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Babyproofing 101: Making a Safe Home for Baby

Most parents worry endlessly about protecting their bundle of joy from getting kidnapped by strangers and violence, but many don’t pay much attention to what could be the biggest threat to their child’s safety and well-being – their own home! Experts say that children are most likely to be killed by fire, burns, drowning, choking, poisoning or falls than a stranger’s violence…

A large number of children are injured and a certain percentage of that are killed every year in their own homes, which is why it is crucial to carefully babyproof your entire home. Babyproofing your home can be a little overwhelming – so we are here to help you out. Read on for tips on how to babyproof your home before your baby arrives, before your baby starts crawling and before your baby starts walking and climbing!

Gadgets galore

  • You will be able to find all kinds of gadgets in stores that would really help in your childproofing efforts. This is not compulsory, but if you can afford it – don’t hesitate to hire a professional home babyproofer to choose and install handy devices for you.
  • These gadgets do not work as a substitute for your eyes and ears – it is still very important for you to keep an eye on your little one at all times. The best babyproof device at the end of the day is supervision.

Go beyond the territory

  • The best way to ensure you are babyproofing your home correctly is to get a baby’s view of your entire home. Yes, we mean get down on your hands and feet and crawl around your house to see what things look like from down there!
  • What is within reach? What looks tempting? Where would you go if you could crawl? Asking yourself this questions will help you figure out which cupboards, drawers or shelves could be a hazard to your baby. As he starts walking, you would have to reevaluate again, going higher each time.
  • Carefully store things like cleaning detergents, medicines, knives and vitamins out of your child’s reach. Use gates to limit your child’s access to areas in your home that may contain dangerous items.
  • Parents tend to do office work at home, so it is important to keep an eye out for tiny objects like paperclips, stapler pins, marbles, beads and needles that might have fallen to the floor. These small items could cause your child to choke and no parent wants to see the outcome of it!
  • Remember to be watchful when you have visitors over! You and your husband may be very careful with what you do and where you put things, but keep in mind that your visitors probably don’t have your house rules applied to them. Stuff people carry around like pain-killers, lipstick and other medication can be hazardous to your baby.

Install gates

  • Most parents consider safety gates a must have in every home with a baby. They allow you to keep your doors open while still keeping your child indoors. They block his access to dangerous places like the stairway and forbidden rooms, such as the bathroom or kitchen.
  • Unfortunately, if out-of-date or used improperly; safety gates themselves could be a hazard to your child. Be sure to install a gate that is impossible for your child to open but is easy for adults to lock and unlock. Otherwise, you would be tempted to leave it open when you are in a hurry.
  • Never use pressure gates at the top of the stairs, instead use gates that are directly screwed into the walls – they are much more secure.

In the bathroom

  • Always test the temperature of the water before placing your baby in the bathtub. Set your water to 120 degrees or install an anti-scald device.
  • There are high chances you would have to chase a naked, wet baby at some point so place nonslip mats in and out of the tub as well as on any hard-surface floors near the bathroom to prevent falls.
  • To prevent accidental drowning, unsanitary exposure and little fingers from getting smashed; install a toilet lock.
  • Keep looking like a hot mama, but always move the flat-iron cord (or any other appliance cord) out of baby’s reach to avoid burns or strangulation.
  • Invest in a lockable medicine safe to keep medicine out of your child’s reach.
  • Cover the tub spout to protect his head in case he falls.

In the nursery

  • It is best to get cribs that don’t allow drop-sides.
  • Remove those extra bumpers, pillows and blankets that look cute because these are the things that could actually suffocate your baby. Also, remove any hanging device as soon as he starts to pull himself upright.
  • Plastic outlet covers are a favourite when babyproofing a home, but it could choke your child. Consider sliding covers instead.
  • A baby monitor is definitely a must have, but be sure to keep cords safely wound away from baby – or use cordless monitors.
  • Store toys in an open box so there will be no covers to slam those little fingers.

In the kitchen

  • Pet kibble is a choking hazard, and if left on the floor it is surely to end up in baby’s mouth. When feeding your pet, standby as it eats and immediately remove the bowl once finished.
  • Stove knobs are sure fun to twist, so keep them turned off with stove knob covers. If you have something cooking on the stove, avoid oil and hot water splatters on baby by covering pots and pans with lids.
  • Every kitchen should have a fire extinguisher, so opt for a dry-chemical extinguisher and mount it high up on the wall.
  • Under sink cabinets are usually where cleaning products are stored – remember to move them to higher shelves or get locks for those low cabinets.

In the living room

  • Coffee tables and TV stands usually have sharp edges that could result in baby hurting his head. Cushion edges with bumpers that wouldn’t hurt your little one.
  • Place TVs behind closed doors in an entertainment center, or mount a flat-panel model to the wall.
  • There’s a reason mud pies are so popular with the under-5 crowd, and those houseplants are going to look mighty tasty. Keep them out of reach so your little seedling won’t be tempted.
  • Got stairs? If so, a baby gate is a must. Finally, they come in styles to match your home’s decor.
  • Shield your fireplace with a guard door, and protect her from sharp corners on brick or ceramic tile.

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