Tips for Babyproofing your Home
The world can be a dangerous place for a baby. Their lack of knowledge of what is dangerous and what is not, combined with their eagerness to explore, makes it inevitable they will come into danger. All it takes is a few seconds of distraction and your baby could find themselves in harm’s way, with potentially disastrous consequences.
While we are unable to grow eyes in the back of our heads, we are at least able to take some precautions to make the home as safe as possible. That way, there is less chance that inquisitive fingers can find themselves in dangerous situations. There is some very useful advice that will help you to make the home as safe as you can.
Open plug sockets make for an interesting feature to many babies, and they’ll just love to investigate. This can mean inserting fingers or objects into them, with potentially unthinkable consequences. Specially made plugs can be purchased to fill the holes, making sure that nothing can be inserted.
Drawers and Cupboards
Babies and toddlers that are able to reach high enough are likely to be interested in the contents of drawers and cupboards. This can mean pulling down their contents onto themselves, and this could be disastrous. Ensure that locks are kept on drawers and cupboards to help keep them firmly shut, and their contents safe from your baby.
Chemicals and Cleaning Products
Your baby will not know that chemicals and cleaning products can be dangerous to them, they’re more likely to think they are something to be played with. Make sure that you keep all chemicals and cleaning products well out of reach of young hands in a high up place and/or behind a locked door. Make sure also that your baby is kept clear if you are using such products to clean the home with. If you’re scrubbing the floors or cleaning the toilet, try to do so when somebody else can supervise your baby in another room and make sure all surfaces are rinsed as well as they can be once you have finished.
It’s easy to understand why even the most even tempered of pets can become frustrated at being poked and pulled. Even a well-mannered dog might feel the need to tell a child to back off, so it is important to supervise kids around animals where possible. You should also try to allow a way for your pet to find a quiet place away from the baby when it has had enough.
Pet food that has been left on the floor is also a potential hazard. It could cause a baby to become ill if ingested, and kibbles could also present a choking hazard. Every time you feed your pets, make sure that any remaining food is removed once they have finished. Be sure also to keep babies away from pets when they are eating.
Knobs and Switches
To a baby, a knob or a switch could seem like a fun thing to play with. If the knob belongs to a gas stove, however, then they could be putting their lives in danger. Knobs and switches may belong to various appliances that could be dangerous if switched on or off, so it is best to make them baby-proof where possible. Specially designed locks are available that prevent babies and young children from tampering with knobs and switches, making such appliances safe to have around the home.
Bookcases and Other Furniture
The world is a playground to young children, with plenty of climbing frames to be assailed. The problem is that these climbing frames are often household furniture such as bookcases, and these are not always as secure as they might seem. Make sure that tall furniture is bolted to the walls to prevent it from toppling over should a baby try to climb it. While it’s best to prevent them from climbing such items in the first place, it is best to secure them just in case.
The Stairs Hazard
Stairs are always a hazard to young children, and a tumble could lead to serious injury. Fortunately, though, barriers can be placed at the top and bottom of stairs to help prevent babies from having access to them. They are generally designed to be easily opened when needed, helping to ensure that adults have access when needed. In addition to barriers, make sure that the stairs themselves are free from objects that might cause a fall. Ensure also that there is no loose carpeting or loose floorboards. Unsafe stairways also present a hazard to adults, and the consequences of a fall are made even worse if they are holding a child at the time.
Balconies can be very useful additions to the home, especially in warm climates. They make an ideal place to dry the laundry, or maybe a relaxing spot to read a book or enjoy a drink in the evening. They can also be a hazard, however, as there is usually a drop of at least one storey to the ground below. If you do have a balcony, you will need to ensure that the railing is secured firmly in place. You will also need to ensure that there are no gaps in between bars that are large enough for small children so squeeze through. Make sure also that there are no chairs or other objects next to the railing that any young children can climb on, or that they are able to climb on the railing itself.
Overall, baby-proofing a home is pretty much a case of common-sense. Go through your home checking fittings, furniture and appliances and ask yourself if and how these could be a hazard. Most of the time, you will find that solutions are available that will help you to make these safe. Follow the tips above, and you will give yourself a good chance of making sure that there are few potential hazards in your home.