Baby Proofing Safety Checklist
Is your home safe for your baby? You would be surprised at the answer (take it from me)! Here is a handy baby proofing safety checklist – that I wish I had referenced when my kids were younger – to help make sure that your home is safe and secure for your new bundle of joy!
Baby Proofing Your Home: Bath Spout
You will need a cover for the water spout. These get really hot when the water is running that can cause burns. Also, in case of a slip the covers will help protect against hurting the baby’s head or other parts of his or her body. It will also protect whomever is bathing the baby as there is also a risk of slipping and falling when bending down into the tub. I remember when I was bathing my eldest son one night, I reached down to pull the plug to drain the water out from the tub. The rug I was standing on happened to have a corner flipped up so I ended up tripping over it I almost landed forehead first right on the water spout! It was a close call – just missed it by an inch – but it could have been really bad. Better to be on the side of caution.
Baby Proofing Your Home: Bottom of Tub
Get a non-slip mat or some non-slip decals/stickers. These will help with traction on the surface of the floor of the tub and help avoid a slip and fall. You can put a non slip mat with suctions on bottom or there is even a non slip grip liquid that is specially made for bath tubs. You would need to plan when you will apply the coating because there will be some drying time when you will not be able to use the tub.
Baby Proofing Your Home: Electrical Outlets
Purchase electrical outlet covers for these. They are inexpensive so make sure to pick up enough for the whole house. They will keep curious fingers safe from electrical shocks. My eldest (poor thing) was crawling around the house and found a tweezer I must have dropped when I was doing my makeup earlier that morning and he proceeded to crawl to the nearest outlet and stuck the tweezer in. The way I found out was I heard a zapping noise followed by crying and I ran up to him to see that he had my tweezers in his hand!! I felt terrible and luckily he was fine but things could have been worse.
Baby Proofing Your Home: Power Strips
Even these are considered electrical outlets so be sure to get covers for these as well. Also do not overload them because it can result in a fire or electrocution. Best not to have too many appliances hooked up to one strip and not several strips hooked up to one wall receptacle.
Baby Proofing Your Home: Furniture and Sharp Edges
Get cushions and apply to all the edges of your tables, bedframes, chairs etc…anything with a sharp edge. As your baby grows and starts to crawl and then walk, these sharp edges pose a great threat of bad cut.
Baby Proofing Your Home: Toilet Seat
Babies are curious so get a toilet seat lock to keep babies hands, arms and body safe and clean.
Baby Proofing Your Home: Cabinets and Drawers
Most of the baby proofing here in this checklist is due to the natural curiosity of the baby so it goes without saying – get locks for all your cabinets and drawers that are below waist level! Both my boys were great lovers of pots and pans which I used to store in my lower cabinets and my little one had a penchant for Comet for some reason. I learned my lesson and installed locks on my cabinets after that last incident which I have since dubbed “The Comet Incident”. He managed to sprinkle Comet on my kitchen floor and then went into hysterics when I took the powder away!
Baby Proofing Your Home: Stairs
These are a BIG safety hazard! Get a gate to section off the stairs and also to set limits on other rooms in the house without doors.
Baby Proofing Your Home: Oven/Stove
Get a latch to keep the oven door closed (baby can try to climb inside) and get covers for the oven knobs too. Babies can’t help but to want to turn the knobs and end up turning on the stove in the process.
Baby Proofing Your Home: Stoves
It’s important enough to highlight separately. It only takes a second for something catastrophic to happen – the stove poses a myriad of dangers to your baby! Among them is the risk of the baby sticking his or her fingers into a lit burner or even grabbing one of your cooking pots or pans while you are cooking so you will need to get a stove shield. By the time you are done baby proofing your stove, you will know you did it right if it looks like a mini fortress.
Baby Proofing Your Home: Water Heater
Speaking of hot, adjust your water heater to 120 degrees. Why?? You ask…it’s simple – to prevent scalding. Most hot water heaters are set at a default 140 degrees so please check the temperature and adjust according. A bonus – you save money (about $20 – $30 a year) AND you help the environment by saving over 170 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.
Baby Proofing Your Home: Electrical Cords
As it is, long cords left loose around the house pose a threat to ANYONE of an accidental trip and fall. With a baby looming around, the chance is even higher! Not only do these pose risks for tripping and falling but they also can strangulate and choke. Please tidy up and long cords with wire ties or tack them up on a wall. Not long ago, Mike Tyson the famous boxer lost a daughter to an accident – she was strangled by the cord on their treadmill. Very sad indeed!
