You probably know that you should childproof your home before you bring your baby back from the hospital. While your baby won’t be able to get into much mischief the first few months, you are going to be insanely busy and tired and might forget to childproof. Do it now, when you have the time and the focus needed to get the job right. Childproofing your home is one of the most important things you can do as a parent.
Five Basic Childproofing Home Tips
1. Strangulation is a serious hazard with young kids. Make sure your baby can’t reach the crib mobile. Lower the crib mattress gradually as your baby grows. As soon as your baby can sit up, remove the mobile. In addition, you should shorten all blind cords around the house.
2. Childproof your kitchen: remove all cleaning supplies and other toxic materials, as well as sharp items such as knives and heavy items, out of your child’s reach. Don’t use small magnets on your fridge – those pose a serious choking hazard.
3. Childproof your bathrooms: store medications out of your baby’s reach and lock toilet lids using a special latch. Never leave a small child unattended in a bathtub, even in shallow water and “just for a minute.”
4. Prevent falls by making sure all stair and balcony railings are up to code and by installing baby gates at the top and bottom of stairs.
5. Prevent electrical shock by covering all electrical outlets.
6. Prevent burns by turning your water heater down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit and by never placing a hot coffee mug where your child can reach it.
Of course, no amount of childproofing home can replace supervision. Never leave young children unsupervised – even for a few minutes. Yes, those first few years are exhausting. They require constant vigilance and supervision. But your child’s health and well-being are obviously worth it.