When you have a baby, nothing is as secure as it once was — not even your own home.
As your world view gets smaller, you soon realize that your house or apartment is a dangerous place to be, especially if you’re a toddler.
But don’t worry: Baby Bodyguards are just a phone call away.
Inspired by the nail−biting adventure they continue to have with their own two−year−old, a Manhattan Beach couple is making a much−needed business out of baby−proofing one’s home.
“You never look at a piece of furniture as a toddler looks at it,” said Fred Ilarraza, who opened Baby Bodyguards with his wife Courtney about a year ago.
When their son Benjamin was born, their eyes were opened to all of the possible hazards that a simple home possesses.
“We started looking for a million and one things to protect our child because a couple of our friends had pretty horrible tragedies that could have been prevented.” Ilarraza said. “We found that most of the problems were the most common things one can find in their home.”
Like, for example, a coffee pot. While adults don’t find a coffee pot dangerous, a child will, especially if he pulls down a table cloth that the pot is sitting on.
Other problems are more obvious, like staircase bannisters. In an instant, a second floor bannister can become an elevated set of monkey bars without a padded bottom for a child.
“If you don’t have kids, they’re very pretty,” Ilarraza explained. “To a kid, it’s ‘awesome!’ You know that they’re going to try to dive right for them.”
Luckily, their keen eyes and attention to detail helped protect little Benjamin from a host of awaiting misfortunes.
The duo soon shared their baby−proofing ideas with their family and friends, who encouraged them to share these ideas with parents throughout the borough and beyond.
Their signature walkthroughs are becoming a necessity for new parents. So are the safety packets they provide.
“A lot of our friends are involved in health services, so when we started, we consulted with them,” he said, adding that he and his wife never stop learning about the art of baby−proofing. “We’re learning from all sides of the spectrum, from EMTs, to pediatric doctors to even dentists. All off the information we’ve collected contributes to our thorough walk−through and safety packets.”
After a tour of the home, a Baby Bodyguard will provide the new or expecting parent with a laundry list of changes that would better baby−proof their home.
There are also different lists for different types a homes, from old Victorians to brownstones, Ilarraza said.
“We even have a grandparent package for baby−sitting time,” he said.