Written by Ashley Taylor
Since 1996, Parents with Disabilities Online has been providing support and information to parents with disabilities across the United States. It’s a platform for other moms and dads with disabilities to exchange ideas, pose questions and lean on one another for help. The organization keeps growing with new resources and materials. If you’re ever in need of more advice or instruction, be sure to visit this website often.
There’s a lot of work that goes into getting your home ready for a baby. One of the biggest concerns most parents have is about safety. When you have a disability, you not only have to think about the baby, but also you have to think about yourself and how that might affect the way you do things moving forward. Below are some simple ways to ensure that you create a safe environment for both you and your little one.
- Build an accessible space for your home. If you have steps, replace them with a ramp. This helps to reduce your and your baby’s chances of falling and getting injured. Ramps can cost anywhere from around $900 to slightly less than $3,000.
- Purchase expandable hinges for doorways. The standard hinge doesn’t provide a great deal of doorway passage space; however, with expandable hinges, you can get up to 2 extra inches since they enable doors to open level with the wall. It’s safer and provides better access for mobility between rooms in your home.
- Install a skid-resistant flooring to prevent slips. More than 8 million visits to the emergency room each year are due to fall related injuries, according to the National Floor Safety Institute. Unfortunately, falling is also fatal — It’s the cause for about half of all deadly accidents at home.
While falls are never completely preventable, skid-resistant flooring is especially helpful in decreasing your and your baby’s chances of slipping and getting hurt. Keep in mind that a floor is usually labeled as safe if it has a Static Coefficient of Friction (SCOF) rating of .60 or higher. It’s also important to consider other items before making a floor purchase: Your age; other family members using the area (like your infant); how long you plan to live in your house; and the location of the installation.
Being a parent requires a significant amount of planning, as you probably have already learned first-hand. While arming yourself with resources and home improvement projects are valuable, they don’t always help you figure out life methods to meet the challenges of everyday parenting.
With a newborn, it’s unlikely that you will get to leave the house much. As a result, getting regular household items you need can become a challenge. One way to get around this is to take advantage of technology by ordering items online. Somewhere along the way, some very wise parents caught on to this trick and since, it’s become a huge time-saver for many.
However you decide to prepare for parenthood, remember to enjoy the ride. Ultimately, having a baby should be about the excitement and change that’s about to happen in your life. Here’s to happiness and health for your family’s next chapter.
Photo credit: Pixabay.com
Ashley Taylor is a freelance writer, photographer, and advocate for people with disabilities. She created DisabledParents.org to provide information and resources to other parents with disabilities. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.