I first saw "Dr. Baby Proofer" (aka Thom Golden) at the Cry Baby Matinee and then again when he was invited to come meet with our playgroup.
We hadn't done too much baby proofing around our home since we've only recently moved in so there wasn't too much stuff to get out of Peanut's way. We had gotten the plastic outlet covers and installed some latches on a few kitchen cabinets.
Dr. Baby Proofer came in with some surprising info:
- those plastic outlet covers are a chocking hazard and kids can easily pull them out (plus parents often forget to put them back!). Better are the sliding outlet covers.
- cabinet latches that let the cabinet open slightly often cause many little fingers to get hurt and are easily operated by toddlers once they see you use them enough! Best are the Tot Lock magnetic locks.
- wooden baby gates are dangerous & they should never open out over a staircase lest a little one open it and topple down the stairs
- no bumpers on the crib - EVER - some chance of strangulation or even suffocation or possible link to SIDS
- infant seats in cars should be used with the handle locked in the down position
- He highly recommended avoiding the "Safety First" brand for all baby proofing products EXCEPT for the Tot Lock magnet locking system for cabinets.
- Care givers (ie, anyone but mom & dad) need an authorization letter signed by you if they need to take your baby to the emergency room. Otherwise, the hospital is legally prevented from taking any action until it becomes a matter of life or death. This seems insane, but is evidently the way it is. Keep a copy of the letter in your diaper bag and in a visible place at home.
His main point was that accidents always happen in the blink of an eye, when you turn your back for just a second -- baby proofing gear is not there to prevent it, simply to give you a few extra seconds to find out what's going on and to personally stop your baby.
Dr. Baby Proofer is happy to come to your home to make recommendations on how to best baby proof your home -- and he'll sell you the gear to do it!