The Most Important Places in Your Home That Need Baby Proofing
Posted on January 07 2018
Kids are curious about everything. It may surprise you what they'll try to get into. Not everything in your home is safe for your child to handle or explore.
One minute they'll be trying to climb up the bookshelves. The next they'll be drinking water from the dog's bowl.
One way to make sure your child is as safe as possible is following a checklist. This is a great way to minimize or eliminate some of the dangers in your home.
Here are a few ideas for what you should put on your baby proofing checklist. This is only a starting point. There may be more dangers in your home.
Secure Your TV and Other Heavy Furniture
Your TV and heavy furniture should be at the top of your baby proofing checklist.
They watch their favorite shows on your television, so at some point, they'll want to check it out. The TV falling on them can be painful both for your child and your pocketbook. Avoid it by securing your TV to the wall.
Do the same thing with any heavy, freestanding furniture. Kids can be surprisingly strong. You might think they can't pull that heavy bookshelf down, but they sure can.
On average, every 10 days a child dies from furniture falling on them.
Statistically speaking, it's unlikely that a piece of furniture will kill your child. But when all you have to do is secure it to the wall to avoid it, why not?
Secure the Stairs
The stairs is another dangerous place in your home. Children are quick, and they can get away from you at any moment.
Kids are also resilient, so a tumble down the stairs may not result in injuries. But if they hit their head or neck in the right place, that can spell disaster. It's not worth the risk.
Get some safety gates for both the top and bottom of your stairs. Be sure to choose the right kind of gate.
A pressure mounted gate will work at the bottom of the stairs to keep a curious kid from going up.
But the top of the stairs is a different story.
With the right pressure (like a child leaning against it or shaking it), the gate can give way. Both your child and the gate will go rolling down the stairs. Not a good plan.
Instead, buy a gate that is made for the top of the stairs. These screw into the wall to ensure that your child cannot shake or push them down.
Secure Cabinets and Drawers
Most homes have cabinets and drawers full of useful but dangerous objects. Think about the knife drawer in the kitchen, or the toxic cleaning products in the bathroom. Even glass baking pans can be dangerous if dropped and broken.
Add to that a child's natural curiosity and desire to crawl into small spaces. You can see how those lower cupboards and drawers can be a minefield for a small child.
There are plenty of options for locks that are easy to release but it can get annoying. Try to organize dangerous things into the same cupboards so you don't have to lock them all.
Remember to lock the pantry too. This should be on your baby proofing checklist.
There may not be much dangerous stuff in there, but you've seen those photos of babies covered with flour and cereal, right? It's better to keep them out of there.
Secure Electrical Sockets and Cords
Babies love to put things in their mouth. Imagine your baby chewing on the power cord to your TV. If they make it through they'll be in for a sudden shock.
Unfortunately, it's not possible to keep power cords completely out of your child's reach. Most homes have almost all the electrical outlets right down where your child can reach.
There are a few steps that you can take to minimize risk. Roll up and secure excess cords with a cord wrap.
Check out shorteners, sleeves, and keepers to decide which ones will work for you.
Don't forget about other cords, like the thin ones that hang from blinds. They can't electrocute. But your child can easily get wrapped up in one and strangle themselves.
Use Large Gates for Special Areas
In some instances, there are large areas that you do not want your child to enter.
For these parts of your home, you can get large baby gates that are kind of like corrals. Set one up in front of your fireplace. There isn't a practical way to baby proof your fireplace so the gate is your best bet.
When Christmas rolls around, your child will become enamored with the tree, guaranteed. Colorful balls, wrapped packages, and strings of lights all attract their attention.
Before you know it, they'll be into everything. They may even pull the tree down on top of themselves! A baby gate ringed around the Christmas tree takes care of this problem quite nicely.
Create Your Own Baby Proofing Checklist
We've covered the main things to baby proof in most homes. But every home is unique.
We suggest getting down on your knees and crawling around. That way you can see things from your child's perspective.
Think about what kinds of things will catch your child's eye. Create your own baby proofing checklist from the things you see.
Bright colored vases, statues, or picture frames may interest them. If they can reach them, they may pull them down on themselves.
Put these kinds of things up high where they can't reach them. Also, makes sure they can't climb something to get to them.
None of these tips is a surefire way to keep your child from injuring themselves. Nothing is a substitute for adult supervision at all times. These are to help give you a little peace of mind.
Also, teach your children as they become old enough to understand. Education about dangerous things is always the best prevention.
Check out all sorts of great baby proofing gadgets here. It is never too early to ensure your home is safe for your child.