MILWAUKEE — September is Baby Safety Month and, of course, parents want to keep their kids happy, healthy and safe. For moms and dads with babies and toddlers that can be tough as they learn to navigate the world, but there are plenty of ways to protect the tiny loved ones in your family.
Babies and toddlers are energetic, active and growing up quickly. As most parents know that means there's going to be bumps and bruises along the way.
But, it's Lisa Klindt Simpson's mission to make sure it's nothing worse.
Klindt Simpson works for Safe Kids. The national organization partners locally with Children's Hospital of Wisconsin to educate the community on how to avoid injuries and keep children of all ages safe.
Klindt Simpson says for little ones prevention starts in the home.
"With babies, they're in the home more often. So, the falls are more frequently going to happen in the home," Klindt Simpson said.
One safety must-have to help babies avoid falls are baby gates and choosing the right one for the right location is important.
"There are some that are pressurized. We don't recommend those at the top of the steps because that day that your child had that growth spurt, ate their Wheaties and they're extra strong — they might be able to push that," Klindt Simpson explained.
Klindt Simpson says while gates are useful, knowing when they should come down can be equally important.
"If you have a climber or your child is at that point of going over the gate is easier than pushing it, then it's time to reconsider using those gates because now you're putting a hazard in place instead of a safety item," Klindt Simpson said.
Another safety item parents should use is a harness. Harnesses are on most products for babies and toddlers like high chairs, booster seats and changing tables.
"They're not just there as a decorative item," Klindt joked.
She says always use a harness if it's available, but don't rely on it.
"It's there to aide us. It's not an end all. So, once your child is strapped in — don't assume that that will be the complete end to your child falling," Klindt Simpson said.
No matter what products you have in your home — remember that babies can change overnight. So, Klindt Simpson says know they're developmental stage.
"You might have your house setup for a baby and before you know they're an active toddler and your house isn't ready for a toddler. So, on a monthly, re-look at your house to see if what you have is adequate for your child ," Klindt Simpson recommended.
And, in the end, Klindt Simpson says no product can replace your eyes.
"Supervision is key," she said.