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Debbie Stogel – California

Be Safe Baby Proofers

Debbie Stogel is the owner of Be Safe Baby Proofers, a one-stop resource for all baby proofing and child safety needs. We provide expert consultation, home hazard education, product recommendations, and professional installation services for families in Los Angeles and surrounding areas with the goal of preventing injuries to your baby and giving parents peace of mind.

What is your process of working with families?

The process begins with a home survey. I walk through the home and discuss all areas that are potentially dangerous. I determine the best products or solutions for each “area” and show samples, examples, and pictures. Following the visit, I map out a plan by providing a written estimate of the recommended products, along with a detailed room-by-room plan. You can decide whether you want to go with the recommendations or remove certain items. I revise the quote and offer an installation date.

What are the main reasons clients choose to work with you instead of doing it themselves?

What are some tricks and tips you share with parents as part of educating them about home hazards and safety for their child?

When I walk into someone’s home, I tell them I am looking at the world through their child’s lens, “Imagine if I were to get on my hands and knees and crawl around…that is the world I focus on…everything below counter and waist level.” I invite parents to do the same. If I can see it, their child can find it. As a member of the International Association for Child Safety (IAFCS), I stay current on the latest research.  Everything I tell clients is based on research and by the numbers.  For example, I advise parents to remove dishrags from oven doors to prevent little ones from easily grabbing it, pulling open the door. I also share something I call “the Seven-Inch Rule!”  Any string or cord longer than 7” is considered a strangulation hazard for children.  Cords, wires, strings, cables, and all electrical cord items should be removed from the floor, organized, tightened and kept out of reach of young children.

Finally, I address the importance of furniture tip-overs, not only because we live in earthquake country, but parents tend to overlook furniture safety thinking a heavy dresser weighs too much for their child to pull it over on themselves. Furniture tip-overs have to do with leverage and physics, not strength. By opening dresser drawers, the center of gravity shifts. Once a child adds his/her weight on the drawers, dressers will tip over with very little force or effort. I demonstrate this by pulling out dresser drawers, starting at the bottom, letting parents see how easy it is for the dresser to tip.  It’s a wake-up call for many parents.