Before your baby enters the home, it is important to make sure it is going to be safe. But what is considered safe for a baby?
The term baby proofing is about taking preventive measures around the house to lower the risk of injury for your newborn or toddler. There are many child safety checklists available online. Being thorough is essential as risks can come from almost anywhere around a home. A great way to start baby proofing your house or apartment by is keeping the area clean at all times.
From the ground, up
The floor is where your baby will begin exploring the home. Many parents find it helpful to get down on all fours to see what their child sees. From this low perspective, you may notice that plugs, furniture corners and other random items might easily harm your child. Cabinets with doors close to the ground should be secured in case the items inside fall on the baby if opened. This will obviously also help to stop their little hands getting hold of things they shouldn't.
Wet floors around the kitchen are another thing to be wary of, because these can cause a toddler to slip and fall. Rugs or rubber mats could be effective solutions for these areas.
Power cables and cords for blinds or curtains should be tucked away. Not only can power cables cause items to be pulled down onto the child, but they can also be hazardous if the child gets it tangled around their limbs or neck.
Tight spaces where a small child can get stuck, such as behind a TV cabinet or couch can also be dangerous, especially if there are wires around the area. Consider how you might block off the entry points to these spaces.
Hide cleaning products and medicines away
Most cleaning products and medicines come with childproof lids, but kids still manage to get the tops off. There is also the possibility that a lid hasn't been screwed on properly, making the bottle easy to open. Cleaning products in particular are often quite attractive to children because of their brightly coloured packaging.
One solution when your child is too small to climb up cabinets is to store hazardous items in high places. Hiding the cleaning products away in the garage is another option, which could help to eliminate the possibility of poisoning.
There are also special child-proof locks that can be fitted into bathroom and kitchen cupboards to stop them gaining access to these. These usually have special hooks or magnets that require both hands to open. While they may be a pain when they're first installed, you will get used to them and they could be lifesaving.
Discourage climbing - or provide a safe option
As your child grows, climbing is inevitable. Couches, tables, bookshelves, chairs or even fences are all challenges your kid will attempt to conquer. If your furniture isn't sturdy, you can brace things like cabinets and bookcases or attach them to the wall to reduce the risk of it falling on your child.
If your toddler obsesses over climbing on things, another option is to provide them with something safe that is designed for them to climb on. You can get small 'playgrounds' you can set up indoors that are designed for climbing. Otherwise you can create safer climbing spaces out of couch cushions or boxes.
In any case, it is a good idea to keep emergency numbers within reach. Kids can be unpredictable, but they will eventually grow out it.