How to Properly Babyproof Your Home
Babyproofing your home is an essential step to keeping your child safe. All over the house, spanning from the bathroom to the fireplace, their nursery to your kitchen, there are potential threats and risks that can cause serious harm.
First things first, you’ll want to take a good look at common factors throughout your home, such as electrical outlets, smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors and doorways. Each of these commonalities can create a potentially dangerous situation that can be easily avoided.
Outlets, for example, are generally low to the ground and accessible for walkers and crawlers. Cover each open outlet with a plastic cap, and for those where items are plugged in, you can either move a large piece of furniture in front to block the cord or purchase plastic cord covers.
Be sure to check all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If batteries are low or have never been changed, change them! You can also consider upgrading the tech in your home and purchasing detectors that you can keep an eye on from your phone, featuring notification updates before a service is required.
Baby gates are another great safety solution. If you live in a home that doesn’t have an “open” floor plan, you risk your baby crawling or walking into another room unsupervised. With a baby gate, you can keep your baby confined to the area where you can keep an eye on them, even when you’re cooking, cleaning or doing laundry. These are also important to keep at the top and bottom of a staircase, preventing your baby from a potential fatal fall or injury.
Next, go room by room, inspecting features that could cause harm or pose a threat to your baby.
Start in the kitchen, where you get easily preoccupied - cooking, cleaning and conversing - and will inevitably turn your back from your child. Remove all the cleaning supplies from under your sink or any other low cabinet and place them into a top cabinet. Add safety latches to the lower doors, however, ensure that whatever is inside is safe for a baby to get a hold of, such as pots and pans and tupperware. Also purchase stove-knob covers and avoid the possibility of a small child turning on a burner.
Move into the living room, where there are most likely low tables and plenty of sharp corners that you will want to guard with corner bumpers. If you have a fireplace with a hearth, be sure that it’s properly secured or blocked off. Fireplaces themselves should also be blocked off, especially when lit. Buy a screen or gate to ward off babies and small children from getting close to the flames. Be sure to mount or secure large bookshelves and televisions so they can’t topple over. It’s also helpful to install cordless blinds and store away delicate items that can be easily broken.
Now for the bathroom. Like a kitchen, a bathroom can be one of the most dangerous rooms in a home for a baby. Again, remove all cleaning supplies and store them in a closet on a high shelf, out of reach. Keep medicines and razors in a medicine cabinet with a latch for added safety. Also get yourself a thermometer to test the temperature of bath water, making sure it’s not too hot. Remember to never leave your baby or small child alone in a bathroom, especially in a bathtub filled with water, to avoid drowning.
Lastly, take a final look at the nursery. This room will likely be the safest in the house, as well as where your baby may spend most of their time playing and exploring. Be sure to purchase a crib that meets safety standards. If you happen to acquire a hand-me-down crib, check that all safety regulations are met before you take a chance. Keep toys and stuffed animals in reach, as long as they aren’t small enough to be a choking hazard.
Double check that all safety precautions are taken in each room of your house. You’ll want to avoid as many potential injuries or risks as possible, so ask other family members to play a part in making sure that your house is prepped for safety and ready for a baby.