How to Childproof Your Home: 10 Things You Should Do Right Now
There are so many new firsts when you bring home your first baby from the hospital. Parents that are on to the second and third child may consider themselves masters at handling everything, but when you are a brand new parent, you are constantly checking, rechecking, and re-rechecking everything to make sure that everything is running smoothly. As an example, I can’t tell you how many times I checked on my newborn during the night as she laid sleeping in her crib. I was so nervous that something would go wrong and because of it, I don’t think I slept more than two hours straight during the first three months. Checking on my baby during the night was the newest OCD that I had to manage!
Something that you might have overlooked early on since your baby was just a tiny little infant is childproofing your house. In fact, there is a good chance you didn’t even think about childproofing until the baby was able to start crawling around on the floor. I’m not sure if your child is like mine, but somehow she can already crawl about as fast as I can run. Instead of trying to literally stay one step ahead of your toddler, just go ahead and childproof the whole house at once. Here are ten things you can do to childproof your home today.
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Start With the Gate
Anytime there are stairs in your house, you need a baby gate in place. After all, one fall down the stairs could lead to serious injury or worse. Make certain it is not one of those flimsy gates either where the child can just lean upon it and it will collapse inward. As a matter of fact, only put up baby gates that you can screw into the wall or with solid pressure-mounted hardware so there is no chance the toddler can get by it.
We just built a new house and our contractor told us that the outlets they installed are already baby-proofed. They are called tamper-resistant outlets and supposedly prevent kids from being able to stick things into the holes unless it is the actual plug to a device. In any case, I don’t really want to risk it and you shouldn’t either. Purchase outlet covers for all the outlets your child will be exposed to.
Examine Your Blinds and Curtains
About one child every month dies from getting strangled by the cord coming down from window blinds and curtains in the United States. Thankfully, many companies now produce window blinds that eliminate the cord entirely. If you still have window coverings that have a cord hanging down from them, make a few simple adjustments to them. For instance, if they end in a loop where a child can get their head caught, cut the loop. Better yet, trim the whole cord so it is at such a height that there is no way a child could get tangled up into it.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
You should at least have smoke detectors in your house but it would be wise to install combination smoke/carbon monoxide detectors close to where each child sleeps. There are even smart detectors which tell you exactly where the smoke/carbon monoxide is and alerts your phone. After all, if there is smoke or carbon monoxide, it won’t take much to greatly affect your toddler. By spending a few extra dollars now and ensuring all the batteries are currently operating correctly, you can sleep much better at night knowing your kids are safe.
Install Child Surveillance Cameras
A friend of mine has a few young children that always seem to be getting into something. They are all separated by two years in age. This means that sometimes one child will be in one room and another will be on a totally different level in the house. So he could always monitor his kids effectively, he placed surveillance cameras that are both motion and sound-activated. The video simply streams to his phone and the alerts come in loud and clear. Plus, he said they were rather inexpensive and each device didn’t cost him more than fifty dollars.
I have a two-inch scar underneath my eye from back when I was a toddler. I had a run-in with our brick fireplace and it left me getting a few stitches at the hospital. Put protective covers on all the corners in your house where you think your child could have an accident. This may mean tables, fireplaces, chairs, countertops, etc. If you want to figure out what may need them, crawl around the house on your hands and knees to get a toddler’s point of view.
Locks for Cabinets and Drawers
Most kitchen drawers and lower cabinets can be reached by interested toddlers. It may be funny for your child to be wearing a plastic bowl on their head after getting into a cabinet, but it would be much less funny if they pulled open your knives drawer and everything fell down around them. Use latches and locks on cabinets and drawers (and even the toilet seat!) as a precaution around your house.
Fasten Down Bookcase Shelves
Children view bookcases as almost like ladders. All those shelves are awfully enticing to children that like to do a bit of climbing. The problem with that is even the heaviest of bookcases can tip over with a child climbing them. If this happens, it will definitely be bad news. Attach your bookcases and other furniture that can tip to a couple of studs in the wall. Don’t just attach them to the drywall as this won’t offer much support! Take out the stud finder and do it safely and correctly!
Position Your Electronics Appropriately
I usually hear about once a year from one of my friends about how their child accidentally tipped over their expensive television or poured their juice into their fancy computer. With some careful planning, this doesn’t have to happen. Think ahead! I know that it may be tempting to just put your toddler on your laptop for a bit so they can watch their favorite Sesame Street video off of YouTube, but you might be paying for it down the road… literally! Instead, purchase an inexpensive Chromebook they can use that can take a beating and keep on ticking.
Door Handle Locks
If you have a baby or toddler in your house, there is a hundred percent chance they will eventually try to get out! It comes with having kids! They are just curious creatures who have no sense of danger when it comes to exploration of the world around them. Before they get the ability to open your doors, it is a good idea to get some door knob covers or lever locks. Primarily, you want to protect kids from going outside without your supervision, or getting into a room or area that is unsafe for them.
There are lots of things you can do to keep your kids safe, but these are the basics. If you have any more please share a comment below.
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