As a new parent, ensuring your home is safe and secure for your little one is likely a top priority. Babyproofing your home can seem daunting, but with a few simple tips, you can create a safe environment for your baby to explore and grow in. Here are five essential tips to help you babyproof your home effectively:
- Take on bigger projects first
- Get on their level
- Prioritize furniture safety
- Inspect for burn hazards
- Utilize Baby Gates
1. Take on bigger projects first
It’s best to tackle the bigger projects before your baby arrives. Start by assessing your home’s overall safety.
If it was built before 1978, check that the paint doesn’t contain lead, as it can pose a huge risk to your baby’s health. Children, especially those under two years old, are extremely sensitive to lead. In fact, children exposed to lead may develop damage to the brain and nervous system, learning disorders, and behavioral problems. If tests show lead paint inside or outside your home, then you should contact a certified lead abatement contractor to completely remove lead paint hazards.
It’s also important to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home to alert you in emergencies.
2. Get on their level
Seeing your home from your baby’s perspective will allow you to spot and address hazards that might have gone unnoticed from an adult’s viewpoint. Get down on the floor to look for small items that could be choking hazards, such as coins, toys, and other household objects. Also, check for small batteries lying around, as they can be extremely dangerous if swallowed.
3. Prioritize furniture safety
Furniture tipping is a significant danger for children, with an estimated 7,900 annual emergency-department-treated injuries of those under 18.
Use furniture and appliance anchors to secure heavy items and prevent them from tipping. Check for sharp corners on tables and other furniture, and consider using corner guards to protect your baby from injuries. Opt for cordless window coverings to prevent strangulation and ensure a safer environment.
4. Inspect for burn hazards
Use screens or barriers to prevent your child from touching heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, or stoves. Set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to reduce the risk of scalding. Unplug appliances when not in use, as babies can become interested in turning knobs or pushing buttons, which can lead to potential burns if the appliances are still hot.
5. Utilize baby gates
Installing safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs is crucial to prevent falls and injuries. Use a wall-mounted gate at the top of the stairs for extra security, as pressure gates may not be strong enough to withstand a baby’s force. Use baby gates to block off high-risk areas like the kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room, giving you complete control over where your baby can and can’t go.
Shop for baby gates certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) — this organization ensures the manufacturer follows specific safety standards during production.