It may seem odd to baby-proof your home when your infant can't even roll over yet, but you may be surprised at how soon they'll be getting around and getting into things. So it's never too soon. Take the time to baby-proof when your little one is still brand new or even before they arrive.
Time to secure your TVs and furniture -- just in case. Use furniture straps to hold TVs, bookshelves, dressers, and other heavy furniture in place in any rooms where your child might be left alone, even for a minute. Don't put a TV on top of a dresser -- the drawers can be used for climbing. Put corner or edge bumpers on any furniture with sharp edges.
You might not see your toilet as a hazard, but the water in it, and the toilet lid, can be a danger for a curious child. So prevent any problems: Remember to always keep toilet lids down and secured with a lid lock.
Use cord holders to keep longer cords fastened against walls. That way, your little one can't tug on a tangle of computer cords and other electrical wiring. That could keep your baby safe from electrical hazards or heavy equipment that falls after a couple of tiny tugs.
Store all medicines in a high, locked cabinet. Never take medicine out of its original childproof container. Try not to take medicine in front of your child or they may want to imitate you. Never call medicine "candy." And don't flush old pills down the toilet. Get rid of them through your local drug take-back program, or put them in a sealed bag with something your child won't want to eat -- like kitty litter or coffee grounds -- and throw it in the trash.
Tie all blind cords high out of reach, or cut the ends and attach breakaway safety tassels. Never put a crib or child's bed near window blinds or drapes. Those dangling cords can be a choking risk. Place your child's crib and other furniture away from windows. Don't rely on standard window screens -- they're meant to keep insects out, not children in. Instead, install childproof screens, or even better, window guards, which are proven to prevent falls.
Take steps to safeguard areas around pools, hot tubs, and other home features with standing water, like fish tanks and ponds. Backyard pools should be completely surrounded by a 4-foot fence, preferably with a self-latching gate. Pool covers and alarms may provide additional protection. Don't leave toys floating in pools. And just like in the tub, never take your eyes off a child near water.
You may leave appliances such as the toaster, coffee maker, or paper shredder plugged in for convenience. But some appliances can harm your child if she turns them on, pulls them down on them, or gets tangled in a cord. Unplug them when you're not using them and put them away, out of reach, if you can.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are essential to your family's safety. Install a smoke alarm outside every bedroom or sleeping area, and make sure there's at least one on every floor. Don't put smoke detectors near the kitchen or bathroom -- these areas can trigger false alarms that may leave you inclined to ignore them. Check the batteries every month.
The best way to baby proof is to see things the way your baby does. Get down on your hands and knees and crawl around. What's at baby's eye level and within easy reach? Kids can be curious about anything they see, like computer cords and glassware on low shelves. You might not notice breakable or hazardous items when you're towering above them.
In good health,
Your friends at Mountain WestSource: WebMD.com