How to baby proof your home

If you are expecting a baby or if you are a new parent, you can prepare for your child’s health, comfort, and safety by baby proofing your home. Although trying to identify all of the potential dangers may seem like an overwhelming task, the following tips provide a good place to start—especially as your child becomes more mobile.

Gate the stairs and rooms that are off limits

Once your baby is on the move, the stairs can be a very tempting place to explore and practice new climbing skills. In order to avoid any dangerous tumbles, make sure to gate the stairs off so your baby has access to them only when supervised. You may also want to take the same approach to any other off-limit areas of the house that might present dangers to your little one, such as a home office or dining room. 

Lock cabinets

If you have cabinets that are within your baby’s or toddler’s reach, you should consider locking cabinets that contain items that can be hazardous for a baby to play with, such as glassware, knives, plastic bags, or cleaning supplies. Alternatively, you may want to consider using the cabinets within your child’s reach to store toys or non-breakable and non-toxic items.

Cover dangerous edges and electrical outlets

As your baby starts to crawl and explore the art of walking, he or she may start to use tables, couches, and chairs to help get from one place to the next. Because his or her balance is still a work in progress, it’s important to cover or remove any sharp or dangerous edges within your baby’s reach to help avoid injuries. You should also cover electrical outlets within your baby’s reach so that they are not a hazard. 

Keep small and breakable objects out of reach

Consider moving small trinkets and breakable objects to higher ground as your child starts to develop his or her grip and become more mobile. Moving small and breakable objects out of your child’s reach can help avoid choking hazards as well as injuries due to broken glass.

Although baby proofing can seem like a big task, start with the tips above to make sure that your child has a safe environment to develop and grow, and continue to monitor your home’s safety during your child’s development. 

SLPC 26117 09/14 (exp. 09/16)

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