How to baby proof your home
Knowing how to baby proof your home will help your little one stay out of harm’s way, however it’s important to remember that you cannot create an environment that’s 100% safe. Baby-proofing goes hand-in-hand with careful supervision. The following ‘how to’ concentrates on what to do in each room or part of the house.
1- Bathroom. Start by turning down the water temperature on your water heater. Another good idea is consider purchasing and installing toilet lid locks as babies are fascinated by water. Keep all medications and cleaning products stored in a locked cabinet.
2- Doors. Stick clear or frosted patterns on glass doors so your child won’t run into them. It’s also a good idea to put doorknob covers on the doors that you don’t want your child to open.
3- Windows. Don’t place furniture or anything that can be climbed on near a window. Install window guards or adjust windows so they cannot open more than six inches. Perhaps consider installing safety glass in low windows and French doors so they won’t shatter if run in to. Do not place a crib, playpen, highchair, or bed anywhere near blind cords, and tie them up so that a child doesn’t get tangled up in them.
4- Electricity. Cover all unused electrical outlets with plastic safety plugs that snap into outlets. Be sure to check for hidden outlets behind furniture that you may have overlooked.
5- Fireplace. If you use your fireplace, place a hearth cover in front of it to prevent children stumbling in.
6- Stairways. Install gates once they start crawling. Note don’t just put a gate at the top of the stairs as they may crawl upwards and then fall back down trying to open it; place gates at both the top and the bottom of the stairs. Also, never leave anything on the stairs that you can trip on while carrying your baby.
7- Furniture and Accessories. Put away or stabilise any unstable furniture that your baby could pull over. Perhaps tie taller furniture such as cabinets to the wall and keep all of the drawers closed completely so that your baby can’t shut their fingers in them or use them as steps to climb up.
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Turn the handles of pots and pans toward the back of the stove or counter, never leave them unattended, and use the burners towards the back of the hob whenever possible. Also, when cooking, don’t let your baby play around your feet. It should be relatively easy to teach your child that the oven is “hot” and not to touch it.
As your baby develop, so will their reach and capabilities, and so new hazards will present themselves. Baby proofing your home is an on-going project.