As first time parents, or parents for the second, third, fourth time (etc.), one thing that always crosses every parents’ mind is “how can I childproof my home?”. Although it may seem like a lot of work, removing any possible hazards, electronics, wires, small objects and more… It is well worth the effort to keep your little ones as safe as possible.
It is also hard to pin-point exactly what MIGHT pose a threat to little grabby hands… Especially when, as babies, one of the number one ways they explore is with their mouth by chewing/teething/tasting. Small children also have a tendency to grab things as another way of exploring, so you want to make sure nothing can fall on them, burn them, or cause them any harm in any way.
Below we have included a guide to childproofing your home: a room by room guide, that is in no way exhaustive… However, it may give you some new ideas, or inspiration for how you can best get your home ready for your mini’s.
Let us start with the bedroom. While you may not think of many objects in the bedroom as being ‘dangerous’, this can actually be the most dangerous place for a curious baby/toddler. A few years ago, there was a certain ‘affordable’ and very popular furniture company that produced and sold MANY dressers and cabinets. There were so many incidents of children climbing up the drawers, and with that, having the dresser tip over and fall on the child. Since then, many of these furniture companies now carry safety items that actually secure this type of furniture to the wall. This way, if the child does happen to climb up it, it will not fall on them.
Another thing to consider in the bedroom are any cords. Depending if you are the type of person who loves watching TV in bed or not, it is essential to ensure all TV & A/V equipment is either hidden or stored up high out of reach. When discussing cords, simple items such as lamps, phone chargers, etc., are also at risk of being grabbed/pulled/teethed.
While we are on the topic of electrical – this point goes for any room in the house. There are plastic covers that can be inserted to electrical sockets, which will prevent any fingers or other items entering the plugs.
If your child is sleeping in your bed, or their own, depending on the height of the bed – bed rails may be a great investment. Some beds are quite high and could cause serious harm to your child if they were to fall out of bed.
Another basic safety precaution for ALL homes (not just homes with small children) is to ensure there are smoke detectors installed on every level in your home… Especially near the bedrooms. This alarm goes hand in hand with carbon monoxide detectors, which are also essential to safety at home.
The next room we will cover is the kitchen. While the kitchen is the heart of the home for many, it can also be a very hazardous place. Some parents may even opt to make the kitchen an “out of bounds” area by affixing baby gates, just because it could pose a real problem if the children are not properly supervised and sneak their way into this room.
The first thing we would suggest is ensuring all cabinet doors are secured (especially the lower cabinets). This way, there is a child lock on the cabinets and they cannot get into the contents of the cabinets. A lot of people keep their cleaning supplies, dishwasher pods, bleach, etc. under the sink… So these are items we definitely all want to keep away from our kiddos!
When it comes to countertop appliances, such as blenders, mixers, toasters, coffee makers, etc. – anything on the countertop that has a cord – these items can be pulled down. Not only are the cords hazardous if plugged in, a lot of these appliances are quite heavy and could cause some serious damage if it landed on top of someone! Ensure these items are unplugged and out of reach.
All appliances such as fridge, oven, dishwasher should also have locks on them – in case anyone is swinging on the doors, the appliances will not open to cause bodily harm.
As mentioned above, cleaning products are a big thing to focus on when it comes to safety. In addition to installing child-locks on the cabinet doors to prevent access, it is also a good idea to perhaps consider what is being kept in the kitchen and actually look at what ingredients are in the cleaning products you are using. These days, there are a plethora of options when it comes to healthy cleaning options – for example, you can use cleaning vinegar rather than using bleach. Many of these products contain extremely harmful chemicals that go into the air you and your family breathes. If you opt for organic, “green” style cleaning products, it is a win-win for everyone!
On that note of air quality, air purifiers have recently become more and more popular. Almost everything in your home off-gasses – think, new carpet, new flooring, your couch, bed, pillows, blankets, pet beds, pet toys – almost EVERYTHING in your home. Opening your windows to let in clean air helps a lot too. Many people do not consider how polluted interior air can be.
Here are a few other quick tips for other areas of your home:
Childproofing Living Room
– Put down an area rug to prevent slipping
– Bumpers on the corners of coffee tables
– Ensure all cords and A/V equipment are up and away from grabby hands/mouths.
– Converter out of reach (so they don’t get opened and expose dangerous batteries – if ingested)
– Window Covering pulls – tied up higher so they don’t get pulled and fall
– Again, secure any cabinets or consoles to the wall in case of climbers
– Cleaning products up and away
– Sharper objects in higher cabinets – think razors, tweezers, scissors. etc.
– Use natural cleaning products or vinegar is a great option
– Lock toilet bowl lid down and vanity doors
– Medication & pills stored away securely
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