Babyproofing your home—it’s child’s play!
Expecting a baby is one of life’s greatest events. Excitement and anticipation become your constant companions during the pregnancy. So often, the focus is just on those nine months before the baby arrives. But then life begins in earnest with your new bundle of joy at home, and all you want is to love and protect them. Babyproofing your house puts their safety first, and it’s never too soon to start!
Look around your home. It seems like a safe place, right? But to a baby or toddler, there are a number of dangers that may not even occur to you. Get down on your hands and knees and crawl around as they would. You’ll be amazed at the potential risks all around. But don’t get overwhelmed—we’re by your side to help.
Baby steps first
Start by changing the covers on your electrical outlets to child-safe ones. Small kids often like to stick their fingers and other objects in the sockets, which can lead to electrocution. Replacing the cover is better than just popping on outlet caps because they can be a choking hazard. And while you’re at it, safety wraps and/or shorteners are a good idea for electrical cords.
Keeping your little one out of places and things will be a growing concern. A staircase can be scary, but installing semi-permanent safety gates at the top and bottom will help alleviate your fears. Other “gatekeepers” include magnetic locks and safety latches on doors, windows, cabinets, and toilets. In fact, it’s best to keep them out of the bathroom as much as possible. Kids can drown in a small amount of water, and bathroom cabinets are usually full of hazardous cleaning products, chemicals and medications.
Sleep like a baby
Is there anything more angelic than a sleeping baby? Keep your little cherub out of harm’s way with these simple tips. First, location, location, location. Place the crib (cradle or bassinet) away from windows, blind cords, curtains, lamps, electrical plugs and cords, wall hangings, and other furniture. This also applies to the changing table. Use a fitted bottom sheet—one that’s loose can be unsafe. And there’s no need for bumpers, pillows or stuffed animals in the crib either. Not only is there risk of suffocation, but when they’re a bit older they can boost themselves up on these objects.
Be anchored in safety
As a baby gets older, they can start to pull on furniture and other objects. Anchor items like televisions, bookcases and dressers to the wall, and remove any heavy items from them that might fall on your child. You can also cover sharp furniture corners with corner guards.
Don’t get into hot water
Toddlers love playing with knobs, and in the blink of an eye, they can turn on a hot water faucet and scald themselves. Avoid this by setting your hot water heater to 120 °F (49 °C) or lower. If you can’t control the temperature, then you can install anti-scald devices to keep your kids safe.
This may seem like a lot, but so much of it is common sense. For example, in the kitchen, don’t leave out knives or anything else that’s sharp. And unplug appliances, like food processors, that could pose a risk. By following our tips and trusting your instincts, your home will surely be a safe haven where baby will grow up happy and healthy.