Baby-proof home to ensure safety

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 May, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 May, 2010, 12:00am

Becoming new parents is always an exciting time for couples, but mums and dads should make sure they baby-proof their house to avoid any unfortunate accidents happening to their baby.

In Hong Kong, about 60 to 70 per cent of parents acknowledge the importance of baby-proofing their homes, which is considered high, according to Danny Yuen, product manager of 0/3 Baby Collection.

The most popular baby-proofing methods and products used by Hong Kong parents include door gates, play pens, baby chairs and cots.

But Yuen says these aren't enough and there are some areas parents often overlook, which can lead to tragic accidents. 'Hong Kong homes are typically small, and some parents may not have the space to put in a baby crib, so they sleep with their babies. This can cause accidents, because the adults might roll over and squash the baby without realising it, suffocating their child,' he says.

Another item parents should take notice of is the mattress of a baby's cot.

'Make sure the mattress in the baby's crib is not too soft or the baby might suffer from Sudden infant death syndrome [Sids] if they roll over and sleep on their stomachs,' Yuen says.

He also advises parents not to put the baby bed close to curtains or curtain strings so the baby won't choke if they get tangled up.

Danger zones are also different for houses and apartments.

'Door gates can be used for many areas and, for families who live in apartments, they should have one put at the doorway leading out to the balcony and, for houses, one should be put where the stairs are,' Yuen says.

When buying baby-proofing products, Yuen advises parents to look at the safety labels on the packaging before purchasing.

Baby products usually go by the European Union Safety Standards and the American Safety Standards which will be stated on the packaging.

Besides looking for safety labels, parents should also be aware of how up-to-date the safety standards are.

'Safety standards are updated after a period of time and parents should make sure the safety standard is not outdated. At this point, parents should make sure that the baby product is tested against safety standards that were established after 2005,' Yuen says.

Similar to a number of lifestyle products, companies create new ranges of products based on the market demand.

'Longevity is one of the main concerns of parents right now. They want baby products that can be used after their children grow up,' Yuen says.

One of the new products by 0/3 Baby Collection is Victor, an extendable baby cot which can be transformed into an adult-size bed.

Another new product is Family Fix, which includes an IsoFix base that secures a child's car seat in a vehicle and does not require any seat-belt fastening. This prevents children from being suffocated if parents fasten their car seat incorrectly, and a car accident occurs.

Yuen also predicts that environmentally-friendly products will be a popular trend in the near future.