You’ve waited so long to hold your baby in your arms. Now that your kid is about to be brought home, you start to realize that your house could be one big danger zone. Before the baby, there were only adults living in that space.
This makes it essential for you to prepare your house before the baby’s arrival and keep the kids safe from accidents.
Find out how to have a safer home for kids with these tips on preventing accidents that could be caused by electric shocks, choking, falling, splintering, or bumping mishaps. Here are ten smart ways to childproof your home.
1. Cleaning products and other harsh, toxic chemicals must be kept away from baby’s reach
The cleaning products that you use around the house must be secured. You do not want your baby or child to be accidentally poisoned from ingesting harsh chemicals. You could do this by putting them in plastic containers that have lids and latches, which your kid cannot access.
Store these containers on high shelves or a secured cabinet. This way, you can also keep your cleaning agents uncontaminated, helping them last longer.
2. Keep them away from sharp edges and hard surfaces
Maybe you have decorative antique swords hanging in your living room from a trip to Japan. Perhaps you have cutlery, scissors, or letter openers that are strewn haphazardly on top of your side tables. When there are infants, babies, toddlers, or small children around the house, sharp objects must be kept in storage or out of reach, so that the kids don’t come in contact with them.
Tables with pointed edges must also be covered with rubber table guards or edge bumpers. If you’re more into the DIY spirit, you could even modify some tennis balls to secure those sharp edges.
Make sure that your bathtubs are equipped with padded seats or net attachments to prevent slips into hard surfaces or edges. When your kids are already rolling over, crawling, or walking, soft floor mats or playpens with cushioning will minimize the likelihood of injuries.
3. Heavy furniture and appliances must be kept secure
When your baby starts playing more on the floor, you need to be mindful of the heavy appliances that are within their reach. Nonprofit Safe Kids Worldwide reports that one child dies every three weeks from a television falling over. To prevent this from happening, safety straps will help anchor your heavy shelves, tables, sculptures, paintings, or even television sets on top of tables.
4. Regulate your water heater temperature settings
Curious babies and children may accidentally crank up the heat in the shower or faucets. Prevent burns from happening by making sure that the thermostat is always set to a temperature of not more than 120°F. A short three seconds is all it takes for a kid to have a third-degree burn after being exposed to water that is heated to 140.
There are anti-scalding devices for all sorts of showers as well as faucets, which you can install easily before your baby sets foot for the first time in the bath or wash areas.
5. Power outlets and strips must be covered
If you don’t have access to rubber plug covers for electrical outlets, you can use duct tape, electrical tape, or even adhesive bandages to cover the holes. When choosing adhesive bandages, stick to neutral colors and avoid loud designs that could stir your child’s curiosity.
6. Secure railings and cover any significant openings or spaces
Small children can squeeze their little bodies into spaces between fences. Make your railing safer by installing a plastic cover over it.
7. Keep doorknobs safe
One door could lead to another room that just might be a no-go zone for your child at any point. If they’re at the stage where they like opening doors and exploring, you can use old, clean Tupperware to protect your doorknob. Cut a hole on the lid and then push it over the knob. Securing the Tupperware in place with a screw at the bottom completes the project.
8. Prevent door accidents with door stoppers
Keep your little one’s small, delicate fingers and limbs safe from being jammed by using a door stopper. Door stoppers are widely available, but if you happen to have extra pool noodles, you can simply cut off one piece of it and put it on the side of your doors. This way, if kids ever get close to the door, they wouldn’t be able to slam it.
9. Ensure that your window curtains or blinds are free from long, loopy cords
Many often neglect the cords on blinds or drapes, which can be a choking hazard for your baby. Replace or repair any hanging chords in these fixtures. Also, always lock blinds into their position so that the kids cannot damage them prematurely from all the pulling and tugging that may ensue.
10. Keep your area rugs in place
Slip-proofing area rugs next to your doors or entrances are an A+ childproofing move. Ditch your cloth area rugs and go with rubber mats for now. Alternatively, you can also put rubber mats under cloth rugs if you cannot forgo the look. Dotting hot glue at the bottom part of the cloth rugs can also make them slip-proof.
Your home is a sanctuary that your children must also be able to explore as they learn to crawl, walk, and run. When you childproof your home, you get to let your kid see the world around them with a bit less worry. Prevention is always better than cure, so do what you can to get a head start on your child’s health, well-being, and safety.