The moment your little one starts crawling is exciting, but it’s a clear sign that it’s time to baby-proof your home. Most parents protect doors, corners, and hot surfaces as a start. But there are a few spots that are easy to overlook when baby-proofing your home. Most household injuries are preventable with the proper safety precautions. We’ve narrowed down the top places that are easy to overlook to help keep your little ones safe when they’re on the move.
The fireplace doesn’t need to be on for your baby to pry. It’s a new area that they’re going to explore if nothing is stopping them. But fireplaces can be dangerous, even when they’re off. If you use your fireplace, you need a wall-mounted baby gate for the best protection against the fireplace and any tools. You can also use a hearth gate or fireplace door locks. Some parents make DIY barriers with toys or household products, but beware that these could be dangerous and flammable.
It’s easy to overlook blinds and the dangers they impose. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission shared the risks of different types of blind cords. The blind cord can lead to strangulation and even death. The safest option is to choose cordless blinds, but there are other options, especially if you’re not up for an entire window makeover. Look for cord safety stops or winders to keep your blinds intact. Make sure there aren’t any dangling cords and make any pull cords as short as possible to keep them out of your little one’s reach.
Babyproofing your home goes beyond your back door. Your garage poses several dangers for your baby that you can easily overlook. Keep doors in your home locked at all times to avoid your baby getting into the garage. And keep your garage door opener out of your little one’s reach. Remember to safely store chemicals, tools and outdoor toys in a childproof container to prevent any injuries.
Hot water heating
Hot tap water burns cause more deaths and hospitalizations than any other hot liquids. Playing in any water is dangerous, but scalding or burns from water that is too hot can be even more troublesome. Ensure your hot water heating temperature is set below 100 degrees Fahrenheit to be on the safe side. It’s a good idea to safeguard all faucets with locks and covers, especially in the bathroom where many babies play in the water in the sink, toilet and bathtub.
Table linens may seem like a nice touch at the dinner table, but they could be dangerous for babies. If your little one pulls it down, any dishes or glass on the table could hurt them. And if they use the tablecloth to pull up for leverage, they could fall. Consider removing tablecloths and other linens. It’s best to keep the table clear of dishes and decor to be on the safe side if your baby becomes curious.
Unfortunately, children can fall out of windows, including screens. More than 3,300 children are hospitalized and injured from window falls every year. Keep toys and furniture away from windows to prevent children from being enticed to go near them. When you’re not using a window, keep it closed and locked. When you are using a window, keep your little one in sight at all times. For extra protection, add window guards to keep you alert when windows are open. And don’t hesitate to remind your loved ones about window safety when your baby is visiting.
Whether your stove is on or off, it’s dangerous for children. Add stove knob covers to prevent your child from turning on the stove or detaching stove knobs. Plus, add an oven lock to keep them from opening the oven door. And when you are in the kitchen, use the back burners to keep the hot surface further away from your baby. Consider making it a house rule to keep children out of the kitchen without adult supervision for the best oven and kitchen safety.
Other Baby-Proofing Tips
The more your baby learns, the more baby- or toddler-proofing you’ll need to do. Here are some other tips from the experts to evaluate your home’s safety for your baby:
- Look for heavy objects around your home. If these objects tip over, they could seriously injure your baby.
- Securely attach furniture to walls to prevent them from tilting over.
- Add gates wherever there’s danger. Don’t hesitate to add gates to keep your little one out of the kitchen, away from stairs or the fireplace. You can never have too many if it means extra peace of mind.
- Don’t hesitate to put your baby in a safe play pin, jumper or seat when cleaning or to handle dangerous tools. They can have fun, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing they’re safe while you handle your chores.
- Don’t forget about the small object test. Use a cardboard toilet paper roll to see if the object can fit through. If it does, it’s likely a choking hazard for your baby.
The Bottom Line
Your baby will become more curious as they grow. Remember to baby-proof for now and in the future. Start by getting on the floor to see everything from your baby’s perspective. If you need help, many organizations can help you safely baby-proof your home in your area. Don’t hesitate to get help to keep your baby safe.