Having children roaming in your home is a true blessing. But, as we know, sharp objects and hazardous detergents can jeopardise your baby’s safety. The best way to protect the little one is by proofing every room in the house.
Securing the cabinets and sharp corners are only part of the things that will need your attention. There are a lot of areas to cover, but the result will make you feel far more comfortable when it comes to your child’s safety.
Babyproofing tips for the whole house
Childproofing could be a constant process, as kids are curious and they like to explore all the time. Even so, when making the initial changes to your home, it’s important to try and place yourself in your kids’ position. Think of what could be of interest to them and what they can access.
For instance, if your baby is just starting to crawl or walk, there is no need for childproofing high cabinets. Instead, focus on securing the lower cabinets and drawers, which they can easily access. Protect anything fragile like glasses and plates and isolate cleaning detergents. More babyproofing tips you can find listed below, starting with the two most dangerous house areas – the kitchen & bathroom!
Kitchen proofing hacks
Among all rooms, the kitchen might be the most dangerous place for a little child. Sharp cutlery, the oven, shelves and many fragile objects can put your toddler at risk. So this is a good place to start your home babyproofing project. Here’s how you can make your kitchen a safer place for your kids:
- Put things out of reach – The first and easiest thing to do is to put away everything fragile, as well as dangerous. Any cutlery can be, and should be, moved to a place that’s impossible to reach. Pans should be pushed on the inside of the countertop with the handles inwards. You can store those items in the upper cabinets for now, so there is no easy access to them.
- Invest in child safety locks – If there is no way to move things around or there is insufficient space, then you can get some safety locks for the cupboards, drawers, fridge and even the rubbish bin. This may be a little inconvenient at first, but over time you will get used to it.
- Invest in safety gates – We suggest buying safety gates that will stop your kids from getting to the kitchen, stairs and other risky areas. That way you’ll feel calm knowing you don’t have to keep an eye on them all the time.
- Secure the stove and oven – The stove is one of the riskiest areas since it has electricity and exposed hot surfaces. Stove covers are an easy solution that you can put on the appliance’s knobs or onto the whole stovetop. You can also easily childproof the oven by putting dial locks. They won’t allow the dial of the oven to move unless removed. It’s very important that you keep them whenever the stove is not in use.
- Keep kids away from hot food and drinks – A child’s skin isn’t like ours. It’s very easy for them to get burnt. Even hot coffee and tea can pose a threat to the gentle baby skin. Therefore, wiping spills from food or beverage quickly and keeping kids away from the affected areas is also a good idea. It would be easier to make a safe area for your kids in which you can let them play while you do your chores in the kitchen.
- Detergents and pesticides must be locked – Free access to cleaning detergents is a definitive no. Make sure to either remove or lock the cabinet with cleaning products. There is also the option of buying detergents with child-resistant caps. This way you can ensure that the kid won’t be able to open them if they somehow get to them.
- Secure dangerous loose cables – We would also suggest keeping cables on top of countertops, preferably neatly rolled in corners. Try to plug them only when necessary. It’s fairly easy for a kid to pull on a cable and get hurt. Check and take care of any exposed wires, too.
- Set one cabinet specifically for exploration – No matter how hard you try, kids can be really persistent when they want to get somewhere. To keep the peace in the house, you can try and focus their interest on a single cabinet only. This can be a safe space for them to explore, filled with non-dangerous objects like plastic bowls, wooden spoons etc. Change the content of the cabinet every so often to keep their interest.
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How to babyproof the bathroom
After the scary sharp objects in the kitchen, the second most dangerous room is the bathroom. Keeping toddlers away from this part of the house is not always easy. Nevertheless, there are some things that you can do to protect them by making the bathroom a bit safer.
- Restrict access to the bathroom when not in use – You can install safety gates so your kid can’t enter the bathroom without your supervision. This is probably the faster and easiest way to babyproof the bathroom in full.
- Lock the bathroom cabinets – Just like in the kitchen, any cabinets that contain pills, cleaning products and other dangerous items must be locked. Any sharp objects must be put out of sight and reach. Store any deodorants, shampoo and body wash products as high up as possible, so the kids can’t access them.
- Safe walking – In order to keep the kid safe from any potential falls you must buy and put sticky mats in the bathroom (and the bathtub if you have one). That way the bathroom won’t be slippery and your babies will be safe to walk around without you worrying.
- Do not let large amounts of water to form – Even an inch of standing water can be dangerous for a small child. Therefore, it is highly recommended to secure the toilet with a lock. Also, make sure to drain the water from the bathtub immediately after use and never leave a full tub unattended!
- Remove all electric appliances – Make sure to put away all appliances which are not in use – hair dryers, hair straighteners, etc. Curious kids could manage to get to them and decide to throw them in the water. This can be very dangerous if they are plugged in.
- Consider installing GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) – The name is pretty self-explanatory. Simply put a ground-fault circuit interrupter will disrupt any electrical signals if a plugged-in object comes in contact with water.
General childproofing tips for the rest of the house
Well, your home doesn’t consist only of a bathroom or kitchen. You still have a bedroom, living room, hallway and other areas of the house or apartment to secure for your baby’s sake. Here are our other recommendations that will be helpful for pretty much any room.
- Install edge bumpers on door handles and sharp corners – Keep the head of your child safe by investing in some soft corners. Covering the coffee table’s edges and other sharp corners with rubber will keep the gentle skin safe from injuries. Often times children run into something as little as a doorknob and get injured.
- Keep plants and small decorative elements hidden – It is amazing how we can take care of all big and important areas of the house, but miss on noticing the threat hidden in the smallest stuff. The latter could be little statues on bookshelves, pebbles and other similar objects used for decoration of the living room or bedroom. They can be swallowed quite easily by a toddler, so it is best to clear these items out. Plants are also not off-limits for a curious kid, so (if possible) place them on balconies, in the backyard or in rooms that remain locked. This way both your kids and plants will be safe.
- Babyproof the windows, too – This is an important one, as it is possible for a child to open a window, depending on the height of the window and whether there is a bed or other furniture in proximity. Just to be on the safe side, it is best to install some safety locks there to childproof the windows, as well.
- Install the TV high on the wall – While not mandatory to babyproof the TV area, this is something to consider. Especially, if you think there is a risk for the piece to be easily knocked down. You will need the right kind of brackets to get it firmly attached or you can just call a specialist to mount your TV to the wall quickly instead of you.
- Lock rooms where you don’t want the child to go – Storage room, studies, attics or basements are best to be kept locked. That way the only one who could enter is you or you could let your toddler get inside only with your supervision.
- Get electric outlet guards – The small curious fingers can go pretty much anywhere, including in electrical outlets. They are often the perfect height for kids to reach. Put electrical outlet cover on to discourage the little ones from going in there.
It’s important to adapt your house for your children, so you don’t have to spend every waking minute worrying about their safety. Taking the above-mentioned steps will give you some peace of mind and will help you relax and enjoy the time spent with your babies.
Still, keep in mind that they will only get smarter, so it is best to observe and expand the list with places to babyproof over time.
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