Baby Proofing Your Home: Pools
Babies go everywhere and fast! Unfortunately many babies and children die each year due to accidental drowning. If you have a pool please install a fence around it to avoid any preventable drowning accidents.
Baby Proofing Your Home: Carbon Monoxide and Fire Monitors
In most states it’s the law to have them installed in every enclosed room of your home. Remember, carbon monoxide is deadly and it has no odor! It’s not called the silent killer for nothing. Smoke from a fire may not be detected by you until it’s too late. Some of the newer units have both smoke & carbon monoxide detectors. These combo units are easier to install and can cost less than 2 separate devices – These detectors save lives so please be sure to get one for every room.
Baby Proofing Your Home: TV’s, Book Shelves, Furniture
This includes anything that can be tipped. Get straps for these so that your baby will not tip them over when trying to reach for a toy or anything that grabs their attention.
Baby Proofing Your Home: Windows and Blinds
You lock your windows in the winter but in the nicer weather when you want to have your windows open you have to keep them locked too. The safe way to do this is to get a separate window latch or lock from the lock that is already preinstalled on the window. This allows you to open the window but prevent the window from being opened more than a certain distance. As for blinds, the hanging cords can be a danger so either cut them or use a cord wrap and screw it into the window frame. Also get child window guards for your windows if they are above ground level and you have double hung windows.
Baby Proofing Your Home: Doors
Baby proofing your home doors. You will need covers for the door knobs. This will help keep your children from entering rooms you do not want them in or from leaving the room you have placed them inside of.
Baby Proofing Your Home: Closets
Baby proofing your home means you have to think like a …well.. baby! Do you know how easy it would be for a baby to open a closet door and lock himself in? To avoid this nightmare you need to install door knob covers if you have regular doors. If you have the sliding door kind, then you would need a lock or latch which prevents the door from sliding open.
Baby Proofing Your Home: Exercise Equipment
This one is a doozy. My own personal experience with this makes me shudder every time I think about it. My eldest son who was a teen at the time (unbeknownst to me) thought it was a great idea show my little one how to run toy cars on our treadmill. The next day while I was sleeping, he crawled out of his bed and went directly to the treadmill to do what his big brother showed him and pulled the lever on the treadmill that keeps it upright. When he did this, the treadmill running deck fell on top of him. I woke up to screams and watched seconds too late as the deck was falling over him. Thankfully, the treadmill deck had long legs so when it fell it didn’t land on him but boy oh boy was that a scare! Best advice: keep all excercise equipment inside a room with a locked door. If that is not possible, then do your best to secure/cover/obstruct the equipment to make sure your little one cannot get near it!
Now that we know what to do – lets do a rundown of the house area by area to make sure we don’t miss anything!
Living Room/Dining Area
- Wind up any hanging cords on blinds or curtains
- Lock up windows
- Put covers on all door knobs
- Cover all edges on desks, tables, and furniture with sharp pointy edges
- Secure furniture and tv’s to walls, including television stands
- Cover up your fireplace if you have one
- Insert safety covers on all outlet and power strips
- Gather up any loose electrical cords and tack onto wall or place inside a cord keeper
- Locks on all cabinets and drawer’s
- Covers on all outlets
- Locks on oven
- Covers for stove knobs
- Covers for burners
- Shield for stove
- All household cleaners and medications stored up high and locked away
- Covers for door knobs
- Covers for outlets
- Cover for bathtub spout
- Lock toilet bowl
- Use non slip mats for both inside and outside the tub
- Turn down the temp of your water heater
- Keep all razors, blow dryers, curling irons, etc… away from reach of baby
- Finally, put away any cosmetics, tweezers etc..
Hall and Stairs
- Install gates at top and bottom of stairs
- Make sure stairs have non slip rugs or mats on them
- Cover up any outlets
- Get a nightlight for the hallway so you can see in dark if needed
- Cover all outlets
- Cover up all furniture edges
- Lock up drawers
- Secure furniture to walls
- Wind up any blind or curtain cords
- Do same with any loose electrical cords or cable/phone/internet/computer cords
- Lock up windows
The Rest of House
- Carbon monoxide detector in addition to smoke detectors
- Fire extinguishers throughout the house in case of a fire
- Baby monitors
- Locks and covers for all your exercise equipment or keep locked away in another room not accessible to the baby
While this list is not exhaustive and cannot not guarantee that your home will be 100% baby proof, it is definitely a great way to lessen the chances of any accidents happening at home. Some common sense goes a long way! Print this list and have it handy as you walk around your house. It will help you to make your home as safe and secure as you can.
Have any questions about baby proofing your home? Feel free to contact us anytime or stop by any our offices – we will be more than glad to help!