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Fall Safety Tips for Babies and Toddlers

Our week of baby safety ends with some tips for keeping both babies and toddlers safe through the fall and winter months. Autumn brings about several changes in Houston, including relief from the intense summer heat and days that are much shorter. Most household schedules change as well; parents must juggle school and daycare in addition to after school activities and weekends full of events. With a busy household, it’s easy to overlook safety issues that affect the very young. Universal has compiled a list of indoor safety essentials for babies and toddlers during the cooler seasons.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) – When the temperatures begin to dip in the late fall, the issue of dry indoor air becomes important. Though Houston is categorized as a humid subtropical climate, there are weeks and sometimes months of low humidity, especially November through February. If the air in your home is too dry, it can greatly affect the health of your infant. Irritated skin, scratchy throat, nose bleeds and breathing issues can be a result. Consider using a humidifier in their room during periods where the air in your home is dry.

More on Proper IAQ for Infants

Blackouts – Fall and winter rain storms can often cause power outages. If you lose power during a cold snap, never use portable generators, ovens or charcoal/gas grills to keep warm. These are all appliances that emit carbon dioxide, which is an undetectable poison that affects young children much faster than adults. Have a backup plan for potential power outages including installing a whole home backup generator to ensure uninterrupted power.

Smoke Alarms – The NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association) recommends installing a smoke detector outside every bedroom – as well as inside every bedroom. This is especially important for the rooms of babies and infants. Make sure that you check the batteries of the alarms every month to ensure they are working properly.

Childproof Outlets – It’s easy to forget that your tiny bundle will soon be crawling and walking. Infants begin crawling around the ages of six – ten months old. As soon as they are able to crawl, they are able to get into mischief. Before they can move about the floor on their own, make sure that you install childproof covers on all the accessible electrical outlets. Infants and toddlers can be seriously hurt, even mortally wounded, by placing objects into outlets.

Heat/Fire Danger – According to the NFPA, half of home heating equipment fires happen during the months of December, January and February. If your home has a fireplace or you use a portable space heater to keep rooms warm, remember to keep babies and infants at least 3 feet away from them. Always use a fireplace screen to keep any embers from starting a fire and never leave a baby in a room alone with a portable space heater.

Water Heater – It’s a good rule of thumb to set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees. Most units come pre-set at 140 degrees, which might scald your baby during a bath. Consider testing the temperature to find the perfect setting for all of your household needs. You might find that 110 degrees is warm enough for everyone; which could save a little money on utilities as well.

At Universal, because we are experts on electrical, HVAC and plumbing, we are especially mindful of the impact that each specialized field has on the safety of your household. We are dedicated to keeping Houston homes safe for the entire family. If you have any problems with your electrical, HVAC or plumbing this fall, don’t hesitate to give us a call! We will make sure that your service is repaired before your household’s health or comfort are compromised! Call us today at (713) 364-0226or contact us online.