Dangers can lurk around every corner when young children are around. Kids can trip on cords, injure themselves on table corners and try to eat small objects. If you’re frantically trying to baby proof your house, then you want to make extra sure you don’t leave anything unprotected. Here’s a checklist of 16 items to get you started on baby proofing your house:
Get rid of tripping hazards.
Do a walkthrough of your house and remove any cords that are in the walkway and could potentially be tripped over. Place non-slip rugs pads under all your rugs, or get rid of them if they still move around.
Do a wobble check.
On your walkthrough, you should also test bookshelves, lamps and other large objects that could potentially tip over and fall on the baby. Attach them to the wall with wall anchors, or in the case of the lamps, move them behind large furniture so kids can’t get to them.
Watch out for blinds cords.
Blinds cords present a choking hazard and should be tied up out of the kids’ reach. If that makes the blinds hard to operate, then you might want to consider investing in some pleated shades or cordless window shades which gets rid of the problem entirely.
Cover up outlets.
Get plastic outlet covers and use them to cover up every outlet in your house. If you remove an outlet cover to plug in a cord, make a habit of replacing it once you’re done. If you tend to misplace the plastic plugs, consider upgrading to switch plates that have outlet covers built in.
Protect sharp corners.
If your furniture has lots of sharp edges and corners, you should get a corner and edge protection kit to cover them up. These foam and plastic bumpers soften the edges and will keep kids from getting injured if they run into them.
Speaking of appliances, you should keep them unplugged whenever you’re not using them. Tuck the cords out of the way and store them in cabinets or baskets if you can to keep them out of the toddler’s reach.
Put up baby gates.
Baby gates will keep inquisitive little ones away from the stairs as well as off-limits rooms. Make sure to invest in sturdy, high quality gates that can resist some pressure from a larger toddler. If they won’t stay standing, you might as well not bother with a baby gate at all.
Protect the fireplace.
If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace, you definitely need to baby proof it. Keep the glass or mesh screen closed whenever it’s not in use, or get a freestanding hearth screen if the fireplace doesn’t already have one.
Move your plants.
If you have any plants that could potentially be harmful to humans, put them on the highest shelf, out of the reach of kids. Even if your houseplants are harmless, you still might want to put them higher up so your kids can’t knock them over or try to eat the dirt.
Keep glass out of reach.
Glass and other breakables should be placed in high cabinets, away from children. If you normally keep your china in a hutch or sideboard that the kids can reach, relocate them to higher shelves or a closet you can lock up as an extra precaution.
Do away with tablecloths.
Tablecloths hang at the perfect height for little hands to grab them, breaking all your dishes and potentially leading to an accident. Ditch them in favor of placemats and other table coverings that don’t dangle over the edge or opt for a durable table with a top made of material such as stainless steel.
Install cabinet locks.
If you haven’t already, you should install cabinet locks in your kitchen, bathroom and wherever you have cabinets in your house. Keep in mind that older children can operate cabinet locks and potentially leave them open, so especially fragile or dangerous items should still be stored on higher shelves.
Get stove knob covers.
Once kids get a bit taller, it’s very easy for them to turn on the stove, either accidentally or deliberately. Stop this problem before it happens by installing stove knob covers that keep them from being turned. Simply pop off the covers when you need to cook and replace them when you’re done.
Upgrade to a locking trash can.
You throw all sorts of gross and dangerous things in your trash can, such as moldy food and sharp tin can lids, so you definitely want to keep your kids out of it. Consider upgrading to a kitchen trash can that has a locking lid to give you peace of mind. While you’re at it, get one for your bathroom trash, too, or find somewhere safe to stash it.
Keep cribs clear.
You won’t need to worry about many of these baby proofing steps until your infant is crawling. However, there is one area that you need to baby proof from the start: the crib. Keep pillows, blankets, comforters and toys out of the crib, and make sure the slats are close together and the construction is sturdy.
Don’t forget the pet’s gear.
You need to be even more vigilant about baby proofing your house if you have a pet around. In fact, items such as water bowls and kitty litter shouldn’t be left where kids can get into them, as they can pose drowning, choking and toxicity hazards.
Baby proofing your house does take advance planning and attention to detail, but you’ll have so much peace of mind once you’re done. Use this checklist to get started with baby proofing your house and keeping your infants and toddlers safe from potential hazards.
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