5 Ways to Earthquake Proof Your Baby

newborn feet by Sean DrellingerYour baby has just arrived, so exciting! It is a time of sleepless nights, joy, and new experiences. You’ve done what you can to prepare your home and life for this tiny new person. But is your new baby ready for an earthquake?  Are you?

It’s not hard to make baby earthquake safety plans.  Do you have a home emergency kit? Have you figured out an emergency plan for your whole family? Do you know how to drop, cover, and hold on? Being earthquake ready yourself will make looking after your baby post-quake so much easier!

If you look at our Get Ready Quick pages, we offer easy-to-understand instructions on securing furniture and other items in your home.  Now is the time to take a good look at your baby’s room and figure out what needs to be secured for earthquakes.

Here are 5 top ways you can make baby safe

      1. Are there bookcases or cabinets in your baby’s bedroom?  You can secure a bookcase in just a few minutes using earthquake straps or L-brackets.  When we visited Telstarlogistic’s home, we found that he had a tchotchke-covered bookcase directly above his daughter Miel’s bed!  We helped him fix that problem in a hurry so Miel would not experience a rain of tchotchke while she was sleeping.
      1. Now is also the time to get child-proof latches for your cabinets, so their contents do not go flying around the room during a quake.  You will need them once your baby reaches toddler stage for certain, so why not put them in today to make those cabinets earthquake-safe.
      2. First5 LA recommends using baby-bumpers in your baby’s crib or bassinet, so when an earthquake strikes, she will be safe and secure when sleeping.
      3. Also you need to remember to drop, cover, and hold on when an earthquake strikes, even if your baby is in the next room. You will not be much help to your baby if you get brained by falling debris while running through your house in an earthquake!
      4. Be sure to only put soft, light items over your baby’s crib, no glass framed pictures, or heavy artwork.  Also pay attention to how those ever-so-entertaining mobiles are secured to the ceiling or crib.  Be sure to secure it with earthquake safe hooks so it doesn’t fall down. Your little one will no longer think its fun if it falls on her and you have to untangle her from it after the earthquake. Why give her a reason to cry or be afraid if you can avoid it?
      5. Put a go-bag for baby together and keep it under the crib. Think of it as the supplies you always carry when you go out with her for the day.  The go-bag should have everything you need to take baby away for three days.  Think about the daily needs your baby has, such as formula, diapers, baby wipes water, pacifier, blanket and change of clothes, then put three days worth of those needs in her go-bag. Latch it to the crib leg with a bungee cord, hooked short and tight so baby can’t get her hands between the ropes.

You will be so pleased that you have planned ahead for you and your baby for the next earthquake.  It is easy and will make any emergency less of a worry.  Then, years from now, you can happily tell your daughter the story: “You don’t remember, but when you were a baby, there was a big earthquake, and the whole house shook!”

Photo credit: Sean Drellinger on Flickr.

Posted in Earthquake Professionals
4 comments on “5 Ways to Earthquake Proof Your Baby
  1. Hi folks,

    I notice in a lot of your emails (which I love, by the way), you are telling people to be prepared to be without for 3 days. That is old advice. The Red Cross (and others, I’m sure) now recommend that we are prepared to be without for up to 2 weeks. Think Katrina & Sandy. Just thought you might want to revise your advice.

    • Elizabeth Rood says:

      Hi Larry,
      everyone’s level of preparedness really depends on their circumstances. A family living in a rural area definitely needs to think beyond a 72 hour window. City-dwellers, with limited space are going to encounter serious problems storing emergency supplies for two weeks.

      What we are trying to encourage people to do is prepare for *at least* the 72 hours after an earthquake happens. If one has the resources to prepare for more than three days, that is wonderful, however getting people to act on preparations for the first 72 hours after an earthquake is essential. For more information, please see: http://72hours.org/

  2. Arianna says:

    While I enjoy most of these ideas, I take issue with the crib bumpers. Pediatricians now recommend AGAINST crib bumpers as potential suffocation hazards to babies. First 5 LA should know this. http://healthland.time.com/2011/10/24/pediatricians-on-sids-no-to-crib-bumpers-yes-to-vaccines-and-breast-feeding/

  3. adis buric says:

    Hi, could you please suggest some more sources where i could get reliable information about best beby crib ? Thanks .

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