From the time of conception, a mother begins planning for the safety of her child. The womb provides a cozy, safe home until your baby is born. Baby proofing the home keeps the baby safe once she arrives. To an adult, the home feels like a safe environment, but babies find lots of potential dangers, especially once they become mobile. Look at the home from a crawling baby’s perspective to identify the risks.
Move It Up
The large amount of time a baby spends on the floor leaves him open to dangers lying around. Keep any small objects picked up off of the floor, from coins to batteries. If swallowed, small items present a major choking risk for babies. Once he begins pulling himself up, move heavy objects out of reach. That decorative ceramic bowl in the middle of your coffee table could cause a major injury if he pulls it onto himself. Some houseplants can make your child sick, so move them up higher so your baby cannot chew on them. Crawl around the house on your hands and knees looking for potentially dangerous objects within reach.
Some home dangers, such as stairs or fireplaces, aren’t removable. A barrier to keep your baby away from the danger is a more practical option. Adjustable baby gates allow you to keep your child from falling down stairs or block her entrance to a particular room. Barriers around heat sources, such as radiators or fireplaces, prevent burns for young children still practicing balance.
Baby Proof Windows
The window area presents safety concerns for mobile babies and toddlers. Blinds with cords present a strangulation risk. Cut loop-style cords or shorten them so they are out of your child’s reach. Keep windows locked or open them from the top down if possible to avoid your child falling out of the window. Many newer windows include stops that only allow the window to open a few inches. Moving furniture away from windows also prevents falls.
Lock it Up
Materials in the home that present a risk to babies and young children should be locked up at all times. This includes cleaners, medication and sharp tools. Placing the dangerous items in an upper cabinet with a childproof lock on it provides double protection.
The same furniture that decorates your home could cause injury to your baby. Heavy furniture prone to tipping, such as bookcases or dressers, should be secured to the wall. If your baby pulls herself up using the furniture, it remains upright instead of tipping over on top of her. Sharp corners on tables and fireplace hearths also present injury risk. Special bumpers go over the sharp corners and edges to provide padding if your child falls into them.