Safety First - How to Baby Proof Your Home
Before your child starts to crawl is the time to make decisions about baby-proofing.
The process of baby proofing and toddler proofing a home can be quite confusing. In this guide, we will give you some helpful information and useful tips regarding baby safety products and their uses. Baby safety products alone are not the answer. Baby safety products, along with the knowledge of their proper uses as well as the knowledge of how to make your home a safer environment for the baby, will be our focus.
A room by room baby proofing checklist along with information on retractable baby gates and how to go about baby proofing doors and cabinets along with ideas on baby proofing your home, in general, will be discussed. Some tips on using common items such as zip ties and duct tape are covered in an effort to keep down the cost of your baby-proofing supplies.
Baby proofing and baby safety products provide an additional element of safety; there is no substitution for adult supervision!
View the world as a baby does, crawl around your house and look at everything you can reach. Items that are breakable, valuable or a choking, cutting or poisoning hazard need to be moved out of reach of babies and toddlers. Some often-overlooked choking hazards include rocks or wood chips around plants, bark from firewood, dried flowers, potpourri, coins, dry cleaning plastic bags and toys with small pieces. Babies love to play with the spring type door stops and will remove the rubber tips (a serious choking hazard). Replace all “rubber tip” door stops with solid door stops!
Off Limit Areas:
Use child safety gates to separate areas you don’t want the baby to have access to. Since babies quickly learn to work door lever handles, you should use additional latches up high on those doors you want to keep closed. Baby Proofing, the pool area, is critical. Pools must be surrounded by a fence with a self-latching gate.
There are several baby proofing products available for use on electrical hazards. Use only UL-approved slide covers on electrical outlets. The small plug-in plastic caps are choking hazards! Transformer and power strip covers should be used as well. Beware of and unplug any appliances near water. Watch that children don’t chew on electric appliance cords.
Install toilet lid locks and baby proofing glass shower door. Turn down the water temperature of your water heater at less than 110 degrees. Install child proofing base board heaters so that you can ensure the baby’s safety in the bath tub, and avoid burning problem too. Set up child proof locks on the toilet doors; kids tend to be fascinated by water.
One of my favorite baby proofing products is the window blind cord cleat and cleat up all hanging blind cords out of reach of children. Any cords long enough to make a noose can be gathered and shortened with cable ties as well. To keep lamps and appliances from being pulled off tables, secure the electric cord to a table leg.
Baby Proofing Cabinets:
Latch all lower cabinets and drawers. In the earthquake, prone areas latch the upper cabinets as well.
Use child safety gates:
Use child safety 1st baby gate (not pressure gates) at the top and bottom of staircases. Plexiglass can be used on railings and balconies that have gaps greater than 4 inches between rails. Escape ladders should be available in each upstairs bedroom.
Baby Proofing Windows:
Most windows can be locked open at 4 inches to allow for ventilation. Safety barriers can be installed if necessary. In certain situations, child safety gates can be used for baby proofing windows. For large low picture windows, a plexiglass cover can prevent a broken window and injury to a child. Cord cleats can be used to tie window-blind cords up high out of reach. Furniture should be placed so children cannot climb and access windows.
Baby Proofing Doors:
Children quickly learn to work doorknobs and levers. Babyproof interior doors with lever and knob cover or latch the doors out of the child’s reach. Exterior doors should have flip latches out of reach to prevent the child from exiting the home. Locks that use an interior key to operate present a safety hazard in case of a fire, use these types of locks only in rare circumstances. Solid door stops should be used in place of the spring type with the rubber caps as the rubber caps are a choking hazard.
Televisions should be secured to the wall to prevent the toddler from tipping the unit over on to themselves. Furniture in the toddler’s room should be secured to the wall to prevent tipping over. All furniture with sharp edges should be removed or padded. Perform frequent inspections of baby’s furniture, swings, etc. for loose or missing hardware as well as wear and tear.
A fireplace can raise a host of baby proofing issues, from the possibilities of severe burns to the dangerous sharp edges of the fireplace hearth. Gas fireplaces with bi-fold and sliding type glass doors can be secured by using a childproof fireplace door guard. Always keeping these type doors secured will prevent “finger pinching” even when the fireplace is not in use. Padded hearth guards protect your child against the sharp edges and corners of the fireplace hearth. Momcozy retractable baby gate will keep the entire fireplace area off-limits to your child, including preventing access to fireplace pokers and tools.
Safety around the house:
When your baby will start walking and just before they are crawling, be extra careful around the home. Most kids have much attraction to the TV, playing with buttons and putting their fingers into the video player. Most parents have stopped this by placing a footstool in front, which stops them from getting access to them. They don’t know what they will do, once their babies are walking and climbing. Use the baby gate to stop your child from getting access to such things.
Some plants are toxic. Keep only non-toxic plants in your home and yard. Small and dried leaves are a choking hazard. Plants with sharp leaves such as Cactus and Yucca type plants should be avoided.