Child-proofing your home is a critical task that makes your household a safe haven for your child. Here’s how you can turn every room of your home into a danger-free zone.
Congrats! You’ve just become parents! Are you ready to get your life turned upside down?
Did you know that, apart from your life, another thing is bound to get turned upside down? Your home!
Your baby’s little fingers will reach out to every cabinet, and their curiosity will lead them to explore every room of your home. They’ll peek into the toilet bowl, open the oven, and check out the power outlets to see what’s there.
As each year around 9 million children are rushed to the emergency room due to unintentional injury, it’s critical that you child-proof your home as soon as the baby arrives.
Close all the drawers. Children are little explorers, and they will peek into the smallest space out of curiosity. That applies to drawers as well. To prevent getting his tiny fingers stuck in a drawer or getting his hands on something hazardous, make sure all drawers are closed or locked.
Secure bookshelves and dressers to the wall. If your child sees something that interests him up on the shelf, there’s no guarantee he won’t try to climb the shelf or pull the shelf over. If you have shelves in their nursery or your bedroom, consider securing them to the wall.
Your crib is a safe place. Your little one will spend a large portion of his time in the crib, so you must make it a safe place for him. If you’re sleep training, you’ll want to make sure your child is safe in his room, without worrying about him falling over the crib or getting out of the window. The first thing you want to do is avoid purchasing a second-hand crib that’s older than 10 years. A large number of older cribs are hand-me-down models which were voted illegal in 2011.
Another safety tip is to ensure the crib bars or slats are no more than 2 ⅜ inches wide. The mattress should fit snugly against the inside of the crib; if you can fit more than two fingers, it is not a good fit.
Finally, never put soft bedding or plush toys in the crib with your child as they can pose a suffocation hazard.
Keep windows locked and guarded. Consider this: between 1990 and 2008, more than 98,400 children visited an emergency department with an injury from a window fall. To make sure your little one stays safe in his room, make sure you lock your windows. In case your windows can’t be locked, then get window locks. If you want to be able to keep your windows open, you can either get window guards or window stoppers. Avoid locking the bedroom door as it’s not the safest way to protect your child.
Get cordless window coverings. If your window has a covering with a cord, first make sure your child’s crib or bed is on a safe distance from the window. A cord poses the risk of your child getting his neck caught in a looped cord and being strangled. Consider getting cordless window coverings, or blind cord wraps.
Make sure there are no small objects on the floor. Your curious child can easily swallow small objects. Everything that’s smaller than 1 inch in diameter can block your child’s throat. To avoid the worst-case scenario, make sure you vacuum your living room area often to pick up small items that may not be visible to the naked eye.
Secure the electrical cords. Cords are another item that poses a suffocation hazard. A good tip is to use zip ties or velcro to tie up all long cords and secure them out of your child’s reach. Another tip is to block your child’s access to these cords by moving the furniture in front of the power outlets the cords plug into.
Cover all electrical outlets. Baby fingers can easily unplug a cord from the power outlet and stick a metal object inside, leading to electrocution. That’s why you want to keep power outlets hidden behind furniture, or in case it’s not possible, get an outlet cover. You can find outlet covers in most grocery or department stores.
Place corner covers or bumpers on the sharp edges of your furniture. There’s always the risk your child will bump his head on the sharp corners of your living room furniture. Many parents install corner covers or bumpers that do a fine job at protecting soft child’s heads.
Secure your front door. The living room is often where your front door is. You want to make sure your child can’t get out of the house while you’re not looking. The easiest way to child-proof your front door is by installing a deadbolt or a security door chain. Or, you can get a “door monkey,” a simple item that secures the door in a partially cracked position.
Baby proof your cabinets and drawers. The easiest way to make sure risky cutlery and household cleaning supplies are out of little fingers’ reach is by keeping them locked. There are many ways for how to child-proof your cabinets and drawers, including magnetic locks, adhesive cabinet locks, and a traditional latch.
Keep small appliances out of sight and safely stored. As toddlers can climb onto kitchen counters, you may want to free the counter of smaller appliances. Your child can accidentally turn over and fall. Don’t forget to unplug all appliances after using them and secure the cords out of the child’s reach.
Lock the oven and child-proof the stove. The safest way to protect your child from a hot oven and stove is by installing a baby gate on the kitchen entrance. Other than that, you can also check to see whether your oven has a lock setting. If it doesn’t, consider installing an oven latch. The best way to child-proof your stove is to put a stove guard that will act as a barrier.
Secure the refrigerator. The first thing you want to do is move items like grapes, alcohol, and medications on the higher shelves of the fridge. The second thing is to install a latch.
Don’t leave sharp objects in the dishwasher. A rule of thumb is always to place sharp objects like knives with blades down. Also, as a precaution, leave dishes in the machine for as short a time as possible. Another hazard is your child ingesting the detergent, so run the dishwasher as soon as you add it.
Install a toilet lid lock. There’s nothing more curious than small children. But apart from being curious, they’re also uncoordinated and top-heavy. So, if your child leans over the open toilet bowl, there’s always the risk that he will lose his balance and fall headfirst. To avoid this from happening, keep the toilet lid down, and install a toilet lock to prevent your baby from lifting the lid.
Place dangerous objects in a locked cabinet. The bathroom is abundant with dangerous objects like tweezers, nail clippers, and razors. Make sure you store them in a locked cabinet or on a high shelf.
Unplug all appliances. Heat appliances like a hairdryer and curling iron pose a risk of your child getting burnt. Make sure you unplug them and put them away.
Keep all cosmetics and medications out of reach. Cosmetics like lipsticks and medications like aspirins should be stored away from a child’s hands. Store them in a locked cabinet or secure your cabinets with a child-safety lock.