The first step in baby proofing your home is simple. Get down on your hands and knees – literally! See how things look from down there. What’s within reach? What looks dangerous?
Keep an eye out for the following safety hazards:
- Small objects. Anything that can fit inside a cardboard toilet paper roll is a potential choking hazard for your child. Pick up any loose items you see on the floor, such as coins, paper clips, marbles, pet food, etc. Choking First Aid for Infants Under 1 Year.
- Electrical cords. Infants can chew on cords and wires or pull on them, bringing down lamps or other heavy objects on their heads. Move all cords well out of your child’s reach.
- Electrical outlets. Babies can get a shock by sticking their fingers (which may be wet from saliva) or objects into plug outlets. Use safety plugs and outlet covers to keep unused outlets out of reach.
- Window blind cords. These pose a strangulation hazard since babies can become entangled in them. Tie them up and out of your baby’s reach.
- Cabinets. Move all potentially poisonous substances, including medications into locked cabinets. Better yet, purchase childproof safety latches for all the cabinets in your home. Keep the number for the national poison control center – (800) 222-1222 – and your local emergency numbers close to every phone. Baptist Health Emergency Room Numbers by Location.
- Hard edges. Pad the edges of coffee tables or a fireplace edge to soften the impact if your child falls.
- Stairs. Put stair gates at the top and bottoms of stairs. Ensure gaps in the banisters are not wide enough for your child’s head, which could become stuck between them.
- Heavy furniture and TVs. Babies start pulling up on furniture shortly after they start crawling. Unstable dressers or bookcases can topple over on babies who try to climb up on them. Bolt whatever you can to the wall. This includes dad’s big screen TV.
- Plants. Because some plants are poisonous to children, place these out of reach as well.