall, and possibly a head injury, some of the more vital child or baby proofing areas encompass the categories Altman listed above. For instance, while drowning is a major risk for children under 5 in particular, parents need to address more than pools or even bathtubs in assessing risks in their homes. Young children can drown in quite shallow water and in small containers like buckets, or barrels or even toilets. Since it's such a high risk category, baby proofing has to deal with these crucial areas.

Even a parent who tends toward the minimalist approach in baby proofing must concentrate on those main risk categories to eliminate as much as possible the areas and activities that pose that greatest danger.

"Child proofing is educating families to what the issues are and doing something about it to help reduce the risk of injury to their children. That's accomplished through products as well as education," says Altman.

Baby or child proofing has more than the effect of eliminating negative outcomes. Baby proofing can also create a more harmonious living environment. If the home is baby proofed, there are fewer reasons for parents to go around shouting, "No! Don't touch!"

Parents can spend more time playing and relaxing with their children instead of constantly correcting or worse yet, running to the emergency room.

Baby proofing or child proofing is not however, a one-time thing. You don't go through your home one day when your baby is a one-month-old and make it safe to take them through elementary school. As your child grows and changes, his or her environment will change as well. How the child interacts with the environment changes, and the baby or child proofing must adapt to the new and constantly evolving situation. How often will a parent need to update the baby proofing? It depends on each parent's preferred level of protection. However, if you are shopping for new clothes for your child, you can guess that they are reaching more developmental milestones along with a new notch on the growth chart, and there are new risks to go along with the progress.

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