Let’s talk baby proofing! I went straight to the expert and had the pleasure of interviewing Robert Lockheim of Baby Safe Homes.
How did you come to be an Advanced – Certified Professional Childproofer?
About six months after the birth of our first child in 1997, I set out to childproof my home and did what most parents do — head to the local retail store to purchase child safety devices. To my surprise, the employees lacked expertise, the selection of products poor, and quality of the merchandise mediocre. Returning home disappointed, I searched the Internet and browsed through catalogs. I ordered what I needed, and ten days later the items arrived. Though most of the products were good quality, many did not fit correctly or required some extensive know-how to install. In addition, I spent a small fortune on shipping costs. I wondered…”Who has time for all this? There has to be an easier way!” A few weeks later, after my home was “baby safe”, my concern grew for other families who may not have the time to find the best products nor the technical knowledge to properly install them. I had the desire to help families so their babies and toddlers could explore, learn and grow safely. With five children of my own Erik 17, Eli 14, Alex 11, Arin 8, and our little girl Hanna 2, I realize every day how quickly children get into hazards that new parents are not aware of, I want to do all I can to help other parents keep their family and children safe.
What are the biggest mistakes you see moms make when it comes to baby proofing?
Purchasing poor quality or improper products that provide a false sense of security. With the best of intentions, parents will visit their local retail store in search of baby safety products without realizing that not every product will fit or is appropriate for every situation. More often than not, the incorrect product is installed incorrectly and does not work properly only offering a false sense of security. The last thing you want is to think you have baby proofed something and in reality you have created another hazard. Just like there are many size shoes, not every shoe will fit every person.
Another common mistake is just not being aware of may of the safety hazards in your home. Almost every mom says to us “I would have never thought that was a danger”.
When do you think moms should start to consider baby proofing?
I recommend thinking about the safety of your baby as soon as you find out you are pregnant. Choosing the right furniture for the nursery and any are the baby will have access to is important. Begin looking around your home from your babies perspective (on your hands and knees). Actually baby proofing the home should take place between 6-9 months, just before your baby begins to crawl.
When you are in a mom’s home, what is your process and what should she expect from you?
We begin with a safety evaluation of the entire home where we walk through the home together and I point out safety hazards and make recommendation on how to we can resolve those problems. For issues requiring products, we will provide an itemized list of the proper safety products to baby proof their home and the installation fee to install those products. The mom has the option of taking advantage of our SAME DAY installation service where she can choose to have as much or as little of that work done that day.
We see so many baby proofing options in baby stores, why should a mom call you?
Although Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby carry a lot of quality products, unfortunately safety products are not one of them. In general, retail stores will carry the least expensive products so that consumers are more likely to make a purchase but do not necessarily offer the correct or best quality product. The number one cause of childhood injuries are accidents PREVENTABLE accidents in the home. We all spend a lot of money to buy the best diapers, the healthiest foods, the right pediatrician which is all important. Equally important is doing our best as a parent to minimize PREVENTABLE accidents and provide our babies and toddlers an environment where they can grow, learn and explore safely.
I hope this was as helpful for you as it was for me! For more information see www.babysafehomes.com.