One minute your little one is depending on you to flip her on her belly, and the next minute she’s crawling out of her crib. Babies can quickly become mobile in the blink of an eye, so it’s best to be prepared before they let their curiosity compromise their safety.
While keeping your cleaning products in an unlocked cabinet and your kitchen knives out in the open on the kitchen counter may have been nothing to think twice about when it was just you and your partner in the house, things like these can pose major hazards when a baby enters the picture.
Here are 8 tips to baby proof your home to keep your little one safe from unsuspecting hazards.
1. Cover Electrical Outlets
Let’s face it: kids will stick their little fingers just about anywhere including in electrical sockets. We all know what kind of outcome can result if they poke around these areas, so you’re best bet is to cover these electrical sockets up with plastic plug protectors.
And don’t forget about any power strips, which you can also find covers for. While you’re at it, make sure to place job covers on the stove and oven knobs to make sure they don’t unknowingly turn them on.
2. Tuck Away Electrical Cords
Little children can easily find themselves wrapped up in electrical cords if they are left out within reach. Make sure all electrical cords are tucked out of sight to minimize the dangers associated with them. This goes for anything else that could cause strangulation, such as curtain and blind cords. Make sure these are tied up and well out of reach so your child is unable to get caught up on them.
3. Lock Your Toilet Bowl Lid
If you’ve got a heavy ceramic toilet bowl lid, it can do some serious damage to your child’s hands, head, or any other body part that may find its way between the lid and the bowl if it comes crashing down. Not only that, but toilet bowls can be possible drowning hazards if the child accidentally falls head first into the toilet. To cut down on the risks, get yourself a lock for the lid to keep your little one out.
4. Install Gates at Stairways
While not exactly an innovative suggestion, it’s worth mentioning anyway. Babies and toddlers can easily find their way to the top of the stairs, putting themselves in the position to take a nasty tumble and really hurt themselves.
Install gates at the tops and bottoms of staircases, as well as in doorways leading to spaces that you don’t want your child to access, such as bathrooms or kitchens. Look for pressure-mounted models which allow you to outsized the width of the gate to fit the are precisely, without having to drill any holes to secure the gate.
5. Fasten Bookcases and Dresser Drawers to the Walls
Imagine your toddler climbing up a bookcase in the living room, or the dresser drawer in your bedroom. Once they reach a certain height, they can easily bring the structure down, all while getting caught underneath and potentially suffering serious injuries. To prevent this from happening, make sure you securely fasten your shelving units and dressers to the wall so your baby is unable to pull them down.
6. Install a Latch on All Exterior Doors
Kids grow fast, and before you know it, they’ll be able to reach the door handles and figure out how to open the door, providing them with access to the outdoors. To prevent your little ones from escaping, install latches at the very top of the door (just make sure you can reach them yourself!) for all doors that lead to the outside.
7. Turn Down the Water Heater’s Temperature
If your child can reach the bathroom sink faucet, there’s a real potential for her to scald herself if the water temperature is extremely hot. To prevent this type of danger, adjust the temperature of your water heater.
8. Cover Sharp Corners With Pads
If you have any furniture with sharp corners – such as a coffee table – you might want to think about attaching foam pads on these sharp edges, especially if they are at your child’s eye level. It’s easy for small kids to walk or fall into anything, including sharp corners from furniture. To minimize the damage, installing foam pads can really help. You can easily find these at your local baby shop, along with many other nifty safety gadgets that you would never have even thought of!
Keeping your baby safe in the home is just as important as making sure she is fed and clothed. But you’ll have to start looking at your home and all of its components with a different set of eyes now that a baby is present. Talk a walk around your house, and identify anything that could be a potential hazard. Odds are, there is a gadget or device out there to help neutralize these potential dangers.