Babies are naturally curious as they are introduced to the great, wide world around them. They like to touch, taste, and grab everything in the home, which can often make for an unsafe situation. Here are a few tips on how to keep your little ones safe from some hidden hazards at home.
In the kitchen
Kitchen’s seem to be the first place to start when child proofing a home, as there are so many sharp, toxic, and hot objects all in one place. Be sure to keep knives and other sharp utensils out of the reach of children by storing them in upper cabinets and drawers. If you are still afraid your child could reach them, buy some safety latches to prevent access (available at most hardware or home goods stores). It’s also a good idea to move and lock away hazardous materials like cleaning supplies.
When using the stove, make sure to use the back burners and turn the handles of pots and pans to the back of the stove. This will remove any temptations to grab sizzling kitchenware, which could result in serious burns.
In the Bathroom
Keep the toilet lid down and to even go so far as to use a toilet lock. Curious eyes may be tempted to peer over the edge of the bowl, and it is surprisingly easy for children to lean too far and slip into the water, or put items into the toilet.
Bath time is often filled with excitement, fun, and a lot of movement around the tub. Take steps to avoid slipping and falling by getting a non-slip rubber mat for in the tub and a bath mat for the floor next to the tub. This will help to prevent some serious tears from a post-tub tumble. Also, be sure to always supervise children when they are in the bathroom and to never leave them for even a few seconds.
The rest of the house
The corners of tables, fireplaces, and walls create thousands of opportunities for your baby to be bumped and bruised. Make their trips and falls safer by putting bumpers on edges that seem especially dangerous like coffee tables. These can be easily made to fit a variety of surfaces.
Try as best as you can to move any furniture away from windowsills. Children love to climb, and can use the height of the furniture to get too close to an open window. If you have windows that are close to the floor, purchase window guards, as window screens will not stop a falling child.
Electrical outlets are certainly dangerous as they are often near the ground and provoke investigation. However, many of the common safety plugs you see are too easily removed and can be choking hazards if your child manages to get his hands on them. Many hardware stores sell outlet covers with sliding safety latches that allow you to shut the outlets without tiny, removable parts –solving two problems with one simple solution.
Finally, keep in mind that every home is different and can provide unique dangers. It might be a good idea to get on your hands and knees and explore your own house to see what looks tempting or menacing from the future baby’s point of view.