There’re only a few weeks left before the baby finally arrives and you think you’ve bought every single thing there is. Have you also made sure that your home is safe for the baby? As they start to grow and explore their surroundings, previously harmless objects in the home can suddenly be hazardous to a crawling child.
Here are a few key tips to childproof your home without the hassle of disruptive home renovation.
1. Make a checklist
Even before buying or thinking of buying any gadgets for childproofing your home, make a checklist. Take a few minutes and walk through your home while taking into consideration everything that might injure your child. Sharp edges, hard surfaces, easily closed doors, unguarded high platforms, just name it. Write down where these potential dangers could be according to room. This will help you stay organised and prevent buying unnecessary things while you prepare your home for a new child.
2. Falling furniture
One of the first things you should look out for is unstable furniture. Unbalanced furniture can fall, causing serious injuries, usually to the head or body. Heavy dressers, entertainment centres or bookcases are furniture that a curious child might would pull on. Make sure the furniture is secured or out of reach from children.
3. Electrical outlets
Make sure all empty electrical outlets are covered or opt for self-sliding outlet covers that slide close when nothing is plugged in. For those that are currently being used, make sure that it is out of the child’s reach. Adults might know the danger electricity can cause, but for children, it might just seem like an interesting toy.
4. Cabinet locks and doors
When you are a toddler who is only beginning to learn about all the wonders of the world, the inside of a cabinet could seem like the most interesting thing — I must open that now! Probably not a good idea. Who knows what your parents have in there — sharp objects, cleaning materials, cockroach repellent — things that pose a threat if consumed or used on skin.
For these matters, rather than using inexpensive locks which might generally fail within the first 100 days of use, purchase locks that have metal spring mechanisms or even better, magnetic locks. They might not fit your current interior design, but it sure is safe. As for doors, either toilet doors or bedroom doors, it is recommended to use locks that require two motions.
5. Household appliances and choking hazards
A general rule of thumb for children is anything that fits through a cardboard toilet paper roll is a choking hazard. It would be wise to temporarily remove all sorts of decorative household items that can be easily swallowed by children. Meanwhile, household appliances such as hot irons, used pots and pans should never be left unattended as it can cause burns and scald the child if they reach for it.
6. Staircases and openings
For high platforms, doors and staircases, installing protective gates is a safe bet. Pressure gates that do not attach to the wall can be placed at doorways and at the bottom of the stairs; it should not be attached at the top of a staircase. Instead try using gates that have a swinging door in the middle that requires two motions to open.
Enjoy your new life as a parent! And be safe!