The FQ How To Guide

HOW TO Baby-Proof Your Home

Written by Sam Skelding

Babies and toddlers get into everything! You will soon find out they’re keen to explore and learn, but they can also expose themselves to plenty of dangers along the way, particularly if a house isn’t properly child-proofed.

Although it will be some months until your baby starts to crawl and really get into things, it’s best to baby-proof before your little one is born. Once they arrive, you’ll be surprised at how quickly the first few weeks shoot by, combine that with lack of sleep and wanting to spend as much time as possible with your partner and new baby, finding the time to baby-proof will become a real challenge. Ensuring it’s done before your baby arrives means you can take the pressure off and focus on those vitals first steps into parenthood.

A great way to tackle the house is room by room, so get down on your hands and knees to see if you spot anything that you might have missed.

Across the House

– Turn down radiators to avoid them getting too hot.

– Put Baby Stair Gates on stairs to prevent falls and on any rooms that are out of access.

– Check that house plants are not poisonous to eat/touch and also check that if a pot is pulled over, it’s not heavy enough to cause an injury. Move out of reach or fix to the floor.

– Anything that fits in a toilet paper tube needs to be put away as it poses a choking hazard.

– Socket covers are no longer recommended, but it’s important to keep an eye on children around plugged-in objects which – if pulled out – could cause an electric shock.

– Tie up blind cords to avoid strangulation hazards and to stop baby pulling it too hard and breaking it.

– Saying ‘no’ is always important if they are going near something they are not allowed to, they will pick it up very quickly.

Kitchen

– Child-Lock the cupboard where you keep bleach and other cleaning products, it’s imperative that your little one cannot get to them.

– Latch the knife drawer – as soon as your child can reach the drawers, they’ll be exploring them, it’s usually best that children don’t have access to knives!

– Get some knob covers for the stove – it’s important because children fiddle and may turn on the hob, accidently creating not just a burning risk but also fire risk.

Living Room

– Put electrical cords out of reach. Where possible hide them behind a cabinet or run them behind a sofa. Cords can cause children to get tangled and pose a strangulation threat.

– Secure anything the baby could pull themselves up on such as cabinets. Remember things like large piles of magazines next to a bookshelf can seem unassuming when picked up one by one, but if baby pulls themselves up and the pile collapses, a lot of damage could be done.

– Put corner guards on sharp edges to prevent baby cutting themselves if they fall onto them.

Bathroom

– Get a Latch for the Medicine Cabinet and make sure all tablets and medicines are put away so children cannot reach them.

– If you’re worried about children climbing into the loo then you can get a toilet lock, however, a good idea if your door handles are high enough is to keep the bathroom door closed and make it a ‘no-access without supervision’ area until they’re older.

– It’s worth mentioning here: Never ever leave a child unattended in the bath. Children should not be left even for a few seconds, drowning only takes a moment and many die each year after being left unattended in the bath. An adult must supervise.

– Put a rubber mat in the bath to avoid slipping.

– Never leave water in the bath or in a bucket.

Car

– If you have electronic car windows, make sure they cannot be used in the back where your children sit as it has been known for kids to trap their fingers or wrists and crush them.

– Make sure your child locks are on.

– Keep all cleaning products out of reach.

– Soft toys are the best option for the car, that way if an emergency stop does happen, a soft toy or cloth book isn’t going to hurt your child.

Finally, look at the style of your furniture and whether you feel it’s appropriate for children, mirrored furniture – whilst on trend – is likely to confuse them, not to mention get covered in sticky hand prints so it may be time for a re-think! Just keep in mind that the aim is to make life easier, and safer, for your new family.

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