You may have studied up on natural baby products and which baby monitors are hackable, but once your little one becomes a full-on mobile part of the family, everything you know about keeping your child safe changes. Baby gates go up, cabinet locks get installed, and soft corner cushions are stuck on every coffee table and pointy edge within baby’s sight. These are some of the more common baby-proofing elements that are easy to spot and tackle right away, but there may be a few that aren’t as noticeable. Take a look around your house, and see if you need to nip these five (often missed) problem areas in the bud.
1. Mount or completely secure heavy items to the wall. Once a wobbly toddler really nails walking, climbing is the next big thing. Toddlers love to climb up onto anything that is scalable. This could include something as innocuous as a couch, but it may also include bookshelves, entertainment centers, flat screens, dressers and anything else that looks like a fun climbing wall to the young and curious. This is easily remedied with a quick trip to any big-box home improvement store. All of your heavy, and potentially tippy, furniture can be fastened to the wall with mounting kits. Also, many stores will either offer a service or refer you to a provider to do the work for you! To learn more about tipping dangers and young children, check out the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s resources on the topic.
2. Keep hot or heavy items away from the table, stove or counter’s edge. This baby-proofing tip includes a behavior change for the big people in the house. Toddlers are big on trying to reach up as far as they can stretch to investigate what’s overhead. By simply pushing cups, dishes and the handles to pots and pans away from your toddler’s reach, you minimize the risk of injury from a falling (and possibly hot) item.
3. Install childproof locks on ALL the drawers and cabinets from the countertop down. You may think your toddler can’t reach the top drawer where your chef knives are stored, but kids grow fast! You may find out just how far they can reach the instant they get hold of something sharp and dangerous. Save yourself the anxiety attack, and take the time to put child locks on all the drawers and cabinets from countertop level down.
4. Secure electrical cords and keep them out of reach. This is a tough one with laptops, tablets and cell phones charging 24/7, but it’s a good rule of thumb to keep these cords out of baby’s reach. This becomes an even more dangerous hazard when cords are connected to heavy and unstable appliances or lamps. To keep your kid safe, create charging stations that are in closed-off rooms or up high, or make sure to thread dangling cords behind furniture or into cord-hiding boxes.
5. See the world from your baby’s eye level. There are many things that could be included on this list, such as poisonous houseplant removal, window locks, toilet locks and more. But to truly create a safe environment for your tot to explore, it’s easiest to get down on your hands and knees to see what the world looks like from their level. Look for shiny objects that can lure your child toward something unsafe. Check for dangling cords, tempting toilet bowls full of splashy water and anything else that might invite your little explorer toward danger. To keep yourself up-to-date on all things safety, check out the National Safety Council’s site for tips on everything from the dangers of button batteries to drowning prevention.
What baby-proofing steps were the most helpful in your house? Tweet us your faves @BritandCo!
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