Experts say that right about the time when your baby is about to crawl, you should childproof your home. Childproofing should begin a few months before baby is born, this way you have more time to spend with your growing baby and marvel at all of the new milestones such as crawling and walking without worrying about childproofing. Do not put off child proofing a home because you may not get to it. Kids who are less than 3 years of age end up in the emergency room due to accidents at home. 70% of children 4 years and under die from accidents in the home. You can’t prevent all accidents, but taking precautions can prevent some of them.
Childproofing the Living Room/Family Room
The easiest way to begin childproofing the living or family room is to get down on your hands and knees, or have hubby do it and look at the room from a child’s perspective. Think about what a child can get into from a low level. The best way to prevent most accidents when your child starts to walk is to take out unnecessary furniture. Coffee tables and end tables are not really necessary to enjoy the living or family room. Eliminating these items from the room will prevent your child from poking his or her eyes or other parts of the body with corners of the table. Use outlet plugs in every outlet. If cords are exposed use cord covers that attach to the wall. Children are curious, so for the remaining furniture in the room latch it to the wall, like bookcases, TV stands, etc. Do not place any furniture by a window. A child can fall out of the window and get seriously hurt.
Childproofing the Kitchen
The kitchen is one of the most dangerous places in a home. A child can get burned and poisoned. To prevent these things from happening, invest money into stove protectors. These can be used if the controls on the stove are in the front instead of the back. Always put pots and pans on the back burners when cooking and face handles towards the back. It is a good idea to put Mr. Yuck stickers on poisons and explain to your child as he or she gets bigger that these are poisons and not to touch or drink. Outlet covers in all plugs, even the ones on the walls above the counters. Your child can still climb on the counter and poke things in the outlets. Put latches on drawers and cabinets. This will help in keeping your child from getting to things they shouldn’t and to prevent little fingers getting pinched.
Childproofing the Bathroom
This is another room that is very dangerous. Not only can a child burn themselves with hot water, but they can also drown. It only takes an inch of water for a child to drown. Toilet locks is a good investment to prevent young children from falling into the toilet. Turn your hot water tank down to 120 degrees to prevent burns. Always supervise children in the bathtub and put outlet covers in the plugs. Also latch cabinets and drawers.
A good method to having a safe place for your child to be when you are cooking dinner, taking a shower, etc. is to gate off an area or room. This can be done with a safety gate. Also anytime you are drinking coffee or any other hot beverage keep it away from the edge of a table or counter. A child can reach up and poor it on him and herself and get burned badly. Toys are another cause of accidents. Young children put everything in their mouths. Keep all small toys away from young children. The big and chunky toys with no small parts are best for young children. Go through each room and double check that small items are not on the floor, such a coins, screws, little pieces of food, etc. These are choking hazards.
Where to buy Childproofing Items
Childproofing items such as gates, outlet covers, toilet latches, door latches, etc. can be purchased at any store that sells baby items. If you are still in the dark about childproofing or have questions, call your local police department or fire department. Also look in the phone book for childproofing professionals. Another way to get childproofing advice is to ask a friend who has children and knows the ropes.