Having a baby is one of life’s greatest joys. You get to watch a person you helped create grow up and experience all of life’s firsts. Their first smile, first laugh, first step…before you know it, they’ll be running around the house and getting into all sorts of situations.
As your baby grows up and learns how to crawl and walk, they’ll explore the house more. That means they may end up getting into things you don’t want them to. They could open up cabinets, pull at random wires, or try to open the front door. These could lead to dangerous situations if they go too far. That’s why it’s crucial that all parents properly baby-proof their home.
Baby proofing a home means you actively make your home safer for your child. You put extra padding in certain areas, put locks on cabinets, and clear your home of potential hazards. So, what things should you baby proof first? Are there things that you should baby proof that no one really talks about? If you’re going to baby proof your house, be sure you add these key things to your list.
Furniture may look like it will stay in place, but certain pieces of furniture could put your baby’s safety at risk if they aren’t properly baby proofed.
If you have tables that have pointed corners, put padding on those corners. Furniture such as dressers, bookshelves and television stands should be anchored to the wall. As your baby gets older, they’ll start walking around and pulling on objects. The last thing you want is for them to pull on a heavy piece of furniture that isn’t secured to anything. If you can, put a rug on wooden floors in your home. If your baby falls, the rug will provide some slight cushioning.
Making sure your furniture is baby-proofed will help keep your child safe. There are around 162,000 injury-related deaths every year in the United States. Baby proofing your furniture will reduce the risk of injury and improve your child’s safety.
Your baby will want to explore the house once they learn how to crawl. They may become curious as to what’s up (or down) the stairs and attempt to navigate them. This could quickly turn into a dangerous situation.
Every six minutes, an American child under the age of five falls down the stairs and is rushed to the hospital. No one wants this to happen to their child. Keep your stairs as safe as possible. Invest in baby gates to put at the top and bottom of the stairs, keep the stairs free of clutter, and if you can, put carpet on the stairs. If you can’t put carpet down, see if you can put some sort of padding along the edges. That way, if your baby does stumble on the stairs, there’s some padding to lessen the impact.
If you can’t take any of the actions above, then consider putting your child in a stationary area if you can’t keep your eye on them at home. You can put your child in a playpen or in a stationary toy. Putting them in one place where you know they won’t be able to move would be the safest option at that point.
You may have a lot of electronics in your house. These electronics include televisions, DVD players, gaming consoles, and appliances like the microwave and coffee maker. You should keep these electronics out of your child’s reach.
Once babies start to crawl, they may want to grab anything within their sight. If they see a cord hooked up to an electronic, they may tug on it. If they tug on it, the electronics could fall and risk your child’s safety. Properly take care of your electronics’ and appliances’ cords to protect your child from this situation. You could shorten the cords, tape the cords down, or invest in cord protectors. You could also tuck the cords behind furniture, but this is only effective if your child can’t reach behind the furniture.
It’s also a good idea to check if your remotes or controllers expose their batteries. Sometimes, we lose the battery covers to these devices, which means the batteries are exposed and could fall out easily. If you don’t have a back cover for these devices, place them where you know your child won’t be able to access them.
Electrical outlets can pose a serious risk to your child’s safety if they aren’t properly baby-proofed. You don’t want your child to stick their fingers, or anything else, into the outlets. This could cause them to suffer an electrical shock. To avoid this, make sure you properly cover up your electrical outlets.
There are different kinds of outlet protectors to consider buying. You could get outlet plugs, sliding outlet covers, or box outlet covers. Each option has its own safety pros and cons, so evaluate each option and decide which one works best for your family.
This is also a good time to check the electrical wiring in your house. Broken electrical wiring results in 55,000 fires, 500 deaths, 1,400 injuries, and $1.4 billion in property damage every year according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International. You could have a big problem on your hands and not even know about it. While you’re baby proofing the outlets, check if your electrical wiring has any issues.
You may not think a bathroom is a dangerous place for your child, but a lot can happen there if you aren’t careful. Your child could slip and fall, pinch their fingers on the toilet seat, or climb into the wet tub and fall. For the sake of your child’s safety, make an effort to baby proof the bathroom.
Keep the bathroom door closed as much as possible. Invest in non-slip bathroom mats. Get a child lock for the toilet and any cabinets in the bathroom. Make sure all the bathwater is drained from the tub. Taking these actions will make your bathroom safer for your baby.
