class="post-template-default single single-post postid-1884 single-format-standard full-page header-style1 tt-top-header-enable tt-header-sticky wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.5.5 vc_responsive">

Type to search

Top Tips for Babyproofing Your Home

Share

It’s such a joy when your baby starts crawling, and their first steps are a cause for celebration. However, these milestones also require a whole new concern – babyproofing! You’ll look around your home and see all sorts of new dangers that never occurred to you.

The best thing you can do? Go through your home, room by room, and look for cords, cupboards, and sockets that could be a potential danger.[1] Follow these tips and suggestions to keep your home safe for your little ones.

The Biggest Dangers in Your Home

According to the Red Cross, there are plenty of hidden dangers for babies and small children in your home. Some of the culprits are fairly obvious, such as household cleaners and detergent pods (who can forget the Tide Pod Challenge?), but others may surprise you.[2]

Detergent pods

They’re cute, they’re colourful – and they’re toxic. Detergent pods are bright and shaped like sweets, practically begging small kids to play with them. This results in chemical burns, eye damage, cardiac arrest and even comas.

Detergent pods are a massive danger – did you know that in the US, Poison Control fielded more than 72,000 calls between 2012 and 2017 about just this one problem?[3] A staggering 92% of the calls involved kids younger than 6 years old.

It all begs the question – why don’t manufacturers revert back to bland colours and non-appealing shapes for their toxic detergents? Your guess is as good as ours, but in the meantime, keep them away from kiddies.

Baby gates

You read that correctly – the very gates that parents install to protect their wee ones can actually cause them harm.[4] The problem occurs when parents don’t install the gates correctly. They create a false sense of security, when in fact, the gate might as well not be there at all. A gate that doesn’t fit the stairs or the doorway correctly can also cause cuts, bruises, and worse.

Never, ever try to ‘customise’ your baby gate or fit it into a place it doesn’t fit or isn’t meant to go. Don’t cut it, bend it, or alter it in any way, and if it is damaged or worn out, dispose of it safely and buy a new one. We also recommend you stay away from retractable models, as they can pinch your baby’s (or your) skin, and can dislodge out of place easily and cause a nasty fall.

Doorstops

Look behind your doors – you likely have a coil doorstop back there, tipped with a hard plastic tip. Those plastic tips are a common hidden danger – they’re a choking hazard for small kids. Get rid of these dated coil stops and replace them with solid versions.[5]

Button batteries (aka coin batteries)

Here’s another entry into the ‘choking hazard’ file. Once your baby starts walking, you won’t be able to believe how many small items make their way into your home, just begging to be swallowed!

However, button batteries carry an extra level of danger, because in addition to choking, they can also cause chemical burns and poisoning.[6] You’ll find these small, flat (and very shiny, which can be attractive to young kids) batteries in dozens of household electronics and toys, including your remote controls and musical greeting cards. Never leave kids unattended with a toy or gizmo that uses button batteries.

Cords

Some kids just want to put everything into their mouths! Cords can be a big issue, especially those that are brightly coloured. Chewing on cords can give a baby an electric shock or even a serious burn. Older toddlers might yank on cords and cables, causing heavy lamps or electronics to come crashing down on them.

Tuck your cords out of the way (or even better, use cord wraps to conceal them completely), wind table lamp cords around the legs of the table, and place a sturdy piece of furniture in front of standing lamps.

Windows, curtains, and blinds

Never place your baby’s cot next to a large sash window, as they can stand up, push on screens, or fall out of an open window. More commonly, small children play with blind cords and curtain ties, which can then become a deadly strangulation risk.[7] You should always use cordless blinds in kids’ rooms (which will also protect your pets!).

Babyproofing Your Baby’s Bedroom

  • Keep the cot clear – Never place blankets, stuffies, pillows, bumpers, or any other objects in the cot for the first year – they are a severe suffocation and SIDS risk. If you’re worried about keeping them warm, place your baby in a sleep sack instead.[8]
  • Get rid of ‘steps’ in the cot – Keep toys and bumpers out of the crib even after your child turns one – they can use these as bolsters to climb up and fall out.
  • Narrow slats – Make sure cot slats are narrow enough that your child can’t wedge their head in between.
  • Changing table safety – Never leave your child alone on the changing table. Ensure it has three raised sides, and always fasten the restraining strap.

