Take a look around your home. Virtually everything you see lying around will either become your child’s chew toy, or a potential hazard if you are expecting. While infants who have not developed an ability to crawl or toddle are not capable of getting into much unless it is placed at arm’s length, babies develop faster than you might first expect. You may not be worried about baby-proofing when you are in the daze of exhaustion after your newborn comes home, but fast-forward to 6 months down the line, and your little one will be all over the place and into everything.
Many parents baby-proof as they go, but will overlook some very hazardous areas in the home that need prompt attention. Here are six forgotten places to childproof before your toddler begins to explore.
Unless you live in a cave or an underground bomb shelter, you more than likely have a few windows. These can be dangerous elements when you have curious little ones running around who want to watch the world outside their home. When little toddlers find their way to the window and see something that sparks their interest, it might mean a fall. In fact, more than 5000 kids fall from windows every year.
Your baby-proofing technique will depend upon the window type. You can use window guards, window stops, charley bars, and wedges to prevent the window from opening. It is also important to remove furniture that can be used as a ladder so your toddler cannot plan for a quick escape.
Bathroom for Bath Time
Babies outgrow their portable and folding infant baths very quickly. When promoted to the big bathtub, there many hazards to avoid. You might know to put away the soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and razors, but that is not all. Be sure to invest in a non-slip mat and don’t overlook the importance of a spout cover. Children love water and they are drawn to the spout where it comes out. One slip could mean they injure their head on the spout.
Access to the Toilet
Another water source that poses a hazard and is overlooked by many is the toilet. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the toilet is not only infested with bacteria, but can be an overlooked drowning hazard. One way to cut off access is to close the door to the bathroom at all times, lock it with a hook-and-eye lock.
You will also need to secure the lid so your toddler cannot open it when they figure out it can be lifted. Find a type of lid lock that is easy to install and is compatible with your toilet style.
Kids pay attention to your every move. If it is your routine to unload the washer as they eat in their highchair, they may be intrigued once they get down. If they open the dishwasher right after is ends, there is a chance of steam burns. They will also have access to sharp knives and glass that can break and cause deep cuts if they get into a dishwasher. Be sure to point all sharp utensils down, put away the detergent in a locked cabinet, and never leave the dishwasher door unlocked.
You never want to give your child free access to your driveway or the backyard where there is a whole new set of hazards. Just 30 seconds of putting away clothes can result in disaster if your child finds out how to open the door and run into the street. Over time, toddlers figure out how to open locked doors. When this happens, you can buy handle locks, knob locks, lock and pinch guards, and more. Another option is to always arm your home with a security alarm so it sounds whenever the door is opened. NorthStar alarm reviews say this system can also be controlled remotely so you can make sure doors are locked wherever you are.
Create a Closet
If you have guests who frequently come to visit, they could be carrying hazards with them. You know to lock up medicines and sharp items, but all of this could be easily accessed in a purse within reach. Be sure you have a place to put coats and bags so purses don’t become dangers.
No home will ever be 100% safe. You need to supervise your children, but you also need to prevent potential accidents with the right safeguards. Be sure you look at the obvious hazards and the not-so obvious ones so your child is as safe as can be in your home.
~ Brooke Chaplan ~