29 Tips To Baby-Proof Your Home

Parents strive to keep out children safe from harm. During infancy is the time when we need to plan for their safety as toddlers by baby proofing the home. Once they are crawling they will need to be protected from their own curious minds and fingers. Studies show that most accidents and injuries to children under four years of age occur in the home, and are more likely in the evening hours as a tired toddler’s motor skills and overall judgment tend to be impaired.

When deciding how to make your baby’s living space less dangerous, consider that you should view it from the perspective of a two-foot tall person with superpowers in the areas of climbing and reaching, not to mention a deep desire to touch, taste, and feel everything. If you ever want to be able to shower, cook a meal, or leave the room for a moment, taking safety prevention steps now can both protect them and give you peace of mind when you do have to take your eyes away for a moment.

Baby’s age and development does play a role in choosing what kinds of baby-proofing need to be done. A new walker will present a different set of challenges than a four year old when it comes to prevention. If we begin making each room more secure from the beginning, we can also prevent some possible accidents that might occur as they grow. Luckily, there are practical ways to baby-proof, and many baby-proofing products can be purchased inexpensively in department stores and pharmacies.

Kitchen Safety

  • Cleaning products, insecticides, and other chemicals should be kept in a locked cabinet.

  • Medications, vitamins, and cosmetics should be in cabinets or drawers with safety locks.

  • Small kitchen appliances such as coffee pots or toasters should be unplugged when not in use, and cords secured away from the front of the counter-space.

  • Microwaves, ovens, refrigerators, and other large appliances should be fitted with safety locks, and secured to a wall or counter or placed in a location where a climbing child cannot pull them down onto themselves.

  • Stove-top burners covers should be used when not cooking.

  • Children should never be left unattended while the stove, oven, or other appliance is in use, even if your oven has a heat-proof door.

  • When a baby is in a high chair or booster seat, always use the securing seatbelts or straps, and never leave them unattended.

  • A baby gate can be employed to keep small children out of the kitchen unattended, and is a good idea if you have glass cabinet doors, or sharp edges on tables or counters.

Bathroom Safety

  • Bathroom appliances such as hair dryers, curling Irons, or electric razors, should not be plugged in when not in use, and never stored near a sink or bathtub. Electrical wires should not be in reach.

  • Non-slip mats should be used in the tub and on the bathroom floor.

  • While an older toddler may need a step-stool for washing hands or brushing teeth, it should be low, wide, and difficult to tip.

  • Never, ever leave your child in a tub unattended.

  • Consider installing a thermostatically controlled mixer for your shower or bathtub to avoid burns.

  • Newer homes have a leakage current switch or Ground Fault Interrupters (GFI) on outlets near areas where water is used, to reduce the risk of electrocution. In an older home, consider having them installed. Be sure to understand how they work.

  • Small items with a sharp edge, or small enough to fit in the mouth, such as tweezers, nail clippers, or razors should be in a locked drawer or put away when not in use.

Living, Bedroom, and General Safety

  • Outlet safety plugs should be used in all outlets in the home when not in use.

  • Televisions should be secure. A small child can pull a TV off a stand onto themselves, causing sometimes fatal injury. Flat screen televisions on stands are especially dangerous. Consider attaching them to a wall or keeping them in an entertainment center cabinet designed with safety in mind.

  • Closets, wardrobes, dressers, shelf units, and other heavy pieces of furniture should be secured to a wall, in case of climbing.

  • Furniture with sharp edges can be fitted with clear edge protectors or other safety cushioning.

  • Ropes, ties, and drawstrings for curtains and blinds should be kept out of a child’s reach, as they are a strangulation hazard.

  • Knick Knacks, batteries, plastic bags, balloons, coins, jewelry, packaging, and similar items should never be left where a toddler or baby can reach them.

  • Remove plants that are poisonous if ingested.

  • Secure windows and doors with safety latches and finger protectors. This is especially important if you have an upstairs, live in an apartment on an upper level, or have a balcony.

  • Make certain that space heaters, radiators, fireplaces, or other sources of heat that can burn a child are properly protected.

  • Stairway railings, banisters, and other safety features should be installed. Keep in mind, if you have vertical bars or trim supporting your railings, consider a banister shield to prevent a child from getting trapped or strangled between the bars.

  • Baby-gates can be used in stairways to prevent falls.

  • Always have smoke alarms and change your batteries bi-annually. You should also keep a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket in your home.

  • Never leave your child unattended on a changing table or other location from where they can fall.

  • Remove strings, lacing, or other items from children’s clothing that pose a strangulation risk.

While this may seem overwhelming, starting before your child can crawl helps you prepare.

Once you begin living with child safety in mind, much of this will come naturally, and you may even forget that you ever lived without it.

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Copyright © 2016 by Julie Nou.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses with proper accreditation.

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