Babyproofing: How To Read Your Child's Mind and Protect Your Home
The baby is coming! Or maybe already here... either way, before the crawling, standing and walking begins, you will need to get ready so your baby can explore the world safely. Read on for tips on assessing threats in each room and how to fix them.
- Remember: Never leave your baby unattended. A good rule is to stretch your arms out straight. If you cannot reach your baby, then you're too far away!
- Get down on all fours and crawl around your whole house to see things from your baby's view. Sometimes we forget what we can't see. Try to imagine what a baby could pull down on top of them, put into their mouth, bump their head on, catch their fingers in, or trip over. Remove or block all these things.
In the Kitchen
- Put up a stove guard. Use the stove's back burners. Turn pot handles away from the edge.
- Secure oven doors, fridges, utensil drawers and cabinets with baby-proof latches.
- Move appliances (irons, toasters, coffeemakers), cleaners, detergents from lower shelves and keep them out of reach when not in use.
- Use trash cans with child-proof lids.
- Use placemats instead of tablecloths. Babies can pull dangling fabrics and anything on them.
- Use lightweight plastic dishes and utensils with rounded edges for baby's food.
In the Bathroom
- Put mats on the floor to avoid slipping accidents.
- Put locks on toilet lids and drain bathtubs after use.
- Keep all pills and medications out of reach. Use child proof lids.
- Lock up cleaning chemicals, soaps and shampoos, scissors and razors when not in use.
In Living Areas
- Use doorjamb protectors to protect fingers in doors and other hinges.
- Clean up everything that a child could swallow on floors through the house: nails, buttons, coins.
- Strap down furniture or TVs that could fall if a baby pulled it down.
- Tie up all hanging cords from window shades or décor.
- Put away or block all breakable decorations.
- Hide or tape down electrical cords. Cover electrical outlets with large furniture or plastic covers so babies cannot touch them.
- Put foam or plastic edge guards over sharp edges and corners.
- Block off fireplaces and keep matches and candles safe.
- Keep babies away from open windows and keep windows securely locked when not open.
- Remove houseplants, alcohol and mouse or insect traps from the baby's range.
- Put baby gates at the tops of staircases or across areas you don't want the baby to enter.
In the Car and Garage
- Review the tips on Hot Cars and How to Protect Your Kids.
- Cover paint cans and store them away.
- Review the tips on Safe Sleep, Sweet Dreams: the ABC'S.
Pools, Pets and Purses
- Install screen doors and safety alarms so that you know when someone goes out to the pool.
- Keep animal food, water, and toys away from baby's reach.
- Never leave your child alone with your pet.
- Put purses and briefcases away as soon as you get home. Never leave them lying around.