Babyproofing Your Living Room

  • Secure heavy objects – Bookshelves, televisions, monitors, floor lamps, and sculptures – they can all pose a danger to little ones who might use them to pull up. Use brackets to fasten them to the wall.
  • Add soft pads to edges – Protect little heads from bumps by adding pads and bumpers to edges and corners.
  • Fasten cords, or tuck them away – As mentioned above, cords can pose a significant danger to kids. Tuck them away or secure them with cord wraps.
  • Get rid of poisonous plants – Did you know that plenty of house plants are toxic, including the Christmas poinsettia and mistletoe? Keep these out of your home until your kids are older.[9]
  • Move chairs away from shelves and windows – Kids will use any chair they find as a steppingstone up to interesting shelves and windows, so keep them away from hazards! Upholstered accent chairs, Eames chairs, dining room chairs – it doesn’t matter, they’ll climb it!

Babyproofing Your Kitchen

  • Keep the dishwasher closed – As you can imagine, toddlers find the dishwasher fascinating. Keep it closed whenever it’s not being loaded or unloaded.
  • Add baby proofing latches to cupboards – Some cupboards, like the Tupperware cupboard, might be safe for little ones. But those that contain cleaning products, medicines, breakable crockery, or heavy pots and pans should all be locked up with a baby proofing latch.
  • Keep stools and chairs away from the hob – Get rid of any ‘steps’ that a little one could use to climb up onto the counter or hob.
  • Look out for choking hazards – Choking hazards in the kitchen include fridge magnets, hob knobs, product lids, twist ties, and foodstuffs such as crackers and grapes.
  • Say goodbye to tablecloths – They may look nice, but little ones love to tug on tablecloths, pulling everything down on top of them.

Babyproofing Your Bathroom

  • Never leave your child unattended in the bath – A baby or small child can drown in just a few cms of water. NEVER leave them unattended in the bath, even for a few moments.
  • Keep medicines out of reach and locked away – Tablets and capsules tend to look like sweets, which entices little ones. Keep them locked up and/or out of reach.
  • Add a toilet lock Toilets are drowning hazards for toddlers, who just love to play in the ‘new pool’ they discovered.[10] Not to mention, it’s not a very sanitary place to play!
  • Check your water heater – Prevent scalds and burns by ensuring your water heater is set to the right temperature.
  • Add non-skid mats – Slips and falls happen easily on wet floors, so prevent them with non-skid rugs in the bathroom and the hall.

Babyproofing Your Garden

  • Check your garden for poo regularly – Even if you don’t have a dog or cat, foxes and badgers are likely using your garden as a toilet. Not only is poop unpleasant, but it can also spread disease and parasites to your child, including toxocariasis.
  • Secure your BBQ – When your BBQ is not in use, keep it secured or locked in the shed to prevent it tumbling down onto your child. When it is in use, make sure your little one stays well away.
  • Tidy away garden tools – Garden tools, such as rakes, shovels, and hoes, can hide in the grass and trip or injure your child. Make sure you always put them away when you’re finished.
  • Add a secure fence around all water – Garden ponds, no matter how shallow, are a drowning risk, as are Jacuzzis and swimming pools. Also be on the lookout for large puddles and anywhere else that rainwater can accumulate. Drain standing water and add a secure fence around ponds and pools.

 

Prevention is key

By babyproofing room by room, you can identify and remedy the hidden dangers in your home and garden. Take these steps to keep your family happy and healthy, and keep little ones safe.


Reference list

Bilich, K. (2020). Babyproofing: Room-by-Room Safety Tips. [online] Parents. Available at: https://www.parents.com/baby/safety/babyproofing/room-by-room-safety-tips/ [Accessed 9 Oct. 2020].

