You couldn’t wait for your baby to start crawling or take their first steps, but now your house feels like it should come with one of those ‘Danger: Hazardous Area’ signs. Pointy edges and plug sockets seemingly appear everywhere you look.
So here we’ve come up with a list of the essential steps to take to baby-proof your home so they can explore their new world safely.
No choking zone
Children explore the world with their mouths and it’s hard to stop them from putting anything and everything in there, so it’s important to ensure there are no small items they could choke on lying around – coins, buttons, safety pins and so on.
Also make sure that their toys are age-appropriate with no small loose parts, and don’t feed them food that could block the airways, like peanut butter, popcorn, whole grapes, raw carrot, raisins and nuts.
Consider taking a first aid course specifically aimed at looking after babies and infants, which covers how to stop a child from choking.
Keep poisonous products out of reach
Make sure you store potentially hazardous cleaning products in high or locked cupboards. For example, busy mums often choose the convenience of liquitabs, such as Ariel 3 in 1 Pods, to make short work of all that laundry, but these small pods can look like colourful sweets to children, so make sure you keep them out of reach of hungry little explorers.
Cover up those corners
Sharp corners on tables, cabinets, shelves, desks and chests could bruise and even cut a wobbly-walking tot. Buy corner cushions, which you can fix to any pointy edges.
You can also buy similar contraptions to stop doors from slamming on little fingers, and latches to stop cupboard doors and drawers from being opened easily.
If you have stairs, it’s important to buy a stair gate to prevent your little one from falling down them.
You should also consider a safety gate for the kitchen due to the amount of hazards in there – plus one for the room they usually play in, so you can be in a different room but leave the door open without worrying about them wandering out.
The shock factor
Prevent little fingers from poking into unused plug sockets with socket covers and always make sure the switch is off.
Wires also make a not-so-fun teething toy for tots, or could cause them to trip when toddling around.
To prevent this, make sure there are no wires traipsing across the room by tucking them behind furniture – above their reach where possible – or keeping the appliance close to the mains and then tying the wires into a tight loop and tucking it away.
Keep a first aid kit to hand
In case of any small accidents, keep a useful supply of essentials. For example: adhesive tape, antiseptic ointment, adhesive bandage, gauze dressing, hand cleanser, plastic bags, scissors and tweezers. Keep hypoallergenic plasters, in case regular ones cause a skin reaction. If you are in doubt about how to treat any injury, seek medical help as soon as possible.
For more tips on making sure your home is hazard-free for the whole family, see our article Home safety step by step.
Do you have any home safety tips? Let us know in the comments section below.