Got a toddler who just can’t stop exploring? Do you find yourself on your computer or mobile searching, “how to baby proof house”? We got you covered! Here’s a list of how you can baby proof different areas of your home.
The age-old proverb reads ‘It takes a village to raise a baby,’ and in all fairness, it’s indeed true. Babies can be a handful, especially when they become toddlers and are more curious about everything around them.
It’s not surprising then that kids also end up hurting themselves more often. While the mild bruises, bumps, and thuds can be dealt with, it’s the big injuries that can keep parents awake at night.
That’s why you need to take extra caution when raising kids bitten by the curiosity bug. So how do you begin the babyproofing procedure? Well, pediatricians have child safety guidelines of their own, which they recommend to new parents. This is in order to make homes safer for children.
And because we understand parenting is a steep learning curve, we decided to give you a baby proofing house checklist to make this an easier process for you.
How to baby proof house: 17 things pediatricians recommend to baby proof your home
Ways on how to baby proof your house. | Image courtesy: iStock
How to baby proof furniture, living room, and outside areas
1. Don’t go for tension-mounted baby gates
Several pediatricians recommend not installing tension-mounted gates since they aren’t sturdy or stable. Instead, it’s safer to install baby gates that can self-latch or can be drilled into the wall.
This is especially true when installing one on a staircase, which happens to be one of the major reasons for toddlers injuring themselves. At the same time, it’s important to install the gate at the top and bottom of the staircase.
2. Baby proof the swimming pool
Drowning has turned out to be a leading cause of injury in children in Singapore. Even globally, the cases of kids drowning in pools due to negligence remain a grave concern.
That’s why several pediatricians insist that swimming pools at home be babyproofed. This may include installing barricades around the pool itself, as well as an alarm on your home’s door and the pool.
Several modern-day alarms also start ringing as soon as the surface-level changes, making it a critical safety component to be installed in the house.
At the same time, acquaint your children with water at an early age so they know how to handle themselves in an accident. Enrichment classes in Singapore accept children as young as 11 months for swimming training. This may seem like a stretch, but learning water safety is also part of how to baby proof house.
3. Bracket large furniture
Baby proofing furniture is also important. One of the first things you strap in when you have a baby is the heavy furniture. Make sure all the heavy stuff is secured to the wall using a bracket, a wall strap, or an anchor.
So, in the case of your child emulating Tarzan on any given day, you can be assured the furniture won’t tip over on them. Babyproofing furniture is a fairly simple step, but one that can make a world of a difference.
4. Wall-mounted TV sets
Some doctors say that all flat-screen Televisions should be mounted on the wall instead of placing them on the stand. The risk of a TV on the stand is the same as heavy furniture, there’s a risk of your child using it to pull themselves up. This is part of baby proofing furniture.
Ways on how to baby proof your house. | Image courtesy: iStock
How to baby proof house: Rooms, nurseries, and bathroom
5. Blinds with long chords
For homes with blinds that use long chords, it’s wise to change the same once the baby comes along. The long, dangling strings pose a strangulation risk.
You can also shorten the length of the chord and eliminate the loop entirely to minimize the risk.
6. Button batteries
Smaller button batteries have the tendency to go unnoticed before or after use and can be extremely dangerous if kept lying around the house. Toddlers may swallow the batteries and other similar items.
Make sure that small objects like these are tucked away on a higher-level shelf that is out of your child’s reach.
7. No stuff toys or blankets in the crib
All pediatricians emphasize that your baby’s crib needs to be empty to keep your baby safe when sleeping alone. All it requires is a mattress and a bedsheet, and nothing else.
Adding stuffed toys, blankets, and pillows to the crib increases the risk of suffocation for the child, who will be unable to call for help or change their position. Part of how to baby proof house is keeping any suffocation hazard out of the crib.
Image Source: Pexels
8. Medicine cabinet
Your little Indiana Jones may be on an adventure spree and you may realize when they gain access to your prescription medicines.
That’s why parents and grandparents need to be careful about not leaving the medicine cabinet open or unattended, as well as consuming the pills as soon as they are in their hands.
Pills are colorful and easily attract children who could consume them when the adults aren’t watching. You also risk dropping the pill on the ground, which could be accessed by your child unknowingly.
At the same time, a part of how to baby proof house is making sure the medicine cabinet remains inaccessible to children. Preferably it is locked, and placed in the part of the house the children cannot access.
9. Windows with baby guards
Aside from baby proofing furniture, homes with infants and toddlers need to have windows with baby guards attached for safety. Countless accidents happen globally when a child accesses a window and falls out. That’s why you need to get a window guard or latch the windows properly.
It’s just another part of how to baby proof a house. It is also necessary as per the child safety guidelines. Look for window guards that come with the quick-release feature, allowing families to escape in case of an emergency like a fire.
10. Keep the bathroom door locked
While swimming pools may seem like an obvious place for water-related accidents to happen, there is an increasing risk of kids injuring themselves or drowning in the bathroom.
Most of these accidents happen due to negligence, which is why you need to keep the bathroom door locked at home.
It is one of the most important children’s safety guidelines and kids should always be using the bathroom under adult supervision. At the same time, all bathrooms need to get a lock to prevent any mishaps.
These are some of the ways how to babyproof your bathroom:
- Install a toilet seat lock. Also, always make sure that your bathroom has a safety lock, too.
- A tub separator may also help your baby be safe while taking a bath. It limits the amount of space your baby has to navigate while in the bathtub.
- Use and install a bath organizer. This is where you need to place your shampoos, soap, and other products on the list that have potential hazards.
