68 Best Baby Proofing Checklist With Tips on How to Childproof Your Home
Every new parent wants to make sure that their baby stays as safe as possible. Baby proofing your house can be the best way to make sure your home isn’t a dangerous place for a little person. There are many things you can do in and around your home to childproof your home though. Not every childproofing tip applies to every house, and you should look beyond these steps to address dangerous areas in your home that are unique to your situation. Here’s your ultimate checklist for baby proofing your home.
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Whole House Babyproofing
- Start childproofing your home early as you never know when your baby will actually start doing something that could hurt themselves. Babies typically begin crawling at 6 to 10 months, but some begin earlier than that.
- Secure all of your TV’s and furniture with child proof furniture straps, this will prevent furniture like bookcases and entertainment centers from falling over onto the child.
- Babyproof your areas by ensuring all sharp corners on furniture get edge bumpers to protect from the sharp point causing injury if the child falls against it.
- Outlet covers are a must; the best kind are cover plates that screw on. Other kinds of childproof outlets can become a choking hazard if the child can remove them.
- The changing table can become a fall hazard once the child can roll over. Never leave them alone on the table, and use a safety strap if possible.
- Prevent scalding hazards by turning your water heater down below 120 degrees.
- Pet food can’t be left out; it becomes a choking hazard for small children. Feed your pet and then remove the bowl to help keep kids safe around pets.
- Childproofing stairs includes using safety gates to keep children out of rooms. Put baby gates at the tops/bottoms of stairs to prevent falls. The best baby gates are those that screw into the wall and won’t come loose like cheap baby gates can.
- Protect your child from window falls by childproofing windows with a window guard, a normal screen will not stop a child from falling out of the window.
- Always unplug appliances and move the cords up out of reach to keep your child from pulling an appliance down on their head.
- Alarms, both smoke and carbon dioxide, need to be in all bedrooms and at least one additional alarm on every floor.
- Toy boxes should not have hinged lids that can close on your child’s fingers, and should have holes in case a child gets inadvertently trapped inside.
- Learning how to babyproof a house means getting down to the eye level of your child. The best way to see what they may want to get into is to get down to their level and look around.
- Babyproofing your home includes putting your radiator inside an enclosure with small enough gaps that a child can’t reach through.
- Use a pinch guard on doors, these prevent doors from being closed on fingers.
- Ashtrays should be emptied as soon as possible, and moved up out of reach at all times.
- Make sure doorstops don’t have the removable rubber caps as these are a choking hazard.
- Any object that can fit through the cardboard inset of a toilet paper roll is a choking hazard.
- Door alarms and a childproof door lock will prevent your child from leaving the house without you realizing it.
- Never trust childproof packaging, often it will not keep out a determined or inventive child.
- Pools, hot tubs, fish ponds and other outdoor water elements need to be gated off, covered if possible, and have splash alarms to ensure they are safe for your home.
- Use screens to close off balconies and landings. Remember that if a soda can fits between the slats of your banister that your baby’s head can fit as well.
- Keep furniture away from the railings of balconies and lofts to prevent a child using them to scale past the railing and fall.
- Consider a fence capable of keeping your child in the yard.
- Examine your yard for dangerous or toxic plants, then remove them or fence them off.
- Be careful about using pesticides and herbicides on your lawn, follow the recommended times after using them before you allow kids in the yard.
- Use caution around outdoor grills, they can be a burn hazard.
- Never allow your children to play near the street or unattended.
- If you have a dog, make sure you pick up the feces before your children do.
- If you have playground type equipment, make sure that you have adequate surface preparation in case of falls.
- Playground equipment must be maintained and repaired to prevent injury.
Living Room Babyproofing
- Cords can be a big hazard for little people. Use cord holders and do your best to keep all cords up out of your baby’s reach, and view, if possible. For small children cords can look like a rope.
- Keep small objects and knickknacks up out of reach so your child can’t grab them, always overestimate how high they can reach.
- Secure bookcases and other tall objects to the walls with anchor bolts and furniture straps.
- Be careful with house plants, many can be poisonous, and even if the plant isn’t hazardous the dirt can be a huge problem.
- A baby proof fireplace screen has to be secured to the wall to prevent a child pulling it over onto themselves. Any fireplace tools must be relocated behind the screen or removed from the area.
- The edge of a fireplace hearth can be dangerous, cushion the sharp edges of bricks or stonework to ensure you have childproof fireplace.
- Babyproofing around your electronics means you need to use safety covers for your electronic equipment. This will keep little fingers from getting stuck in slots for DVD’s.
- Make sure you secure your flat screen TV so that it can’t be pulled over onto the child. Securing the TV will make sure you have a childproof TV stand.
- Move stand lamps into areas that your child can’t grab onto them and pull them over.
Bedroom Child Safety
- Make sure the cord for the baby monitor is not within reach.
- Fixed rails on a crib provide the most safety. Use caution on hand me down cribs, they often have drop sides which are now banned.
- Check the gap between the slats, if you can fit a soda can through them they are spaced too far apart.
- Babies should never sleep with blankets, stuffed animals, pillows, or bumpers as they pose a suffocation hazard.
- Move cords for blinds, or lamps up out of reach. They can be a choking risk. Cut looped blind cords to prevent a strangulation hazard.
- Do not put a crib or child’s bed near window blinds. They can try to climb up them and pull them down.
- When the child can stand remove mobiles and any hanging toys above their beds.
- Place a thick carpet on hardwood floors by anything the child might be set on, or able to climb up on.
- Nightlights can be a burn and choking hazard. Use a safety nightlight that is a cooler LED type.
Babyproofing the Kitchen
- Kitchen cabinets should all have childproof cabinet locks or safety latches and locks.
- Childproofing drawers means getting safety locks; this will keep them out of the contents inside.
- Kitchen tables should have their tablecloths removed to prevent the baby pulling items off the tabletop.
- Store hazardous materials out of the baby’s reach, even with safety locks on the cabinets.
- Have a fire extinguisher, but ensure it is safely bracketed onto the wall.
- Put an appliance latch on your oven to prevent burns.
- Keep trash cans inside cupboards or use a child resistant model that is safely secured to a wall.
- Avoid using mouse or insect traps anywhere that your child can get to them.
- Use the back burners on your stove for cooking, always keep handles of pots and pans turned away.
- Kitchen magnets should never be below the height of your chest, if used at all. They are choking hazards.
Child Safe Bathrooms
- Your toilet needs a lid lock and remember to keep it closed and locked at all times.
- Baby proofing your medications means you have to store medication in child proof containers well out of reach.
- Try not to take medication in front of your child, or call it candy.
- Old medication should be disposed of properly, through a drug take back program if possible. If there is not one nearby throw your medication into a bag with something inedible.
- Place nonslip mats in the tub as well as on any hard surfaces to avoid fall damage.
- Keep hair dryers and curling irons, and all cords, out of reach. Store them safely in drawers with childproof locks.
- Use a spout protector to cover the metal spout and avoid fall damage.
- When bathing your baby, fill the tub only enough to cover the baby’s legs.
- Knob covers will prevent small children from turning the water on or change the temperature.
We hope that this checklist on how to childproof your home has made your newest family member safer, and that these tips have helped lessen your concerns about your child’s safety. We think you might also be interested in our infographic on fire safety for kids.