From the moment your baby first learns to roll over, they become an insatiable explorer. Their every thought will be of potential discoveries waiting just beyond their reach. And as they begin to crawl, climb, and eventually walk, the possibilities for discovery become ever more varied.
Inevitably, this results in a few stubbed toes and scraped knees, which is perfectly normal. But it can also lead to serious accidents, which are the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4.
What’s most heartbreaking is that most of these tragedies can be easily prevented. All it takes is a little bit of effort to make your home a safe place for your little explorer.
Here’s a list of things to do when childproofing your home.
Do A “Crawl-Through”
Begin your childproofing by doing a “crawl-through” of every room in the home. This will give you a child’s-eye view of potential dangers.
Cover Power Outlets
Unplug any dangling power cords you’re not using and keep them out of reach.
Start by placing covers on all unused power outlets. These are often very intriguing to babies, with their brilliant white covers and enticing holes just the right size for small fingers to fit into. Also unplug any dangling power cords you’re not using and keep them out of reach.
Address Toddler Height Head Hazards
Toddlers aren’t very steady on their feet. Prevent possible head injuries by putting foam safety covers over the corners and edges of your furniture.
Make Rugs Non-Skid
Make sure your rugs are secure with non-skid backing, and repair any carpet that isn’t securely tacked down.
Start Good Water Safety Habits
To prevent drowning, make sure your child doesn’t have access to any standing water in your home. Never leave water in baths or sinks when you’re not using them (you’ll be surprised what kids can get into). And keep your toilet lids closed and locked with plastic safety latches.
Move Up Fragile Items
Keep any breakable items out of your child’s reach. It might mean packing the glass lolly bowl away for a while. This is especially important around Christmas if you have decorations on your tree. Festive glass balls look like toys, but can cause serious injuries if they break.
Remove Make-Shift Ladders
Take note of everything in your home your child might try to climb. If you have any tall furniture, such as entertainment units or bookshelves, they need to be fastened to the wall to prevent tipping.
Set Up Gates
Set up gates to block off stairs and other areas you don’t want your child to enter
Set up gates to block off stairs and other areas you don’t want your child to enter. Of course, your child will learn how to get around these eventually, so play it safe and childproof out of bounds areas as well.
Put Curtain & Blind Cords Out Of Reach
Tie curtain and blinds cords up out of reach. These can be strangulation hazards, and if a child drops a heavy set of blinds on their head they could get a nasty head injury.
Check Smoke Alarms
Make sure your smoke and carbon dioxide detectors are working properly. Of course, you should do this anyway—kids aren’t the only ones who can be injured at home.
Put childproof latches on any drawers or cupboards containing dangerous items. To be extra safe, move any poisonous chemicals or cleaning supplies to higher locations.
Lock Up Medication
Keep any medication (even children’s medicine) well out of your child’s reach.
Keep any medication (even children’s medicine) well out of your child’s reach. Make sure all medications are stored in childproof containers. And never call medicine “lollies” when talking to your child, as they may then eat other medication they come across.
Start Good Hot Surface Safety Habits
Never leave hot surfaces such as oven doors and stove tops unattended. If they press their face against an oven door to see inside they can be burned in less than a second.
Be ready for car travel also. Read our article called Child Safety In The Car.