It is only when you become a parent do you notice that everything and anything at home could pose a danger for your bub. It feels like you simply can’t take eyes off your child, not for even five seconds before they have wandered off somewhere in search of a new adventure, or worse, into danger. The big question then is, how do I adequately baby proof my home? Here we have a few helpful tips to baby proof your cozy home, so your little one remains safe during their indoor explorations.
Sometimes the best way to avoid a misadventure is to adequately seal off any areas that could pose a danger to your child. This includes the kitchen, especially when you are preparing the day’s menu, with sharp knives about and hot water. While you're at it, block off access to stairs, both at the top and bottom to prevent tumbles.
What to look for in a safety gate? As a basic guideline, ensure gate latches are difficult or better still, impossible to operate by a toddler. The barrier itself should be strong and must be secured firmly in place. Gaps between the bars should be wide enough so your little one’s head either can’t get stuck or can’t fit through.
Another way to seal off areas is to shut and lock any doors to rooms where they shouldn’t be. Sometimes their little imaginations mean that they will find a way to open a closed door, so locking it is the best way. Wanting to leave a door open? Use a sturdy door stopper to prevent doors accidentally closing on little fingers.
If your child seems to be following in the footsteps of Harry Houdini, then security grills are a must. Strong security grills won’t budge and can’t easily be broken, so a plus for your home security too!
After a quick fix whilst you wait for a proper installation? Use window restrictors to prevent the window from opening too wide. The opening width should be no wider than an orange. This will prevent a child’s head from getting stuck during their adventures.
The next item that you will need to look at is your window coverings, or rather, the attached cords and chains. Are they hanging down easily within a child’s reach? Can a child become easily entangled amongst the cords? Secure loose cords to the wall by placing it at a height that is out of reach of any young child.
If you reside in NSW, there are strict window safety requirements that you must abide by.
Power outlet covers
Purchase some simple childproof plastic outlet covers. It will prevent your baby from poking anything they can get their little hands on, including their own little fingers into the sockets. Always turn off any and all unused power points. Have any power boards within reach? Cover all the spare outlets here too.
Sometimes it just seems irresistible for children to climb up anything, regardless of how secure or insecure they look to you. Anchor down all large and heavy objects to prevent them from falling on top of your child. Is your TV on top of your dresser? Secure this to the wall or put this onto a sturdy TV unit instead. Keep the cords tidy by binding them together with tape and securing them out of the way.
Invest in a couple of cabinet locks and lock away anything harmful that your child could ingest. In the kitchen, this means locking away the alcohol and all the sharp knives. Pay particular attention to the laundry. It is in this room that is likely to have hazardous and flammable materials, such as cleaning products and insect repellent. Other items to keep out of sight and out of reach include, but are not limited to:
Last tips to baby proof your home
Taking the time to crawl around on all fours will give you a good idea of what else can be seen as enticing for your little one. This will make sure that you can adequately baby proof your home from your child’s point of view. Lastly, write a list of what needs to be completed in and around the house and whether it is a DIY or requires a professional.
Remember, the best measure to baby proof your home is you and anyone else supervising your child. Every child is different and requires different measures in place, this is not a one size fits all.
Take note of these important and helpful numbers:
Poisons Information Centre: 13 11 26
Healthdirect helpline (non-emergency): 1800 022 222