Your baby has finally reached the crawling milestone, and you couldn’t be more ecstatic. However, you’re quickly learning that your little guy’s improved mobility leads to some unexpected problems. You’re starting to realize that your comfortable, beautiful home is actually a horror house of dangerous obstacles your baby could use to poke his eye out or stuff in his mouth. Before your little tornado gets even more mobile, it’s imperative to thoroughly babyproof your house. Here are a few suggestions to get started.
1. Secure Your Television
When you think of hazards in your home, your television probably doesn’t come to mind. However, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that TV-tip-overs are one of the top hidden hazards in homes. Preventing your child from becoming injured or even killed by a television set is as easy as anchoring your TV to the wall or entertainment center with safety straps.
2. Anchor Bookcases and Dressers to Walls
Like television sets, bookcases and dressers are surprisingly easy for babies to tip over and become trapped beneath. According to Consumer Reports, every 17 minutes, someone in the U.S. is injured by a piece of furniture, appliance or television tip over. Most of the victims are under the age of 6 and unintentionally tip over the items while climbing on them. Nearly half of the deaths caused by tip-overs happen in children’s bedrooms, often after naps when parents are not in the room.
Fortunately, there are ways to secure furniture to the wall to ensure your child’s safety. Most options take very little time and are inexpensive to implement. You can purchase furniture anchoring kits from some furniture stores or online. Follow the included directions to secure furniture to the wall using these kits.
3. Cover Sharp Corners With Corner Guards
Have you ever stubbed your shin on the corner of a coffee table or bumped your leg on the edge of a wooden chair? While you might have experienced minor discomfort from the encounter, your child could suffer serious injuries from a similar encounter. Since your little one is so small and tends to crawl around head-first, sharp corners on tables and chairs present a very real danger to his head, eyes and face. Purchase and install corner guards to keep him safe as he explores his surroundings.
4. Surround Your Fireplace With a Screen or Gate
Many babies are fascinated by fireplaces, which makes it important for you to secure these areas with screens or gates. Teach your little one at a young age that she shouldn’t go anywhere near the fireplace. You can use words like “hot!” and “ouch!” to help your baby understand that the fireplace can cause pain. Even if there is no fire actively going, your baby should still stay away from embers, wood splinters and pokers. Screening or gating the area off is a great deterrent and can keep your little girl safe.
5. Store Batteries and Magnets Out of Reach
Many people store things like batteries and magnets in coffee table drawers or storage cabinets. This shouldn’t be a problem as long as the drawers and cabinets are well out of your baby’s reach. It’s natural for babies to put everything they can in their mouth, and batteries and magnets are no exception. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, more than 2,800 kids swallow button batteries every year and require emergency room treatment.
Magnets are also potentially deadly for children if they are swallowed. When multiple magnets are swallowed, they can attract each other through your child’s intestine lining. This can puncture the lining or cause a deadly lack of blood flow to the area. Immediate medical attention should be sought if you suspect your baby has swallowed magnets.
6. Install Anti-Scalding Devices on Faucets
Did you know it only takes three seconds for a child to develop a third-degree burn when exposed to 140-degree water? To keep your little one from getting badly burned, install anti-scalding devices on all faucets she can reach (especially bathtub faucets).
7. Use Safety Gates
Babies are naturally curious about their surroundings, especially when they first start crawling. Top babyproof your house and keep your child from taking a dangerous and painful tumble down the stairs, install safety gates at the top and bottom of your staircase. Make sure the gates are the right size for your stairway opening and fit securely.
These simple steps won’t take much time and money to implement, and they’ll keep your baby safe while he thoroughly explores his environment.