Blog written by Guardline.
Parenting is not an easy task, and it can be more challenging, especially as a first-time parent. When your baby is a newborn, you have total control of its environment and safety. However, as they grow older and their mobility increases, it becomes difficult to control what, how, and where they decide to explore. For this reason, you need to childproof your home early enough to avoid accidents and injuries.
Various child safety products can help you monitor your curious and adventurous baby. For example, a wireless driveway alarm has up to 16 sensors that alert you of any movement outside your house. You can set up the alarm in the no-go areas around your property to get instant alerts when your kids make their way to the prohibited areas.
Even as you baby-proof your property, your watchfulness is your child's best defense. Young kids, especially those below the age of five, are curious about their environment and can end up swallowing dangerous items, touching hot substances, or falling.
To raise a child, you need all the help you can get. We'll walk you through baby proofing tips to help protect your child from the potential hazards in your home.
What is Baby Proofing?
Baby proofing or childproofing is the act of making a child's environment safe to play and explore by minimizing or eliminating potential hazards to help prevent injuries or accidents.
According to kids health, 66% of accidents happen at home to children up to 14 years old. That said, baby proofing your property is not only limited to crawling babies but also older babies. As a new parent learning every day about the potential dangers around your home, child-proofing your property should be among your top priorities. You can start by walking on your hands and knees to understand the potential hazards better from a child's perspective.
What is the Best Age to Start Baby Proofing?
Childproofing your home entails a lot, and thus it can take days to months to complete. Ideally, you should start the process at least three months before your due date. Once a child is born, it's easy to feel overwhelmed, anxious or confused about the best places around your home that require baby proofing.
As your child grows, baby proofing advances to another level. For instance, you have to baby proof:
- Your doors once your child can grab items, mostly from nine months.
- Your car three to two months before your due date because your newborn will use the car right from the first day from the hospital.
- The fireplace from when your child is six months old. Once the toddler starts crawling, it's easy for them to get into an accident at the fireplace.
- The nursery as soon as your newborn turns three months, as they can now roll on their own from their bed.
Baby Proofing Checklist for Every Room-- Top 10 Baby Safety Tips
Below are some baby safety tips you should put in place once you have a child on the way.
#1. General House Childproofing
Baby proofing a house in general, is ensuring that your home has up-to-date repairs. Ensure that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors' batteries are replaced, and the system is in good working condition. In addition, the first aid kit should be well-stocked with bandages, antibiotic ointment, and alcoholic wipes. If the occupants of your house can perform infant CPR, then that's a bonus.
Cover all electrical outlets and guard the furniture around the house against falling or tipping over once the child begins to walk.
#2. Baby Proofing the Living Room
The living room is a busy place, with many potential hazards for children. Ensure the sharp corners on the tables are covered. In addition, don't leave your child unattended near a fireplace. Items like glass doors or screens are not safe for baby proofing the fireplace.
The American Academy of Pediatrics states that firearm injuries are the third leading cause of death in children under 17 years. Therefore, if you own a gun, ensure it's locked away and unloaded.
#3. Don't Forget the Kitchen
The kitchen holds all the potential dangers in a home. Install safety knob covers on your oven door and stove knobs. Keep all appliances with sharp edges, like food processors or blenders, away from children below 15 years.
Turn on the child-safety lock in your fridge to prevent unauthorized access, as most kids know their favorite snacks are in the refrigerator. The cold air from the fridge can cause respiratory issues. In addition, eating cold food direct from the refrigerator can cause food poisoning, mainly because a child's digestive system is still growing and sensitive.
Store chemicals, bleach, and cleaners in lockable or tall cabinets to enhance safety. (Unsure if those cleaning products have expired? Check this guide.) Ensure to put all matchsticks away from children to prevent accidental fires in the house.
#4. Keeping the Bathroom Safe for Your Baby
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns that families with children below 3 years can potentially drown in the toilets, bathtubs, buckets or spas, and hot tubs. Young children are drawn to water, so ensure that your child is not playing or exploring around an area with more than five gallons of water.
To baby-proof the bathroom, start by installing a cabinet and toilet seat safety lock. Again, put your garbage can far from a child, as your child's curiosity may end up harming them. Store any medication away from the reach of a child to avoid a drug overdose.
#5. Childproof Your Home Office
A home office can pose potential dangers, especially to crawling and walking children. It's common to find an electrical cord on the floor or items like pins, staples, printer ink, or batteries that can be a choking hazard. When baby proofing, also consider items that can be pulled of shelves or book cases. Use a wall anchor to anchor heavy furniture safely in place.
#6. The Nursery is Just as Important
Your baby will spend most of its time in a nursery. Therefore, ensure each item in the room is safe from falling, not a choking hazard, non-slippery, and all the toys have no removable parts.
Ensure the crib and its surroundings have nothing hanging or easily reachable by the baby. From the crib, your child can stretch to grab a dangling toy or window cord, resulting in a severe accident.
In addition, you can install a baby monitor in their nursery to track your child's movement while you are away or in another room.
#7. Baby Proofing the Laundry Room
Most detergents and other cleaning materials are colorful, with some looking like candies. Keep all cleaning materials, including bar soap, out of a child's reach to avoid poisoning. In addition, you can also install safety locks for your dryer and washing machine for front-loading washers.
#8. Make the Outdoors Safe for Your Baby
First-time parents' most common mistake is focusing too much on interior baby proofing and overlooking the outdoor space.
Some hazards are less obvious than others. For example, if you have a swimming pool, installing a gate and covering the pool is easy. However, you forget about other potential choking hazards like pebbles, mulch, and acorns.
Look around your compound for toxic plants like wild mushrooms, and if you can't identify a dangerous plant, it's advisable to consult a gardener. If you have swings, ensure there is a safe landing space, and the swing is well-lubricated.
#9. Don't Overlook the Garage
Apart from the living room, the garage is the second busiest place in a home. It has a lot of loose spare parts and other removable items.
Ensure to lock all your cleaning items in a high-lockable cabinet. If you store the items in a high place without locking, your child can accidentally drop them as they explore. Always test the locking mechanisms and garage door opener, and keep the door opener high, where a child below 15 years cannot access it.
If you have a vehicle in the garage, ensure that all doors are closed, including the trunk. In addition, keep all the car keys away from the child's reach.
#10. Baby Proof Your Car
Baby proofing doesn't just end in the home. Your car poses one of the greatest safety threats to your baby and should be baby proofed. Research from the University of Alabama, Birmingham discovered that it only takes less than 10 minutes for a child below 10 years to suffocate if left in a car.
An adult's mind is preoccupied with many things, increasing the chances of forgetting to lock the doors. When alighting from your car, double-check that all doors are locked. If you are traveling with your child, put them in a car seat, and if they are older, sensitize them on the importance of a safety belt.
Finally, put on the child safety lock to prevent your child from opening the door in the middle of a drive.
Invest in Quality Baby Proofing Materials for Your Baby's Safety
Your first child provides you with first-hand experience on parenting. While it's fun to spend time with your baby, it's important to let them explore on their own. However, babies are careless and never realize the potential harm and danger they present to themselves. With the right home safety equipment, you can enjoy a bit of freedom when parenting and still keep your baby safe.
At Guardline, we provide our clients with quality home safety tools and equipment to keep them and their families safe. You can rest easy at home knowing your loved ones are protected. Visit us today to find the right safety product for your home.
Contributing Writer: Deisy Ventura