When it comes to raising a baby, safety in the home is a huge concern. There are many dangers for a baby in a house that has not been baby-proofed. To make it a safer environment there are ways to make it less dangerous and more inviting for a baby to learn and grow.
There are many reasons why you need to baby proof your home. Safety is an issue when it comes to a baby who is learning how to balance and to walk. You can make your house safer by baby proofing the rooms in your home with edge and corner guards, baby gates, making sure smoke alarms and monoxide detectors work and anchoring down items that could fall over.
There is no doubt that parents worry about their baby’s safety. When you bring them home from the hospital you realize that your house or apartment is full of dangers that can be avoided by adding some baby proofing and making sure to follow safety protocols.
Oftentimes you may not even realize something in your home can be dangerous for a baby. Take a moment to look around your home and make a list of things that you see that could be possible hazards.
Things as simple as a home being too cluttered or having too many blankets in your baby’s crib can be potentially harmful.
Is Baby Proofing Necessary?
You may be asking yourself is baby proofing necessary, and the answer is yes. There are too many risks in a house that has not been baby-proofed. Your baby is going to learn how to keep their balance, how to walk, and will become very curious when it comes to items in your home.
There are sharp objects, and heavy pieces of furniture that could fall over onto your baby. You may have loose cords laying around, small items that are choking hazards and dangerous chemicals in cabinets.
Babies will begin to open things, to put things in their mouth, and lean onto things that could injure them if they fell.
Babies also bump their heads on things, run into things, and will increasingly become more mobile.
Common Types of Accidents
There are many ways a baby can have an accident and be injured in a home that is not baby proofed. Accidents happen, and babies can be accident-prone. They are curious and clumsy.
Here are five types of accidents that you will want to try to avoid by baby proofing your home.
Babies have no idea that water is dangerous. They will put their hands in water, climb into the water and get themselves into situations that can cause drowning. The bathroom and kitchen are places where water hazards exist, consider securing these areas.
When it comes down to it, babies fall, a lot. They are learning to keep their balance and to walk and they will fall down many times per day. They bump their heads, get bruises and more.
There is also the risk of items in the house falling down on top of them and causing injury, heavy items in your home should be secured.
Another danger for babies is choking. Babies put all kinds of things into their mouths, during the teething stages and after. They test their limits with many things. Make sure your home is not cluttered and that no small items that they could choke on are laying around.
The kitchen can be a dangerous place for babies. Stoves are hot and babies like to grab ahold of them. If you have your baby with you in the kitchen, consider sectioning off an area just for them and give them a few toys to keep them busy.
Fireplaces and heaters can also be dangerous. Consider using gates around your fireplace and heaters that keep babies from getting around them.
There are all kinds of things in the home that are poisonous if ingested. From cleaning supplies to chemicals and even house plants can be poisonous to babies. Make sure you keep them locked away, and if you have plants check to make sure they are not dangerous to babies.
Potential Dangers in the Home
Now that you have a better idea of why you need to baby proof your home, and may have even made a list of some of the dangers in your house, here is a list of some potential dangers you might have missed.
- Sharp corners and edges
- Plants that could be poisonous
- Heavy objects that are falling hazards
- Dangerous chemicals and cleaning supplies
- Bathroom dangers
- Windows and blinds
These are all problem areas in a home where a baby is living. Things like these can be avoided by baby proofing and should be considered if you have a baby.
Sharp Corners and Edges
Sharp corners and edges are one of the biggest dangers for babies who fall and bump their heads. Babies are holding onto things, trying to keep their balance, but they don’t always get it right.
You need to be able to soften the blow on corners and edges with corner and edge guards that are designed to make areas where a baby might fall or bump into something less dangerous.
House plants can be dangerous if they are poisonous to babies. If you have plants in your home do a little research on whether they are dangerous for babies. If in doubt you may need to get rid of them altogether.
You can also put plants higher up on shelves where they are out of reach from a baby.
Plants that are on stands also pose a threat if they fall over on top of a baby. Babies do not have good reflexes and can’t dodge a falling object. Make sure all of your plants and stands are secure.
Houses are full of heavy objects. TVs, stereo speakers, lamps and more. Look around the rooms in your house and find out what could be a falling hazard. You will need to anchor your TV to the wall and tie-down or anchor any large objects, living rooms can be dangerous.
Babies like to pull on cords and can easily pull something that is plugged in down from above. 1,000s of babies are injured each year from falling objects, so don’t chance anything.
Chemicals and Cleaning Supplies
Chemicals and cleaning supplies should be kept in locked cabinets or in cabinets that are child proofed with latches. It is also a best practice to keep these types of items in cabinets overhead where a baby has no chance of getting to them.
Dangerous chemicals should be kept in locked cabinets, babies can pull latched cabinets partially open which can cause dangerous vapors to pour out.
Make sure all the chemicals and cleaning supplies in your home are locked away and secure.
The bathroom is full of dangers, such as hard edges and corners on cabinets, and toilet bowls. You will want to consider keeping your bathroom door shut and locked. You may also use a doorknob cover that keeps them from opening the door.
Toilets can be drowning hazards for babies; a baby can drown in as little as 3 inches of water and toilet bowl lids can cause injury to a baby who is pulling down on it. Consider using a toilet bowl lid latch.
You may also want to use non-slip mats in front of the bathtub and in the bathtub to keep your baby from slipping and being injured.
Windows and Blinds
Windows that are kept open without any kind of net or gate can be dangerous for a baby. Windows can fall shut. If they are low enough or if a piece of furniture is close enough a baby may be able to climb out of the window which presents dangerous situations.
Window blinds can also be a hazard if they have cords, you may consider using cordless blinds or cutting your cords shorter so that they are out of the reach of a baby.
A Few Tips for Baby Proofing
- Consider baby proofing your house before your baby even comes home from the hospital. Be vigilant and make sure you put time and effort into figuring out what needs to be baby proofed.
- Make sure all of the smoke alarms and monoxide detectors are working properly, change out the batteries and test that they are working.
Should you wait to baby proof until they come home? It’s never too early to start baby proofing, the sooner you start, the more hazards you will find and secure, making it a safe environment when they do make it home. Babies are never too young for baby proofing.
Is baby proofing hard? Most of the baby proofing that should be done is easy to do and easy to install. Baby proofing devices are pretty cheap and when it comes to your baby’s safety you shouldn’t risk avoiding it.