- Add corner guards to your bathroom counter or sink. Remove any step tools to avoid a climbing hazard.
Image Source: iStock
11. How to baby proof laundry room
Your laundry room is an amazing utility space for washing, drying, and sometimes, ironing your laundry. It may be also a greatly hazardous place for your baby. These are the following steps on how to baby proof laundry room:
- Keep your laundry products beyond the reach of your baby.
- Always keep your detergent inside its own packaging.
- Be sure to safeguard every laundry appliance.
- Secure your ironing board in a safe space.
- Keep in mind to turn off your iron when not in use.
- Close the washing machine and dryer doors often.
- Do not allow and be aware of climbing hazards.
- Stop placing items directly on top of your washing machine and dryer.
- Regularly clean your lint traps.
- As much as possible, never allow your children inside the laundry room.
How to baby proof your house kitchen and the rest of the house
12. Use outlet covers
Kids are curious by nature and won’t think twice before pushing their tiny fingers into a wall socket. Ideally, get the sockets placed at a higher level in the house to avoid the same being accessed by children.
You should also invest in outlet covers that help prevent electrical outlet injuries.
When looking for outlet covers, make sure they do not have small pieces that can potentially be a choking hazard. You can also use heavy furniture to mask electrical outlets in the house, so children do not have access to the same.
13. Ditch the baby walker
Certain pediatricians are of the opinion that baby walkers do not make any contribution towards the child actually walking. In addition, they are a safety hazard instead.
Research also backs this up, with the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents not use baby walkers. An unsupervised baby walker can easily allow the child to step into dangerous areas of the home like the pool or the staircase.
They could also bump into a wall or furniture potentially dismounting objects off the shelves.
Image Source: Pexels
14. Avoid sharp corners
As part of the child safety guidelines, be smart and remove all sharp corners from the house. While you can relocate smaller objects in the house, bigger objects like furniture may need some adjustment. This is why baby proofing tables are a must.
You can get rounded caps in the market that can be affixed around such corners. With their changing height, kids risk poking their eyes, head, and even hands around the edges.
When buying furniture, especially tables and desks, choose glass tops with rounded edges. If this is not possible, baby proofing tables are a good alternative.
15. Research house plants before bringing them home
It may slip your mind when thinking of how to baby proof house, but remember that some house plants can be toxic for babies and pets. So make sure to research the house plant that you wish to grow indoors and the potential effect on people.
Sometimes, kids may have an underlying allergy to the same that you won’t figure out until the baby has come in contact with the plant. However, you can always double-check and be safe, especially if the baby may be within reach of the plant.
16. How to baby proof your house kitchen and dining room
The kitchen is one of the areas of the house where potential dangers abound. That’s why baby proofing the kitchen is essential. When cooking on a stovetop, choose the burner that’s closest to the wall as possible, so there’s a less likely chance for your baby or toddler to reach it.
You should also turn the handles of pots and pans inward, so they cannot hold them. If they grab the handles, the pot will most likely fall on them, spilling hot contents and causing burns. Also, remember not to leave sharp knives and hot beverages on the edge of countertops.
As for kitchen cabinets, do not store cleaning liquids and poisonous chemicals on the bottom cabinets where they are easily accessible. If unavoidable, look for door locks that you can also use on refrigerator doors.
Part of baby proofing the kitchen is to check the dining room too. And unless your baby is secretly good at pulling the long table cloth without disturbing the cutlery, it’s best to avoid the cloth for now. They offer the perfect opportunity for your child to grab and pull down the tablecloth or use it to stand up.
This, in turn, risks them dropping hot liquid, sharp cutlery, and even heavy objects. Avoid this risk altogether and make sure to tuck the edges of the table cloth. If you cannot avoid using one, it is best to keep them under a thick glass for the dining table to weigh the tablecloth down.
How do you baby proof your house kitchen?
Your house kitchen is a very warm and inviting place to go by. This is also the place where family gatherings happen, as an alternative to the dining room. However, you need to know some tips on how to baby proof your house kitchen as it might be a perilous place for your baby.
By default, kitchens are full of a variety of sharp utensils, hot surfaces, heavy dishes, cleaning equipment, and other possible hazards.
What moms should know on how to baby proof their house kitchen:
- Never leave the stove unattended.
- Get an oven lock.
- Remove the stove knobs.
- Be careful while carrying and delivering hot food.
- You may avail lock for your refrigerator.
- Keep the messy list of items up high.
- Secure your fridge into the wall.
- Put magnetic locks on your kitchen cabinets.
- Avoid loading sharp utensils into the bottom rack of your dishwasher.
- Keep your detergent out of reach of your baby. You may also switch to a mild, natural detergent.
17. How to baby proof a garage
Your house garage is where you put the car tools and other items on the list which are dangerous for your child. It may never be the safest place for your baby, but you may still keep it safe. These are the “how to baby proof a garage”:
- Limit your garage access as much as you can.
- Store everything in the garage properly. Tiny objects should have proper placement, even the bigger, and sharper tools.
- Make sure that every time you park your car in the garage, it is inaccessible.
- Keep every trash and recycling container bin out of reach of your baby.
These are some of the child safety guidelines you can follow to baby proof your house. Do remember that anything that feels like a potential hazard just might be it.
So act on your instinct and minimize the risk of injuring your child. We hope this baby proofing house checklist helps you create a happy and safe environment for your children, so they can grow and develop at home.
Republished with permission from theAsianparent Singapore
Additional information from Romy Peña Cruz and Nathanielle Torre
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