Haelle, T. (2017). Window Blind Cords Still Pose A Deadly Risk To Children. [online] NPR.org. Available at: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/12/11/569463027/window-blind-cords-still-pose-a-deadly-risk-to-children [Accessed 10 Oct. 2020].

InfanthouseAdmin (2016). Child Safety and a Hidden Choking Hazard. [online] Infant House. Available at: https://infanthouse.com/child-safety-hidden-choking-hazard/ [Accessed 9 Oct. 2020].

Magher, M. (2010). Sleep Sack Safety. [online] Hello Motherhood. Available at: https://www.hellomotherhood.com/article/160140-sleep-sack-safety/ [Accessed 10 Oct. 2020].

NHS (2018). Toxocariasis. [online] nhs.uk. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/toxocariasis/#:~:text=Toxocariasis%20is%20a%20rare%20infection [Accessed 10 Oct. 2020].

Reinberg, S. (2019). Kids Still Being Poisoned by Detergent Pods. [online] WebMD. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/children/news/20190603/kids-still-being-poisoned-by-detergent-pods#1 [Accessed 9 Oct. 2020].

Shatzman, C. (2017). 14 Poisonous Plants for Kids. [online] www.thebump.com. Available at: https://www.thebump.com/a/poisonous-plants-for-kids [Accessed 10 Oct. 2020].

The Specialist Neonatal and Paediatric Surgery team (2018). Button batteries – using them safely. [online] www.gosh.nhs.uk. Available at: https://www.gosh.nhs.uk/conditions-and-treatments/conditions-we-treat/button-batteries-using-them-safely [Accessed 9 Oct. 2020].

Walsh, M. (2017). Toilets & Toddlers Danger. [online] OnHealth. Available at: https://www.onhealth.com/content/1/toilets_and_toddlers_danger#:~:text=Toilets%20Toilets%20can%20be%20overlooked [Accessed 10 Oct. 2020].

Woudstra, K. (2017). Is your baby gate dangerous? Here’s how to tell. [online] www.todaysparent.com. Available at: https://www.todaysparent.com/baby/baby-health/is-your-baby-gate-dangerous-heres-how-to-ensure-its-safe/ [Accessed 9 Oct. 2020].

Woudstra, K. (2020). Start baby proofing! These are the 8 worst hazards in the home for kids. [online] www.todaysparent.com. Available at: https://www.todaysparent.com/family/family-health/start-baby-proofing-these-are-the-8-worst-hazards-in-the-home-for-kids/ [Accessed 9 Oct. 2020].


[1] https://www.parents.com/baby/safety/babyproofing/room-by-room-safety-tips/

[2] https://www.todaysparent.com/family/family-health/start-baby-proofing-these-are-the-8-worst-hazards-in-the-home-for-kids/

[3] https://www.webmd.com/children/news/20190603/kids-still-being-poisoned-by-detergent-pods#1

[4] https://www.todaysparent.com/baby/baby-health/is-your-baby-gate-dangerous-heres-how-to-ensure-its-safe/

[5] https://infanthouse.com/child-safety-hidden-choking-hazard/

[6] https://www.gosh.nhs.uk/conditions-and-treatments/conditions-we-treat/button-batteries-using-them-safely

[7] https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/12/11/569463027/window-blind-cords-still-pose-a-deadly-risk-to-children

[8] https://www.hellomotherhood.com/article/160140-sleep-sack-safety/

[9] https://www.thebump.com/a/poisonous-plants-for-kids

[10]https://www.onhealth.com/content/1/toilets_and_toddlers_danger#:~:text=Toilets%20Toilets%20can%20be%20overlooked,falling%20headfirst%20into%20the%20toilet.&text=Spas%20and%20hot%20tubs%2C%20typically,another%20hazard%20to%20young%20children.

Edward Sloane

Edward is the managing director of Sloane & Sons Stylish Chairs. He is an expert in quality, comfortable upholstered chairs.

    1

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *