Parents can worry tirelessly about how to best keep their children safe from strangers and kidnappings, but easily miss an even larger threat – their home. Statistics show that a child under the age of 4 is more at risk of death from fires, drownings, poisoning, or falls than from a stranger’s violence (always keep your McGruff Safe Kit handy!).
You just brought home a new baby, and suddenly every comfort in your home you once took for granted has -without warning- become a dangerous weapon. Your safe space now has danger lurking around every corner. From electrical outlets to the blinds cord, countless everyday items threaten the life of your precious baby – along with many more you have yet to think of. What’s a mom to do?
Well, don’t be alarmed, because we have done all the homework for you! Here is a list of the top items to babyproof in your home, broken down by the four primary living areas:
Test the water temp every time before placing baby in the tub. Make sure your water does not exceed 120º.
Prevent slipping by using nonskid mats in and next to the tub as well as on any hard-surface floors near the bathroom — most likely, you will find yourself chasing a wet, naked baby through the house at some point.
Install locks on all your toilet seats. This will prevent accidental drowning, unsanitary contact, and tiny fingers from getting smashed.
Locking medicine cabinets. If you do not have any out-of-reach storage, keeping medicine for both you and baby is essential.
Stay looking sharp, but keep the cords to your straightener, blow dryer, and any other items out of baby’s reach to avoid both burns and strangling.
- It’s always a good idea to place a cover over the tub spout, to protect baby’s head in case of falls.
- Cribs: always ensure the slats are no wider than 2 3/8 inches apart.
- Remove any blankets, pillows or stuffed animals from the crib. They are cute, but can cause suffocation.
- When it comes to babyproofing, everyone first thinks of plastic outlet covers. Think again! These have proven to be choking hazards, so instead, consider using sliding outlet covers.
- Keep baby monitor cords tightly wound and always away from the crib, or choose a cordless monitor.
- Store toys in an open toy box to avoid having lids smash little fingers.
Dry dog or cat food can be a stealthy choking hazard. If left unattended, it could easily end up in baby's mouth. Either have regular, monitored pet mealtimes, or keep your pets’ bowls in an out-of-reach area.
Stove knob covers are a great way to keep those fun to twist knobs turned off. Also, an appliance lock ensures baby won't pull the oven door down.
Always keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. We recommend a dry-chemical extinguisher, kept out of reach, mounted to the wall, or locked in a childproof cabinet. You want to put out the fire, not your baby.
Under-sink cabinets are a typical place to store cleaning products, but with your baby around, moving them to a higher shelf is a smart idea. If they must stay in low cabinets, latches and locks are a must, to ensure the cabinet doors stay securely shut.
- Cordless shades or cord cleats are the way to keep blinds safe for baby.
Coffee tables, fireplace hearths, window ledges, night stands, and other wood furniture offer plenty of sharp corners at eye level for someone 2 feet tall. Cushion edges with bumpers.
Houseplants: even these can look tasty to a toddler. Keep them out of reach, so your little seedling won't be tempted.
Does your home have stairs? If so, a baby gate is a non-negotiable. Interior decoration angst can be set aside, as they come in many styles to match your home's decor.
Search your house for breakables and move them to where baby can't get them. You might be surprised by just how far little ones can reach.
Cover your fireplace with a guard door, and protect her from sharp corners on brick or ceramic tile.
- Studies show that keeping books in view helps develop a love of reading. Secure bookcases and other tall furniture to the wall with bolts or adjustable, locking furniture straps, to prevent your little genius from tipping it over.
While there are many things a parent can worry over, simply taking a few preventative measures around the house can do wonders in helping you sleep at night, knowing your child is safe. Also, don't forget to keep your McGruff Safe kit nearby. If you haven't already, request yours today!