Baby Safety Month: Preparing Your Home For A Little One
It’s Baby Safety Month, and if you are expecting a new little one in the house then you’re probably doing everything you can to make your home little-one-proof. You, as an adult, may not even realize all of the hazards for babies that lurk around your home. They aren’t even really hazards for you because you walk upright, you have a strong, full-grown body, and you aren’t curious about every little object, corner, and edge the way a baby is. While, for the first six to ten months, you can count on your baby staying where you place her, after that time, she’ll start to crawl. And then there’s no knowing what sort of mischief she’ll get into. So it may be time to say goodbye to some of your trendy, designer coffee tables and other risky items. Here are ways to prepare your home for your little one during Baby Safety Month.
Lock up medication
If anyone in the home has prescription medication, as well as over-the-counter items like Aspirin or Advil, make sure these are securely locked up. They can pose risks for adults in regular doses and can certainly do so for babies who eat a whole bottle. Childproof caps aren’t always what they claim to be, and babies will put anything in their mouths.
Store cleaning products higher up
It’s time to relocate your cleaning products like bleach, Windex, and various sprays. Either move these to a high shelf that a baby cannot reach, or lock the cabinets that contain such items.
Cover sharp corners on coffee tables
Inspect your home for sharp corners. You may have some around low coffee tables, desks, or nightstands. Cover these with bumpers. If there are too many to count, put up gates at the entryways to rooms that contain this furniture, and keep baby out.
Electrical outlets are just at the perfect height to entice a baby’s wandering fingers. Make sure to put childproof covers over outlets.
Put gates over stairs
Put gates at the tops and bottoms of stairways. You may want to consider self-closing ones so you don’t need to worry about guests forgetting to shut these.
Pick up plants
Babies might try to chew on plants, or even eat the dirt in your planters. Take plants away for now, or keep them all in a room that is closed off to the baby.
Add a no-shoes rule
Now that you have a munchkin crawling around on the floor (and licking the floor, and putting her face on the floor) you should probably instate a no-shoes rule in the house. You don’t want guests dragging germs in.
Nail down top-heavy furniture
Curious babies may tug at handles, drawers, and other items that could send a bookshelf toppling over. Nail down any top-heavy furniture so there is no chance of it budging.
Get rid of some pet toys
If you have pets, take a look at the tags on their toys. Some may say things like, “Not safe for children under three years of age.” Remove all small pet toys that a baby may try to put in her mouth.
Pick up and consolidate cords around your house. Between floor fans, printers, lamps, and appliances, you probably have a lot of cords lying around that a baby may try to chew on, or could become tangled up in.
Cover the fireplace
If you have a fireplace, add a shield over it so a baby doesn’t try crawling in. Also keep the area around it clean of debris, charcoal, wood splinters, or other items that can fly out of the fireplace.
Adjust your water heater
Adjust your home water heater to reach no more than 125 degrees Farrenheit. You don’t want to accidentally scald a baby’s sensitive skin.
Cover the bath spout
Wherever you bathe baby—whether that’s a tub or a kitchen sink—add soft covers to the spouts. These can be surprisingly sharp, and hurt a baby who hits her head on them.
Add a stove guard
Add a stove guard to prevent hot pans or pots from falling over. And, remember to always turn handles away from the edge of the stove so toddlers cannot reach them.
Install doorstops to protect your baby from shoving her fingers into a shutting door. If you don’t have too many doorways inside your home, you could also prop doors open, and add gates in the meantime.