Here are some simple baby-proofing steps that will keep your home safe for your little one.
• Plug/cover all electrical sockets (there are plenty of purpose-built products on the market).
• Install safety gates at all stairways.
• Place bumpers over any furniture that has sharp corners.
• Tape down or tie up long electrical cables, and shorten the strings of window blinds.
• Treat any length of cord as a potential strangling hazard.
• Move all pot plants out of reach. Certain plants (such as irises) are toxic, and you don’t want Junior eating the soil either.
• Make sure no climbable furniture is close to a window. For upstairs, buy baby-proof latches that allow windows to open only a few centimetres.
• Stick decals on to glass doors at your baby’s eye height, so they don’t attempt to toddle straight through the glass.
• Take down chandeliers or crystal light fittings. One errant toy thrown at the ceiling can cause a rain of glass.
• It’s a good idea to install a gate to the kitchen, as it’s one room of the house that is particularly full of hazards.
• Move all cleaning supplies to an out-of-reach cupboard. If you prefer to keep these under the sink, get a lock for the cupboard door.
• Push all appliances as far back on the counter as possible, and attach their cords to the wall. It’s very easy for a standing toddler to pull a toaster or kettle down on to their head.
• Use only the back two plates of your stove. If you use the front ones, ensure all pot handles are turned inwards. You could buy a stove guard to provide a solid barrier between the stove top and little hands.
• Remove the plastic knobs from the stove when not in use, so your toddler can’t turn on the heat.
• Place a child lock on the oven door.
• Remove all magnets from the fridge door, as these can fall off and become choking hazards.
• If you’re not placing a child lock on the fridge itself, keep glass bottles and choking hazards (such as grapes) on an out-of reach shelf.
• Use drawer locks to prevent your little one getting into the cutlery (or opening a drawer and closing it on their fingers).
• Install toilet-lid locks.
• Move all toiletries, medication and cleaning products to an out-of-reach cupboard, or lock lower cabinets.
• Never leave any water standing in the bath or sink. Babies can drown in less than 6 cm water.
• Drape a towel over the top of the door to prevent it closing fully.
• Ideally, your pool should be surrounded by a 1.6 m fence, with a latched gate that can’t be opened by a toddler. A taut pool
cover is the minimum safety requirement.
• Store gardening tools and chemicals in a locked shed or baby-proof box.
Words by Jade Taylor Cooke