If you keep any cleaning supplies or beauty products in the cabinet beneath your bathroom sink, put a child lock on it. Your child could crawl into the bathroom, open the cabinet, and either spill or ingest these possibly toxic products. The best way to ensure they don’t do this is to prevent them from getting access to the products in the first place.
You may not think this appliance posts any risks to your child’s safety, but it definitely can. If your baby is walking, they could walk over to the stove and turn on one of the knobs. If this goes undetected, a fire could start.
There are a couple of options for baby proofing your stove. You could buy safety knobs or remove your stove knobs entirely. Both options would make it difficult for your child to turn the knobs and turn on the stove.
In addition to the safety knobs, you should also primarily use the back burners for cooking. A child can easily walk over to the stove and accidentally pull on a pot or pan that’s on one of the front burners. If the pot or pan falls on them, they could get seriously hurt. The farther back the pots and pans are on the stove, the less likely your child will be able to reach them.
Children grow more curious as they develop. Once they start crawling and walking, they’ll want to explore the house and see what they can open. Before you know it, they could start opening the windows.
It’s important to childproof your windows before an accident happens. The first thing to do is to make sure all your windows have locks on them. If they don’t have locks, install them as soon as possible. Then, look into getting childproof window guards, window screens, and childproof blinds. These will help keep your child safe from window accidents.
You should look into securing all the windows in your home, but it’s especially important to secure the windows on the upper levels of your home. An unsecured window at a higher level of your home poses a new risk to your child’s safety. If they open the window and take a couple of steps, they could fall multiple feet. Cover all your bases and get all your windows baby proofed. It may seem like a lot at first, but you’ll have some peace of mind knowing they’re all properly secured.
If you have a baby and you have a pool, it’s incredibly important to properly baby-proof your pool and the area surrounding it. Unfortunately, accidental drownings happen in pools. To protect your child’s safety, be sure you cover all aspects of pool safety.
For starters, install a fence around your pool. Make sure it’s tall enough so that children can’t climb over it. Also, clear any pool toys or other tripping hazards from the pool area. This will make the odds of your child tripping and falling into the pool decrease. If you have the means, consider buying a pool alarm. These alarms can alert you if pool water has been disturbed or if your child is close to the pool’s edge. It’s also a good idea to have proper rescue gear on-hand and be up-to-date on CPR.
A pool is a great asset to have, but it can be dangerous for your children. When they get old enough, talk to them about why it’s important to be safe near the pool. The more they know about pool safety, the better protected they will be.
Purses, Backpacks and Briefcases
You may not realize it, but purses, backpacks, and briefcases can pose a safety risk for your baby. If these items aren’t properly secured, your baby could easily get into them and be at risk for a dangerous situation.
Think about all the objects that are in a purse, backpack or briefcase. There could be pens, pencils, makeup, loose change, medication, old receipts, etc. in them. If your baby is able to open them, they could pick up one of these miscellaneous objects, put it in their mouth, and possibly choke on it. If they don’t choke on it, they could still be exposed to harmful toxins and germs.
There are certain bags you can purchase that are mean to be baby proof. If you have the means, invest in one. If you can’t buy one of these bags, be diligent about making sure all purses and other bags are placed out of the baby’s reach. They can’t get into these bags if they can’t reach them in the first place.
Matches and Lighters
Babies tend to grab anything they can get their hands on. This includes lighters and matches. If you’re used to keeping your lighters and matches out in the open, you have to make a diligent effort to keep them in a drawer your child can’t reach. It’s also a good idea to put a child lock on this drawer in case they do reach it.
There are a number of things that could happen if your baby gets hold of a lighter or some matches. They could put these objects in their mouth, which poses a choking hazard. It also means they could be exposed to toxins, especially if they put a lighter in their mouth. If they’re able to activate the lighter or matches, they could burn themselves or start a fire. To keep your child safe, but the lighters and matches somewhere you know the baby won’t be able to reach. It will make your home and your family safer in the long run.
As a parent, you are constantly worrying about your baby’s safety. There seem to be endless things they can open, get into, chew on, etc. Baby proofing your home can be overwhelming at first, but in the end, it’s worth it. You want your child to be happy, healthy and injury-free. Baby proofing gives your home another line of defense for your child’s overall safety. The safer they are in your home, the happier they’ll be.