Child-Proofing for a Toddler
Your child is becoming more and more mobile — whether you’re ready or not! And as your baby begins to be more active and curious, you may need to take additional steps to be sure your house is a safe place for your little walker. Here are some child-proofing tips that you may want to incorporate in your home.
Getting the Right Perspective
One of the best ways to see what needs to be child-proofed is to start by taking a toddler’s-eye view. It may sound silly, but getting on your hands and knees and moving around your home can help you gain perspective of all the things your child will be encountering on a daily basis. Think about what looks tempting or dangerous. Are there small items within easy reach that could be a choking hazard? Does your furniture have sharp corners that could use padding?
Items of Special Concern
Every home is different, and some may be more dangerous to small children than others. Here are some areas where you should pay special attention when child-proofing for a toddler:
- Secure window blinds’ cords. Dangling cords are extremely dangerous for toddlers.
- