Baby proofing tips from Tom Madden, Health and Safety Officer at The Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital.
Baby proofing your home may be something you do when your little one first arrives, put as time goes on it can be hard to stay on top of all the dos and don’ts of making your home safe. Take a look at the following areas of your home and see whether you can tick them all off as safe – it’s always worth the time it takes to check.
Store the following items well out your child’s reach:
- household cleaning products
- laundry product and weedkillers
- sharp knives and scissors
- hazardous kitchen appliances and DIY tools
- cosmetics and alcoholic beverages
Edges and corners
Protect your baby from sharp edges on furniture and fireplaces by covering them with foam rubber or, where you can, use throw pillows, rugs and blankets.
Don’t leave long electrical cords dangling for your baby to grab and pull. Wrap them short and keep them secured and as out of reach as possible.
Keep sockets covered with a protective cover or plastic plugs to avoid your child putting any objects into the sockets.
If you have any older children, keep their toys separate and out of reach of your baby or toddler. Punch or drill air holes into your child’s toy box, in case they ever become trapped in them. Preferably buy a toy box with a removable lid or else install safety hinges on the box.
Use childproofing guards on all your windows, even ground floor ones. Any windows that open more than four inches can be dangerous for your child. Do not place cots, steps, or other furniture adjacent to openable windows.
Keep your baby’s cot away from any dangling blind cords or curtains. Tie up low hanging cords and keep them out of reach to avoid your baby getting tangled in a blind cord.
Keep your baby in a highchair or play pen when you are cooking. Keep pot handles facing inwards and put covers on the stove burners.
Place safety gates on both the top and bottom of staircases.
Any furniture that is likely to topple over should be secured. This includes bookshelves, television stands, and chests of drawers. Any furniture that cannot be secured should be stacked bottom heavy so that your child can’t easily topple them over.
Don’t use fridge magnets if you have a baby or toddler. Also put a safety latch on the fridge.
If you have any glass doors in your home it is a good idea to put stickers at your baby’s or toddler’s level of height. This will stop them from accidentally walking or crawling into the doors.
Put childproof locks on all cupboard and cabinet doors, as babies love to see what is behind the doors.
Tablecloths can pose a danger to tots if they grab an edge and pull whatever is on the table down. To avoid this, secure all tablecloths to the table.
Out of reach
Any objects that could potentially pose a threat to your baby should be kept out of reach. This includes coins, small toys, nail scissors, etc. All medicines must also be put away.
Keep balcony doors locked at all times. Do not keep objects on balconies that could be used as steps e.g. flower pots, tables and chairs etc. Never leave a child alone on a balcony.
There should be a smoke detector on every floor in the home, as well as near the kitchen. Detectors should be checked weekly to make sure they are working.
- A fire extinguisher should be kept near the kitchen and near fireplaces. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions about keeping the extinguishers serviced or checked regularly.
- A fireguard must be placed around each fireplace. Ensure that the guard is large enough to enclose the fireplace and that it can be fixed to the wall.
- Always keep lighters and matches and any flammable objects out of the reach of children.
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