Babyproofing 101 – Make Sure Your Home Is Baby Safe
From about 8 months onward babies can start to crawl. They will also start to pull up on tables, chairs and other surfaces that had previously been out of reach. This means that you need to make sure that your baby does not have access to certain areas, such as stairways and swimming pools by installing safety gates, and that the areas he/she roams are hazard free.
Here is a simple checklist to help you keep your baby safe. You should also get down on your hands and knees and do a sweep of the house to see what you may be missing.
In the bathroom
- Cover bathtub knobs and bath tap so that you child cannot bump his/her head
- Never leave the tub full of hot water and only fill the tub to cover the baby’s legs
- Put nonslip mats in the bathtub and on the floor
- Keep toiletries and medicine out of your baby’s reach or put a lock on your medicine cabinet
- Put a baby proof latch on your toilet seat to keep it closed
- Install grab rails to help both you and the baby move around safely
In the Nursery
- Do not leave too many stuffed toys in the cot as they may cause suffocation
- Be careful of toy boxes, drawers etc. where the baby can slam his fingers
- Do not leave the baby unattended on the changing table and keep toiletries out of reach
In the kitchen
- Keep any sharp objects (knives), heavy pots, glass and breakables out of reach or locked away.
- Install baby proof latches on cupboard doors and drawers.
- Don’t use table cloths that the baby can pull off
- Keep rubbish bins closed or out of reach
- Turn pot handles away from reach and never leave the stove or oven on unattended
In the living room
- Cover sharp furniture corners of chairs and coffee tables with corner protectors
- Keep pot plants out of reach
- Close off your fireplace with a fire grid
- Secure bookcases and other tall furniture and shelving to the wall so that the baby cannot pull them over (they will be tempted to climb).
- Remove all electrical cords from reach, or hide them, to avoid strangulation, especially those attached to something like a hot iron that the baby call pull down
- Keep appliances unplugged when not in use
- Cover all power outlets
- Use doorstops to stop fingers from getting slammed
- Never leave your baby alone in a space or on something he can fall from
- Install baby safety gates at the top and bottom of stairways – make sure that they have a latch that the baby cannot open and an anti-climb system.
- Cut or tie up dangling cords such as those on blinds
- Mark glass and sliding doors with stickers
- Don’t leave buckets/containers of water or cleaning solution lying around
In the garden
- If you have a swimming pool you need to get a pool net or put up a fence. Here is a link to an article to help you choose which option is best for you: https://balustradekit.wordpress.com/2015/05/15/swimming-pool-safety-balustrades-vs-pool-nets/
- Cover or fence off any ponds or water features
- Keep all gardening tools out of reach
*Please note – this list does not cover all hazards but simply a few basic ones.