Your baby can roll over and might even be able to sit up. Soon, they’ll try to crawl, stand up and walk. And, before they can acquire all this mobility, you should take a good scan of your home. Identify the spots you can baby-proof so your child can eventually explore her own house.
Household accidents are among the leading causes of death in babies and toddlers – drowning, falling, burning, etc.
Put yourself in your baby’s shoes.
Think about your little one’s height, so you’ll have a look into their perspective and know what is and what isn’t within their reach. BabyHome made a list of possible dangers (and solutions) to help you through this phase. See below:
Windows and verandas
Protective netting should be installed as soon as your baby starts walking. Babies love pushing chairs and, before you know it, they’ll be climbing them. If you still don’t have the netting on the windows, keep furniture away from them.
As soon as babies start walking, they start playing around with doors. To prevent their little fingers from getting stuck in between the hinges, you can place specific baby-proofing door stoppers. If you can’t find those, improvise with a towel, placing it in the gaps in between the hinges.
Curtains and shades
Any type of string or rope can pose a danger as they are a choking hazard. Always leave strings tied up high, with a knot or a clip so the child cannot reach it.
Place plastic protectors in your outlets as curious kids cannot resist playing with them. You can also improvise by placing a piece of tape on top of it. Always remember to unplug electronics from the outlets and then baby-proof those as well. And don’t leave phone chargers connected to outlets – there have been reports of children who put the cord’s charging end in their mouths.
Install protective nets and gates to prevent the child from having unassisted access to the stairs. The net will protect them from any possible gaps in the staircase.
Access to pools should preferably be guarded by gates or a tarp (but ensure it is secured to the floor and tight enough to withstand a child’s weight on it).
If the house you’re living in does not offer this kind of protection, keep a very close watch on your child and ask everyone to lock any and all doors that allow access to the pool.
If you’re just visiting for a day (like attending a party), put some floaties on your child and make sure an adult is always supervising kids’ activities.
Furniture and TVs
Even before they try climbing the furniture, babies will try pulling on the TV or whatever is in their way. If the item is not secured, it can fall on the child and could even be fatal. To avoid any accidents, secure furniture, and electronics to the wall.
These should be anti-skid (with rubbery bottoms) to prevent the child from slipping and falling.
You should look up whether the plants in your home are toxic for the baby or not. If they are, they should be kept up high where babies can’t reach them. Also, be careful with potting soil, which can end up in the baby’s mouth!
Bags and plastic bags are a suffocation hazard and should always be kept out of children’s reach and never used as toys.
Take a good look at the decorations around your home. Anything that is small or could break easily into small parts should be taken out of reach.
Don’t leave pet food or water out where the child can reach them.
Place adhesive tape around remote controls and electronics to prevent the baby from having access to batteries. Be especially careful with batteries inside clocks.
The baby’s room
Changing table: If possible, change your baby inside the crib. That way, you don’t run the risk of having the baby accidentally roll over and fall. But, if you’re using a changing table, always keep one hand on the baby.
Grab everything you need before starting the diaper change: grab diapers, rash cream, water, a new change of clothes, etc.
The lamp: should be kept out of reach, as it is a choking hazard.
The crib: When the baby starts climbing the crib, it’s time to switch to a mattress on the floor or a lower bed.
Toys: Keep toys accessible so the baby won’t try to climb surfaces to get them.
The couple’s bedroom
Don’t let your baby sleep in your bed, even with pillows stacked on the side. They learn to roll pretty quickly and can fall at any moment.
Dining and living rooms
Table and furniture edges: These are one of the main issues when it comes to baby-proofing. You could place protective covers made of plastic or silicone.
Table cloths: Babies can pull on it, causing whatever is on top of them to fall to the floor or their heads. Avoid these for a while.
Glass or mirrored tables: Babies love throwing and hitting things, and yes, they’re stronger than they seem. With that in mind, protect your table with a pad and keep an eye on your child!
Couch: Never leave your baby sitting or laying down on a sofa unattended, not even for a second. In the blink of an eye, they can roll over or lunge forward and fall to the floor.
Pillows/Cushions: If your baby falls asleep on the couch, just be careful with the pillows. They can be choking hazards.
Bar cart: Alcoholic beverages should be placed on a high shelf, where the child has no access.
A child’s place is definitely not in the kitchen. But we know it’s tough to keep them away all the time. So, try the following safety rules:
Whenever you’re cooking, don’t let your child in the kitchen. If you don’t have doors, you can install baby safety gates.
Always leave pots, and pan handles turned inwards, facing the back of the stove. If your child has access to the kitchen, opt for cooking on the back burners.
Microwaves and ovens: keep them closed with child locks.
Sharp edges: Never leave knives near the border of surfaces that your child can reach.
Pantry: On the bottom shelves, leave only items you know are safe for the child to grab (such as plastic plates, for example, and pots and pans).
Anything made of glass or ceramic should be stored up high. At some point, your child will discover doors to cupboards and will be delighted with what they find. Keep silverware on the highest drawer possible – even then, once they start walking or standing up, they’ll be able to grab things near the edges. Therefore, knives should be stored up high or at least deep inside the drawers. Forks can also be harmful. To ease your mind, you can place child locks on cabinet doors and regular doors – your child’s fingers will thank you.
Appliances: Be careful with loose wires to avoid the risk of the child getting tangled in them.
Fridge: If you have a magnet collection, keep your attention doubled. The best course of action is to remove them for a while, to avoid running the risk of having a magnet fall and end up in your child’s mouth.
Hot water: If you have hot water in your sink or tub, don’t let your child play with the faucet and be careful while preparing their bath.
If you have a way to regulate and measure the temperature, keep it at a maximum of 40°C (104°F).
Toilet seat: and cover should always remain closed and, if possible, place a child lock on it. Besides the risk of drowning, children love to play with the toilet water or throw objects in it – and, not too uncommonly, they will try to drink it.
Water in the tub: The smallest amount of water inside the tub is all it takes for your child to drown. During bath time, please don’t leave them out of your sight.
Install anti-skid tape inside and out the tub.
Medication, hygiene products, hairdryers, and shaving products should all be on a high shelf that’s also locked.
Cleaning supplies should be kept out of reach of children. Use a safety lock.
Buckets and basins are also a drowning risk. Therefore you should also keep them out of reach. According to the Safe Child NGO, up until they’re 4-years-old, children can drown in containers with just 2,5 cm (just short of an inch) of water.
Your child should never be in the same room as someone ironing clothes. Children love pulling on wires, and accidents happen often. Avoid doing this while they’re awake.
Write it down!
Keep emergency numbers written down and easy to find on your phone in case of an emergency.
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