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What you may not know about babyproofing your home

By Carolyn Ziegler 3 min read
Friday, August 16, 2019

Childproofing your home doesn't need to be difficult, but you do need to know what to watch out for.

Keeping your baby safe is an obvious priority but before you go out or head online to the likes of Amazon to buy every babyproofing product available, consider the following to decide if you really need it. We even have some child safety hacks to keep young children safe—without breaking the bank.  

What are the potential safety hazards in the home?

I don’t want to scare you, but there are many hazards throughout the home. However, with preparation, a lot can be improved on safety wise.

Preparation and recognising the potential issues is what it’s all about. Remember though that every house is different and every child is too. Your child may never even look twice at a cabinet, but what about that visiting cousin or friend? They may have other ideas, so make sure your home is safe for all children, not just your own.

Laundries, kitchens and bathrooms are big areas to watch. Block access to them with child proof safety gates. Dreambaby's Liberty Gate comes with a smart stay-open feature, which is great for when the kids are not around or you have shopping to bring in.

In addition to a gate, add lever locks to all doors with levered handles and door knob covers to doors with knobs. Our new Lever Door Lock are child proof door locks that stop children from gaining access to rooms they shouldn’t be in unsupervised. 

10 babyproofing tips to keep your little one safe

Look out for the obvious and hidden dangers. Children learn and discover the world by experiencing things and unfortunately, that can sometimes mean getting hold of a knife from the drawer, unplugging the computer or pulling on a tablecloth.

If you can't install cordless blinds or shades, invest in blind cord wind-ups. They keep blind cords out of the reach of babies in their cots. It also keeps their older siblings safe. Window blinds with cords that are too long can become a strangulation risk. Also, remember to keep cots, beds and changing tables away from windows and window fittings whenever possible.

Once children become mobile, there are other obvious steps. Get down on all fours and look up at the world from the point of view of a crawling child. It’s amazing the hidden dangers you'll immediately identify.

  1. Move regular medications usually kept in the bathroom or beside your bed up and out of reach of a child, and preferably locked away.
  2. Keep children out of cabinets and drawers by properly securing them with child proof cupboard or cabinet locks and latches. This is especially important if you store cleaning products or medicine in them.
  3. Child proof doors and prevent them from slamming on little fingers by securing them using a door-stop or under door-gripper.
  4. When cooking, move pot handles to the side so kids can’t get hold of them and pull hot water on top of them.
  5. Block off power points with child proof outlet covers or plugs.
  6. Move sharp objects, knives and poisons, including medicines, out of reach.
  7. Baby proof corners, especially the sharp edges of tables.
  8. Use child proof baby gates to prevent them falling down stairs.
  9. Ensure bookcases and TVs are secure and won't fall on climbing children. 
  10. Keep children within sight and only allow a trustworthy and loving adult to supervise them.

Child safety hacks to keep young children safe—without breaking the bank

Watch this video to discover some cheap ways to babyproof your house with items you probably already have at home. It includes affordable ways to:

  • Prevent fingers from being squashed by slammed doors
  • Preventing accidental electrocution thanks to curious fingers in electrical outlets
  • Create corner protectors for virtually any sharp furniture corner

Other hazards to watch out for when babyproofing your home

There are some steps you should take even before your due date, but for others, you can always wait till your baby is more mobile.

Coffee tables

This is especially important if the living room is also the child's play area. Choose either a very rounded-cornered table that is really solidly made (no glass) or nothing at all. Remember to also keep an eye on any food and hot drinks that you place on the table as they can be a hazard of their own.

Falls from beds

Before bedtime, ensure the side of your child’s cot is up. If your child is older, install a bedrail to stop them from falling out of bed and hurting themselves. Dreambaby’s Phoenix Bed Rail has a breathable mesh and an easy fold-down feature, offering peace of mind and security in the bedroom.

Watch out for toxins

Plenty, including some houseplants, plants in the garden and most household cleaners. Many people don’t realise that the residue left by everyday cleaning chemicals, particularly while still wet, can be quite bad. Likewise, the dishwasher drawer can be toxic even after the load is finished. 

Relevant: Natural home cleaning and beauty recipes

Pet doors

These doors come in different sizes and children can get stuck in them. Many pet doors can be locked so that nothing can pass through and if this is an option, do it!

Choking hazards

Small objects present a very real suffocation risk for young children, so keep an eye out for them and make certain they're out of reach. However, no matter how careful you are, accidents can still happen, so be sure you know what to do when your child swallows something.

 

Carolyn Ziegler is the co-founder of Dreambaby child safety products and an international child safety expert and advocate. Dreambaby.com.au