Having a baby can be an exciting but overwhelming time for parents. Take steps to ensure your home is safe. Babyproofing may feel like a hassle, but there are plenty of simple and effective ways to make your home secure for small children. Here are a few essential ways to babyproof your home.
Cover Electrical Outlets First When You Babyproof Your Home
Protect your child by babyproofing electrical outlets. Curious children love to explore and may be tempted to insert fingers or toys into the outlets. Cover the outlets with outlet covers or plastic plugs, which are inexpensive and readily available at your local home improvement store.
Install Safety Gates
Safety gates are essential for keeping your baby from accessing certain rooms of the house and away from hazards. Place safety gates at the entrance to stairs and other potentially dangerous areas like kitchens or bathrooms. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to install the gate securely.
Secure Furniture and Appliances
Once your baby starts crawling and walking, secure heavy furniture and appliances with L-brackets or wall anchor straps specially designed for this purpose. Anchor the changing table, chest of drawers, tv stands, and anything your baby may use to pull to a standing position. Check to make sure no furniture can topple over and cause harm.
Secure Window Treatments
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, cords on window blinds and drapes are a strangulation hazard for young children. Make sure loops or pull cords that come with window treatments are out of reach and that there are no dangling cords to entrap your baby. If necessary, replace your blinds or curtains with child-safe alternatives.
Store Dangerous Items Out of Reach
Keep potentially harmful items like medicine, cleaning supplies, and sharp objects in a safe place outside your baby’s reach. Install locks on cabinets and drawers to ensure your child can’t access dangerous items.
Check for Lead-Based Paint When Your Babyproof Your Home
If your house was built before 1978, lead-based paint might be present. Lead paint is especially dangerous if it’s cracking, peeling, or chipping. Hire a lead remediation service to remove peeling paint and clean the area well to keep your family safe.
Use Corner and Edge Bumpers
Coffee tables, counters, and other furniture with sharp edges can be dangerous for babies as they learn to walk. Use corner covers and edge bumpers to provide padding around these areas. Padding will help prevent injuries.
Lower the Water Heater Temperature as You Babyproof the Home
Hot water burns are among the most common causes of injury for children. Check the temperature on your water heater to verify it is set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below to avoid scalding.
Following these steps ensures your home is safe and secure for your baby to explore. With patience and preparation, babyproofing your home can be easy and effective.