Johannesburg - Babies don’t stay small for long, and proud new parents need to baby-proof their homes well in advance of their children starting to crawl and walk.
In fact, says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group, the best time to do this is while they are still decorating the nursery, choosing names and shopping for baby clothes and toys – because they are unlikely to have much spare time after they bring their newborn home.
Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter, he notes that the Child Accident Prevention Foundation (www.childsafe.org.za) states that it is the responsibility of parents and caregivers to provide a safe home environment for their children - but the majority of serious injuries to children still occur in and around their own homes.
“Quite simply, this means that parents need to view their familiar surroundings in a new light and do more to anticipate and combat any possible dangers to their babies and small children.
“And it’s never too early to start: Even tiny babies wriggle and move and push against things with their feet, and things only get more hazardous for them when they start rolling, crawling and walking.”
The foundation suggests that parents and caregivers should crawl around their homes themselves to see the child-height dangers, and its website provides room-by-room suggestions for improving safety as well as details of what parents should look out for as their children grow.
Meanwhile, Everitt says, a few of the must-do items for parents-to-be include: