Living rooms can present many dangers to a baby. This is the space where a lot of your heavy furniture, TV’s, and items with sharp Items are kept. Learn how to baby proof your living room and make it a safe environment.
Baby proofing for living rooms is one of the most important steps when making your house a safe place for a baby. You can help make it safer by tying down large objects, using electrical outlet covers, grouping cords together with hardware, and putting edge guards on sharp pointed objects.
We spend a lot of time in our living rooms, watching the tube, conversing with guests, and relaxing. Oftentimes many safety hazards go overlooked here when it comes to securing the space for your baby.
There are many ways to help make your living room a safer place for your baby and you can start by doing an evaluation of your own. Look around the room and find anything that you think might could be a hazard.
Now that you know what you’re dealing with, let’s take a look at our list of ways to baby proof your living room.
Baby Proofing Your Living Room
Here is a list of all the things to consider when baby proofing your living room. Use your own evaluation to better use this list, you know what needs to be done and here are some things you might have missed.
- Make sure the TV is tied down or mounted to the wall
- Cover all of the electrical outlets with socket covers
- Use edge guards and furniture bumpers
- Make sure your house plants are out of reach and secure
- Group all of your cords together with a zip tie and hardware
- Make sure windows are secure with locks, screens, and nets
- Secure any large heavy items such as bookcases and stereos
- Use window blinds without cords or cut them back
- Keep floors clear of small objects
- Refrain from using coffee tables and setting down hot liquids
- Make the floors softer with rugs and mats
- Use non-slip pads under rugs or mats
- Secure cabinets and drawers with latches
- Install fireplace gates and keep tools out of reach
- Lock front doors and install doorknob covers and latches
Now that you know what to look for let’s talk about how to secure each of these sections and items from the living room.
Secure the TV
There are thousands of injuries and even deaths related to TV’s falling down onto small children. To keep this from happening, consider tying down your TV to secure it or anchor it to the wall.
Make sure that the cord from the TV and other cords going to or from it, and from other devices are secure with zip ties and hardware, attach them to the wall with hardware if you have to.
You may also use plastic tubes designed to keep your cords together and free from being yanked on.
Children will often pull TVs and other electronics down by pulling on their cords and cables.
Electrical outlets are another danger. Babies and young children love to stick things into outlets, which can electrocute them. The best way to keep this from happening is to use outlet covers.
You can also use outlet plugs which are plastic pieces that plug into the outlet that keeps them from being able to put anything into them. These kinds of outlets are hard to pull out of the socket, but if it does get pulled out it could potentially be a choking hazard.
We suggest replacing your outlet covers with child-safe outlet covers or use covers that clip onto the existing outlet covers, securing them.
You may also place large furniture in front of the outlets to block them from access.
Edge Guards and Bumpers
There are many sharp-pointed surfaces in a living room. Coffee tables, stands, and other hazards with pointy edges. You may want to use edge guards that put a cushion on the pointed edge.
You can also use bumpers for long edges that are hard and sharp. These fit onto most surfaces and make it safe so that your baby does not bump their head and bodies onto hard surfaces.
You need your living room furniture to be soft as possible and using guards and bumpers helps soften the blow if something does happen.
Careful with House Plants
Some house plants can be poisonous to small children. Make sure you research what kind of plants you have and if its safe for a child to be around. If you are not sure about them, try to keep them out of reach.
You may mount them higher up on the wall, or if they are on stands make sure they are tied down and that the stand is secure so that it can not be pushed or pulled over.
Heavy plants can fall down onto a baby and cause serious injury. Babies also like to put things into their mouths, you do not want your baby eating dirt or a plant that could potentially be deadly to them or cause sickness.
Electronics and Cords
Electronics like stereos, DVD players, and other devices that have cords should be kept out of reach of babies. Zip tie them together, fasten them to the wall. You can place large furniture around those areas to keep them off-limits or make sure they are secured to the wall.
If you have speaker wires, try to route them up high instead of down low and make sure the speakers are tied down or mounted if they are large enough to fall over.
Do the same with any other corded devices in the room. If you keep your laptop or phones charging in the room make sure that you have them up high out of reach. People have their electronics damaged often by babies pulling them down by the cords, smashing the screens and worse, hurting the children.
Securing the Windows
Windows present all kinds of problems and hazards when it comes to babies, luckily there are several things you can do to help reduce the risk.
Keep your windows locked when you can. Other kids in the house may try to open them without anyone’s knowledge, having them locked may deter that from happening.
They also make window bars/gates that can be placed into the window, keeping it so it can be opened without letting anything fall through. There are also nets that can be used in the same way.
If your window blinds have cords, you may cut them shorter so that they are out of reach. Blind cords pose a choking hazard that can be a dangerous situation. You may also replace corded blinds with blinds that have levers instead of cords.
Secure Heavy Items
Living rooms are oftentimes full of heavy items, such as bookcases, stereo equipment, plants with stands, art pieces and other items that could be a falling hazard.
Many children are sent to the emergency room each year because of heavy items falling over. Babies are learning to walk, to stand and crawl, and may lean on these things causing them to fall over.
Make sure to tie down, mount, and secure all heavy items in your living room. If the plant stand you are using is prone to falling, considering taking that plant to another room or place it on a platform anchored to the wall.
Anchor your large stereo speakers to the wall with brackets. Anything that could potentially fall over and injure a small child should be tied down in some form or fashion.
Keep It Clean
Clutter can cause babies to explore areas where they shouldn’t, to grab things like cups off of tables and trip over stuff that could send them headfirst into a hard object.
Keeping your living room clean will benefit you and the baby by having less to clean up later and by keeping hazards out of the way. It will also give you an opportunity to see the room from their perspective, a sharp-edged coffee table, cords coming from your laptop, or pen that you left on the couch while taking notes.
These items can be harmful in the hands of a baby and you may find yourself having to purchase a new laptop or phone after they pull it down and break it. Declutter your living room, and keep things organized.
Get Down To Their Level
When you are able to get down to the level of a baby and see your space as they would see it you will understand why you should make sure that your floors are cleared of small objects and items that a child might get ahold of.
Getting on their level will allow you to see all kinds of dangers that you would not have spotted. Literally, get on our hands and knees, you will see things like small objects under the couch that could be a choking hazard.
You might spot a nail that is not driven all the way into your door frame that a baby could cut their skin on.
Doing this will help you find unforeseen obstacles and objects that could be harmful to your baby if they were to find or run into it.
Hot Liquids and Cofee Tables
The living room is usually an inviting place to have a coffee or tea with friends, however, hot liquids that are unattended and dishes that could break and cut your baby can be extremely dangerous.
Most people prefer having a coffee table, and if you are going to have one there are ways to soften the hard edges with bumpers, but the fact is coffee tables are just the right height for a baby to fall onto and injure themselves.
We suggest getting rid of the coffee table altogether. That way you cut down on the risk of injury from them and it also forces you to drink your hot liquids at the dining table or somewhere that baby cannot get to it.
Make the Floors Softer
It may be a good idea if you have tile or hardwood floors to add things like rugs, playmats and other things to soften the floor. Babies fall, a lot, and when they fall they tend to go headfirst or hit their butts hard on the ground.
Making the floor softer gives them room to move around without the worry of them injuring themselves on a hard floor. Whether you like it or not your baby is going to explore every inch of your living room.
If you are going to put rugs down considering also using a non-slip pad under the rug that keeps it from slipping out from under you or the baby. It’s not just the baby that can fall but you could slip while holding the baby.
This is why having non-slip mats and a floor that isn’t cluttered is important to the safety of you and your child.
Secure Cabinets and Drawers
Babies like to get their hands into just about everything. If you have cabinets or drawers in your living room, you should use latches and childproof devices to keep them from opening them.
You may keep things like screwdrivers and other tools or office supplies in drawers and cabinets. All manner of things are stored away in the living room cabinets and drawers, that’s why it is so important to have them baby-proofed.
You do not want your baby getting into the thumbtacks or get ahold of your favorite letter opener. These things should be secured or moved to different locations altogether.
If you have a fireplace in your living room you need to take steps to secure it. Use a fireplace gate that expands and covers the fireplace area of your living room. If you have fireplace tools such as pokers and shovels, keep them locked up in a cabinet or safe behind the fireplace gate.
Even if your fireplace has a gate that closes off the inside of the fireplace you should consider having an outside gate, blocking off the tile floor or hard surface around the fireplace and keeping any tools out of reach.
The Front Door
Oftentimes the living room is where the front door is located. If your living room has access to your front door, measures should be taken to secure it so that your baby or child cannot turn the handle and venture outside.
The first step is to always keep your front door locked, and if it has a latch or chain keep them latched.
Next install doorknob covers, these are child-proofing devices that keep children from being able to turn the handle and open the door.
These can be installed on any door in the house and work great from keeping babies and small children out of areas where they do not belong.
A Few Quick Tips
Now that we have gone over all the ways to secure the living room, here are a few quick tips to remember.
- Check to make sure smoke alarms and monoxide detectors are working properly and that the batteries are good.
- Consider moving your breakable items into another room, or place them up higher on a shelve that is out of reach.
- Remember that babies are curious and will explore places you may not think to check, get on their level and look for security risks.
- The cleaner you keep your living room the easier it will be lock up at the end of the night, do not eat in the living room and keep it clean.
We hope these ideas for baby proofing your living room will help you in your quest to keep your little ones safe, but also keep in mind that you know better than anyone what needs to be worked on.
Be vigilant and thorough when it comes to baby proofing and trust your instincts, if you think anything is unsafe, change it or fix it. Babies can never be too young for you to start baby proofing and thinking of ways to secure your spaces starts now.
Is it ok to eat in your living room? Many people like to eat dinner while they watch the TV in the living room, while this might be a habit of yours, consider changing it. Eat from the dinner table instead and keep dishes out of the living room as they can cause injury if broken or put into the hands of a baby.
Can a loud TV hurt a baby’s ears? Baby’s ears are extremely susceptible to being injured by loud noises. Sounds that are louder than 85 decimals can cause permanent damage to a baby’s hearing and can cause hearing loss. Loud noises can also startle a baby and upset them, make sure your TV is turned down to a reasonable level if your baby is in the room.