Not long after my baby started crawling my excitement quickly turned to panic as he turned into a tiny investigator that had to grab everything. It is then I realised how many everyday household items pose a risk to a baby.
So I looked around my home and the following are some tips to help babyproof your home:
- Power outlets – your local hardware store will sell plastic outlet plugs for a few dollars these can prevent any foreign objects being placed in unused power outlets. Also make sure you always switch power points off when not in use.
- Electrical cords – not only could a baby potentially pull a heavy object on top of them (television etc.), they are, well…. ELECTRIC, need I say more! Try and keep these hidden or out of baby’s reach. I had to re-arrange our lounge room to move furniture in front of the television power cord and antenna.
- Unsecured furniture – as your little one starts climbing, unsecured furniture becomes a risk of falling and crushing them. Make sure any furniture (such as bookcases, chest of drawers etc) are safely secured to the wall/roof to prevent this.
- Doors & cupboards – it’s easy for little fingers to get caught so a door or cupboard lock will not only keep all fingers in tact but will keep the contents of the room or cupboard secure.
- Kitchen drawer and cupboards - this is a room in the house where it is most likely that the contents of these draws could be unsafe (i.e. knives, cleaning products or other sharp objects) so you should reconsider where you keep these items.
- Cleaning products – if you are like me these are stored under the kitchen sink. Wherever these are stored in your house, it is important that there is a lock on the cupboard if it is in baby’s reach or the cleaning products are moved to a higher cupboard as these pose a high risk of potential poisoning.
- Any enclosure which may hold water or could hold water needs to be blocked off as there is the possibility of drowning – i.e. ensure the pool is gated and always closed, put a lock on the toilet lids (also germs – yuck!)
- Curtains & blinds cords – Unfortunately there have been too many cases of strangulation from babies getting caught in the cords hanging off curtains and blinds. Ensure these are out of baby’s reach and use a safety device. With vertical blinds make sure you remove the plastic linking chain at the bottom, these are also a choking risk.
- Stairs – baby gates are a great investment to block stairs to prevent falls or to block entry to any room really.
Before you start babyproofing, get down on the floor and have a look at your home from a baby’s eye sight. Ask yourself, what is in their reach? What looks temping?