Your life takes a whole new meaning with the arrival of a baby. If you could, you would protect the little one from all possible dangers that life may throw at him, but are you aware that some of the biggest threats to his wellbeing and safety are lurking in your own home? Use our quick checklist to baby-proof your home and make your house a safe haven for your little explorer.
1. Get down on your hands and knees and start crawling on the ground to find out what dangers are lying in wait in each room at your baby’s eye level. It is easy for an adult to overlook unused electrical sockets, wires or cords lying around while taking a quick check, but for a baby, they are all new and wondrous sources of mystery. Hence, cover all low-lying electrical sockets with socket covers or plugs and tie up stray cords or hide them behind furniture.
2. Once your baby will start crawling, he will start using furniture to pull himself up and practice standing. If your furniture is not secured properly, this might cause it to topple over and result in a serious accident. Use heavy furniture brackets and bolts to fasten whatever can be fastened to the wall. Heavy electronic appliances like a television set or a microwave should be placed as far away from the edge as possible and closer to the wall.
3. If you bought your furniture before your baby, chances are that you would not have checked for round edges or cushioning at the corners. What you can do now is cover all such sharp spots with bumpers or protective padding to prevent your baby from hurting himself if he accidentally knocks into a table.
4. All cleaning products, medicines and other potentially hazardous stuff for a small baby should be kept away from his reach.
5. If you have indoor plants in your home, make sure that none of them are poisonous if your toddler decides to tear off a leaf and see if it tastes good enough.
6. You may trust your pet with your life, but when it comes to a new baby in the home, be careful. Your pet may not immediately take to a new member in the family, so give it enough time to adjust.
7. Install additional barriers or gates at the top and bottom of stairwells and towards the balcony or pool area. Doors towards potentially dangerous places like the laundry room should always be kept closed.
8. All furniture placed close to windows should be moved away so that children cannot use them as a ladder for climbing and looking out.
9. If you are planning to use a used crib or stroller handed down in your family through generations, make sure that they are in good condition and safe for your baby.
10. Children often get their tiny hands hurt in closing doors and drawers. Install preventive doorstops and safety latches on all your cabinets and doors.
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Kurt Jacobson is a surfing enthusiast with a background in real estate. Having moved 10 times in the past 7 years, he thrives on helping others learn from his experiences. When he’s not out shredding waves he writes about homes for househunter.co.