Child proofing usually comes in different stages. A lot of parents start while they are still expecting. While others do it as it comes – when baby starts crawling, walking and reaching different places. The main goal of child proofing is to keep your little one safe from harm, and also protect certain things around the house. We have put together a list of essential things you need to do to keep your baby safe at home.
The most important thing you can do is protect your child from drowning. If you have a pool, make use of a net or cover (putting a gate around an open pool is still dangerous, as the gate can be left open or as your child gets bigger they can learn to climb over it). While a swimming pool is an obvious hazard, things like water in a mop bucket and bath water are just as dangerous. Make sure that anyone who is working in your house, or if you are using a bucket that it is not left unattended for even a minute. Toilets also need to be baby proofed, as a child can drown if they tip into one head first. There are locking clips you can buy to make sure that the lid stays down after use.
Burning and electrical hazards
Plug point covers are a great addition to any home occupied by a baby or curious toddler – make sure that wires and cords are out of reach and things like phone charges are put away. All appliances that use heat (iron, kettle, etc), need to be placed well out of reach, and as your child grows keep in mind that they will start using things to climb up on to reach these items. When ironing, make sure the iron is put away completely when an adult is not right there and that the baby cannot reach the cord to pull it down.
Injury hazards are ways in which a child can hurt themselves physically. If you have any stairs in the house, it is important to close them off or use an adjustable gate that has a child-proof latch. Table edges are known to cause injuries to little heads, try get corner protectors if the edges are sharp. Bookshelves, or any furniture items that a child can pull themselves up or climb on need to be securely bolted into place so that they cannot fall down. Also, have a look at your windows…are they accessible for your child to crawl out of? If yes, then make sure you have bars or protective covers installed.
Here we are talking about anything your child could possibly ingest that will be dangerous. Start by moving all cleaning items and toiletries to a higher shelf, and then invest in drawer and cupboard child proof locks to keep your child away. Make sure that your garage or any storage space is also child proofed by installing high shelves. If you have a medicine bag, put it out of reach in a locked cabinet.
The small things
Just when you think your house is safe, take a walk around and look at the small things. Do all your remotes have a battery cover? Are ornaments within grasping reach? Are there hanging blind cords? If you have older children, now is the time to teach them to put their toys away and makes sure small toys are kept away from the baby at all times.
Toptots Early Learning SA