Childproofing 101: A Guide for New Parents
Photo courtesy of Alec Couros / Flickr Creative Commons
The birth of a first child is an exciting time for new parents. Once he or she starts to become mobile, you’ll want to make sure your home is as safe as possible. Childproofing your home is essential to protect your child from unforeseen dangers lurking around the house. For a helping hand, take a look at our childproofing guide which gives tips for creating a safe environment for your child.
The kitchen is full of everyday dangers for small children. Sharp utensils, hot surfaces and cleaning chemicals are some of the most common risks found in the kitchen for small children. Safety latches are a must-have in any home with a new child. They should be placed on all cabinets, drawers and doors. Cabinets containing poisonous chemicals and sharp objects should be the first to have the latches installed.
- Cover your unused electrical outlets with outlet protectors to prevent your little one from sticking objects into them and getting shocked.
- Make sure you store and lock up medicines, chemicals and sharp objects so they are out of reach. Also, make sure to place these items away from food and beverages. In addition to these items, make sure to store or place appliances and kitchenware away from the edge of countertops and out of your child’s reach.
- Try to only use your stove’s back burners and turn the handles of pots and pans away from you to keep all danger out of reach for your child.
- Again, safety latches are a must-have in your bathroom, especially since the bathroom holds many chemicals and cleaners. Add toilet locks to help keep the lid closed and outlet covers over unused sockets.
- Make sure that medications, chemicals and hair products are stored away from your child’s reach.
- Make sure hair tools such as flat irons, blow dryers and curling irons are unplugged and stored after use.
Other Household Areas:
- Safety gates will become your new best friend once your little one becomes mobile. Use these gates at the entrance of doorways and at the tops and bottoms of stairways.
- Put up bumpers on all the low corners and ledges in your house to prevent against injury.
- Make sure furniture is secure and won’t tip over if your little one hangs on it. Secure furniture to walls with brackets and anchors. You should also try to store heavier items below lighter ones to prevent objects and tall cabinets from being top heavy and tipping over.
For more tips on childproofing your home, visit HealthyChildren.org.