It’s an exciting time when bub starts moving around – the cute commando crawls and bum shuffling. It is also a time when you need to carefully evaluate the hazards of your home and make it safe for your little one to roam around. It doesn’t take long for those tiny, chubby hands to get into some serious mischief or worse. My first son wasn’t even crawling yet but he was turning from back to tummy. He was happily playing on his mat and I walked into the kitchen for a minute. Somehow he managed to make his way to the TV cabinet and pull down a video recorder that my husband had left there to charge. When I ran in there was a little bit of blood and a lot of tears. I went white with worry and tried to calm him down. He got over it pretty quickly but it proved how accidents can happen in no time at all and how important it is to baby proof the house – the sooner the better!
So where do you start? It’s a good idea to first get down on the floor and look at everything ground up to about a metre. Remember baby is a curious creature and all those coffee table books, drawers, cupboards, trinkets etc look very interesting but can be dangerous. Continue reading on for some more tips on making your home baby safe.
Use child-resistant power point plugs on all power points and ensure that power cords and leads are away from baby’s reach.
Secure all cupboard and cabinet doors and low-lying drawers with childproof locks. There’s a wide range of locks that you can choose from and are available from baby product retailers, hardware stores and even the supermarket.
Install gates at the bottom and tops of stairs or other areas of the house that you don’t want bub to enter. Ready-made gates are available to fit most doorways. Check that you know how to use the lock properly before leaving the place of purchase.
Keep the toilet lid closed and if possible secure a toilet lid lock. Toddlers are attracted to the water but they can fall in and splashing about in the toilet is a health hazard. Also cabinets installed above the toilet are dangerous as toddlers can climb onto the toilet seat to access the cabinet. If possible keep the bathroom door shut at all times.
Check furniture and electrical appliances for stability. A toddler on the move can pull down anything within reach and knock over bookcases, shelves, etc. Secure these items to the wall or remove them.
Pad corners of furniture or other sharp edges with purpose made protectors or bubble wrap and move the coffee table away from the centre of the room.
Always turn the handles of pots and pans on the stovetop inwards and make it a habit to use the rear hot plates before the front ones.
Ensure the stove is anchored to the wall or floor and fit a stove guard.
Keep knives and sharp objects out of reach. Plastic bags are another hazard that need to be out of reach too.
Remove small, fragile or breakable items until your youngest child is about five years old.
Put chemicals, detergents, cleaning products, medicines and toiletries in a locked cupboard. This goes for kitchen, bathroom and laundry products. A child-resistant latch can save a child’s life.
Remove poisonous indoor plants. It may be easier to remove all indoor plants until bub has moved past the eating dirt stage. Little ones love the dirt but it also carries dangerous fertilizers and pesticides. Keep curtain and blind cords out of reach as they are strangulation hazards.
The last word…It’s a good idea to learn all you can about baby development so it is easier for you to understand the things babies do at various stages that are likely to lead to unintentional injuries.