Babyproofing your home

Parents constantly worry over how to protect their child from strangers and violence, but many forget the dangers that their own homes may hold.  As soon as a baby learns to crawl, and for a few years beyond, parents must do everything to ensure that their child is not harmed out of negligence.  Because of their inquisitive mind, young children are likely to create threats and dangers of which parents should be aware.

Power Outlets and cords

While it’s a very good idea to cover electrical outlets to protect a baby from electrocution, the small plastic removable plug-in caps can easily end up in their mouths.  A better idea is to replace the outlet covers with a sliding safety latch.

When using extension cords in the home, exposed outlets should be covered with electrical tape to prevent the baby from pulling the cords out and shocking himself.  Other cords should be taped down as well, so that the baby cannot easily pull on them and any objects to which they are attached.

Furniture

Large and heavy furniture can be a fatal hazard to babies when they decide to explore what’s a round them. . Bolt furniture down if possible, and push them against a wall for support.  Place televisions and other such appliances far away from the edges of tables or stands.  Place heavier items in bottom shelves and drawers to make the furniture less top-heavy.

The corners of furniture are also a common hazard, especially short pieces such as coffee tables as they can easily scratch, scape or bruise toddlers when they run into them.  Use bumpers to cover these corners to soften the impact if babies fall onto them.  Keep dresser drawers closed because not only do they have corners, but they make perfect ladders for toddlers.

Installing Baby Gates

Safety gates are essential childproofing tools because they allow parents to open outside doors but can keep babies inside, or even within a specific room and away from more dangerous territory such as bathrooms and kitchens.  They also stop babies from climbing stairs from which they can fall.

Securing windows and doors

It’s best not leave open windows that are low to the ground because toddlers can climb through them.  If you have to, use window stops to control the size of the opening.   To prevent children from reaching higher windows, keep furniture far away.  Window screens are not strong enough to support toddlers if they press against them.  So use window guards to protect toddlers from falling out the window.  Window guards should be carefully chosen, and should fit the window frame well, but not be so snug that it cannot be removed by an adult in the case of an emergency.