In the blink of an eye, your cuddly baby can turn into a troublemaking explorer who seems to get into everything. Thankfully, you can prevent accidents by securing your home with cabinet locks, baby gates, and much more. While you can never completely protect children from getting hurt, this room-by-room guide to childproofing your home can minimize the chance of bumps and bruises.
Stove: Your stove can be the biggest hazard in your home. However, there are plenty of gadgets to keep your little one safe from the heat. You can install a stove guard, a strip of plastic that prevents children from touching hot pots or burners. Stove knob covers are an alternative, which ensure little ones cannot turn on the stove when you are looking away. If possible, always use the back burners.
Appliances: Large kitchen appliances such as ovens, refrigerators, and even the dishwasher pose a threat to your child’s safety. An appliance latch or lock can help you secure all these devices with ease. Smaller appliances should not be overlooked either. Many toddlers can reach these items and knock them over, so place them towards the rear of the counter and double-check that cords are not poking out.
Cutlery: A butcher block of knives sitting on the counter is an accident waiting to happen. Store it in an above-the-counter cabinet with a childproof lock or latch.
Breakables: If your child bumps a fragile object, the glass could shatter and even cut them. Put all photo frames and other fragile items up and out of sight.
TV: Many parents are concerned with limiting their little one’s screen time, but TV tip-overs pose a more dangerous threat to children. There are two ways to secure a flat screen: stabilize it with an anti-tip strap anchored to the wall or mount the TV directly on the wall. TV’s are magnets to children, so mounting them is an essential component of a babyproofed home.
Toilet: Children are more top-heavy than adults, so they can lean into a toilet and may not be able to get out. Always keep the lid down and install a latch so it cannot be opened by your little one, and remind guests to be respectful of this, too.
Medicine Cabinet: Not only is it crucial to place medicine and vitamins up high, but they should be kept under lock and key, as well.
Crib: A babyproofed nursery is essential, as your little one will spend the most time unsupervised here. Before laying your baby down in a crib, ensure that it meets the current safety regulations; the crib must have fixed sides, the slats cannot be further than 2 3/8 inches apart, and the mattress must be firm and correspond to the crib size. Never hang anything over a crib, and remove blankets, stuffed animals, and pillows, as they pose a risk of suffocation.
Window Blinds: There are too many hazards associated with window blind cords to name, so remove the risks by investing in cordless window coverings. If this is not possible, keep all furniture and anything that can be climbed away from windows, and ensure window cords are up and out of reach by looping them around the top of the blinds.
Around the House
Baby Gates: Unless you live in a single-story home, securing stairs is a crucial part of childproofing your home. Baby gates can prevent falls and other mishaps and should be installed at the top and bottom of every staircase.
Corner Guards: Parents never realize how many sharp corners and edges are in a home until the time comes to childproof. Corner guards cushion hard edges so you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing your child is safer.
Power: Crawling kids find electrical outlets irresistible because they are eye-level and in reaching distance. Outlet covers are the perfect fix to prevent little ones from inserting their finger or other items in the slots. Also remember to keep power strips hidden or purchase a power-strip cover as an extra precaution.
Safety Doorknob: Doorknob covers are essential to any childproofed home. They make it difficult for babies to open doors and should be placed on all doors leading outside. Lever door handles are much harder to childproof, but lever handle locks can ensure that doors are only opened in one direction. These features allow you to get a handle on your child’s safety.
Locks and Latches: As soon as little ones can crawl their favorite hobby is getting into everything. Interior safety latches or external locks are two great options to keep your curious child out of trouble. Cabinets or drawers that hold cleaning supplies, harsh chemicals, or medicine should be locked.
Furniture: The strength and mobility of your toddler can creep up on you quickly, and suddenly your little tot can scale dressers and climb large pieces of furniture. Every parent should use furniture restraints, sometimes referred to as anchoring kits, to secure wardrobes, bookcases, dressers, and other top-heavy pieces of furniture that can fall over. Anchoring these items only takes a few minutes and may protect your child from serious injuries.
Detectors: Install a carbon monoxide detector along with a smoke detector on every floor of your home. If you already have some, check their batteries.
When it comes to childproofing your home, preparing for the worst is always best; the checklist above is a great place to start. If you have a baby on the way and are looking for a more spacious home in the Palm Beaches, contact a Tauber Real Estate Services specialist at 561-626-4633.