TOP TIPS FOR BABY PROOFING YOUR HOME
Happy New Year and welcome to 2018! To help you keep your little ones safe throughout 2018, Safetots have come up with top tips for child proofing the home and the best time to child proof. Thinking ahead and being prepared and proactive can prevent all kinds of incidents from happening with your crawling baby or inquisitive toddler. Most babies begin to crawl around the age of 8 months but some are younger. It’s a good idea to have everything in place ahead of your baby exploring the home to enable them to explore their surroundings safely.
So how can you baby proof your home and where do you start?
THE LITTLE THINGS
From the age of 6 months your baby may be sitting up unaided or showing signs of sitting up unaided, and it won’t be long before they are frustrated with sitting still, they have found their little legs and the rest of the home becomes a whole new ‘play zone’.
Up until now your home has felt perfectly safe with no potential risks to any family members, but once your little one starts to crawl, the home can very quickly become a hazardous playground. Take a good look around your home to see where there may be potential risks to your child.
Be quick to fasten and secure any large items to the wall such as the TV, little ones love to pull themselves up on anything in reaching distance and fitting simple TV straps such as the Babydan anti tip TV strap can prevent the TV from toppling over. Take a look around and identify all your heavy furniture such as wardrobes, drawers, bookshelves and any units that if potentially grabbed by tiny hands or climbed into or onto, could quickly topple and cause great harm. Fixing furniture to the wall with furniture straps is one of the most simple, low cost yet one of the most important ways you can baby proof the home. Furniture fastenings or furniture straps are designed to prevent infants from pulling heavy, unbalanced furniture on top of themselves.
PROTECT LITTLE FINGERS & FACES
Keep any cables out of reach or keep them tidy with a ‘cable tidy’ unit or wrap them up with suitable tape to prevent access. Install plug socket covers to any open sockets, babies can be fascinated with open sockets and may find fun in poking their tiny fingers into the exposed holes or filling them with food or quite simply enjoy playing with them. Plug socket covers are inexpensive and can be fitted quickly throughout the home, basic baby proofing equipment that can prevent endless toddler injuries or electrical problems.
Fit table corner guards and table edge guards to tables and units with sharp edges and sharp corners. Babies are inclined to pull themselves up on tables and units and unsteady toddlers are inclined to topple and fall as they learn to walk. Take a look around each room in your home for any furniture with sharp edges that your child may come onto contact with should they trip, stumble or fall. If any of these furniture items are at a level that could lead to injuries particularly to your infants head or eyes, it may be wise to fit table edges and corner guards.
Cupboard locks, drawer locks, kitchen locks and bathroom locks are invaluable little items that can prevent big problems. Locks and latches for drawers and cupboards enable you to lock up any dangerous cleaning products, medicines, electrical items or sharp objects that could be harmful to infants. Magnetic locks or adhesive locks enable you to secure your furniture without leaving any permanent damage. Window locks enable you to have windows open without being open to a dangerous level where a child may topple out. Window locks prevent young children from opening windows independantly and should they manage to open a window, it won’t open fully.
THE BIGGER THINGS
Top on our list for keeping your toddler safe in the home are ‘Stair gates’, fitting a safety gate to the bottom and top of your stairs prevents children from climbing the stairs or falling down the stairs. Learning how to use the stairs safely takes time in the early days of crawling and toddling and it’s not always possible to be there at all times to help and ensure your child is safe around the stairs. Installing baby gates enables your child to have freedom in the home, upstairs and downstairs without the risk of injuries from stairs. Once a child has progressed from a cot to a bed, many parents choose to install a safety gate across their child’s bedroom door, keeping them from roaming around the house should they choose to climb out of bed unannounced. Safety gates can be used throughout the home to create safe play zones for children to play or to prevent them from entering kitchens and bathrooms when your back is turned. Consider fitting safety gates throughout the home when your child is showing first signs of crawling or toddling and if possible, don’t leave it until they are on the move.
To keep young children safe around open fires, log burners and even gas fires consider installing a fire guard. Unlike a fire screen which is a stand free guard, a fireguard is fitted around a fire and securely screw fitted in place. A fireguard prevents children from having any contact with fire, and as they are screw fitted in place they provide the ultimate safety for children around fire. If you have an unusual size fire place consider choosing a flex fire guard. Flex guards are made up of individual panels from as small as 20cm through to 72cm in a range of sizes in-between, enabling you to connect fire panels of various sizes to make your own bespoke configuration.
If you have radiators that get particularly hot, consider fitting a radiator cover. Fabric radiator covers enable you to cover radiators with ease without eating into the space in your room. The dual mesh fabric is lightly padded and heat resistant preventing bumps and burns should your little one come into contact with a radiator.
Something many new parents often overlook are the gaps between the spindles on a bannister. Some gaps are quite large and tiny bodies with flexible soft bones are able to squeeze through. If your little one is able to squeeze through, a fall from a height onto a wooden surface below could prove to be fatal. Not all bannisters have wide spindles, but if you do have a young baby who is on the move, take note of your bannister railings and ensure they are safe for a baby to be near. If in any doubt, consider fitting a bannister guard. Bannister guards consist of a clear, unobtrusive film that encases the spindles preventing infants from putting limbs through or throwing items through. Bannister guards and simple to fit and remove when no longer needed, leaving no lasting damage to furniture.
Cut that BLIND cord
Childproofing the home can seem like an endless task and often when your baby starts to crawl you will suddenly find potential dangers in so many items and areas in the home once deemed perfectly safe. Have you checked your blind cord or blind chain is fixed to the wall, OR at a height unreachable by your toddler? Make sure they are unable to climb on to near bye furniture and fall into a blind cord. Blind cords should be cut short, out of reach and/or securely fastened to the surrounding wall.
KEEP THEM SAFE FROM SCALDS AND BURNS
Keep infants safe around hot stoves and kettles. Ensure kettles are out of reach and there is no easy access to hot taps and hot kettles. Install cooker guards to prevent toddlers from reaching up and pulling hot pans onto themselves. Keep them safe from scalds and life-long scars by a cooker guard or ensure pans are placed to the back of the hob with handles out of reach. Some ovens can get exceptionally hot and by simply fitting an oven guard, should your child come into contact with the oven surface they will be kept safe from burns.
Child proofing the home is all about being vigilant and attentive. Take note of potential dangers in each room and make the necessary changes to make each room a safe haven for your child, or simple close off areas with Safetots child safety gates.
For all the best baby safety items for home and away visit Safetots.co.uk