Hmm… what to do when your baby starts crawling everywhere and their natural curiosity kicks in? BABY PROOF! We’ve got a list of potential hazards and locations you should absolutely put on lock down. But first, and this may sound silly, get down on all fours and see your surroundings from your baby’s perspective. From this vantage point, you’ll be able to pick up on home safety issues you might not realize otherwise.
Not a surprise. One of the most dangerous rooms in your house is also one of the most frequently used! Here are some things you’ll want to do:
- Secure your refrigerator and stove — These appliances can be secured to the wall using L-brackets. Most oven doors swing outwards and down, almost certainly ending up with your child falling backwards if they attempt to pull themselves up by the oven door handle. You can put one of the many available oven door latches on your oven to make sure that this doesn’t happen.
- Dishwashers — Most dishwashers these days are unfortunately very easy for a toddler to open. There are many obvious hazards inside of a dishwasher, from extremely hot parts to sharp knives, and you’ll want to make sure that your child can’t possibly get into the dishwasher when you’re not paying attention. You can use the same oven latches on the dishwasher to make sure they can’t get it open.
- Dishwasher detergent pods— Many dishwasher detergents available are lethal and can cause great harm if exposed to skin or swallowed. Always keep these detergents out of reach of your child at all times.
- Lock up cabinets — You probably store harsh cleaning chemicals in the cabinet under your sink. You wouldn’t want them getting into drawers with sharp cutlery or glassware that could possibly break, either.
- Table cloths — Table cloths can be very dangerous to children, because they tend to hang down just in your child’s reach. You should remove the table cloth completely when your baby is of an age where they’re crawling or toddling around the kitchen.
From tubs and toilets, to potentially dangerous chemicals and medications, there are many things that can cause harm to a curious child.
- Toilet — Put a toilet seat lock on the toilet and keep the lid down at all times. Most toilet seat covers come with a latch or strap, and that is often a good way to secure the toilet.
- Bath tub — Be sure to always completely drain the bathtub after using it. You might also want to put soft covers over the faucets as these are head-bumping hazards, too. If your child is going to be using the tub, it’s good to put a non-slip mat inside of it, as well.
- Power outlets — All power outlets in the bathroom should be covered.
- Razors & other sharp or hot items — Personal products like razors, nail clippers, tweezers are a cutting hazard for exploring children. Also, hot items like curling irons and blow dryers should always be kept out of your child’s reach.
All bedrooms have a number of child hazards that you might not even think of at first. Here are the things you’ll want to watch out for when it comes to baby proofing your bedrooms.
- Night stands — there are a lot of things on your night stand that can prove hazardous to a child. Anything with a cord is a strangulation hazard to a curious baby, and unfortunately, it’s not always possible to keep these out of their reach. You can organize everything with a cord so that it goes to the back of the night stand against the wall.
- Blind draw cords — Again, these dangling items can pose a strangulation hazard to a child, especially when they become to explore and pull on anything that isn’t nailed down. The draw cords should be fastened above the reach of your child so that there is no way they can get their hands on them.
- Electrical outlets — Like the outlets in any other room, the outlets in bedrooms should be secured with safety covers.
- Wobbly bookcases, TV stands, etc — Any large and unstable item like a lamp, TV stand, book case, etc. can be dangerous if your child knocks it over. If possible, remove the lamps or similar items, and replace them with more stable items.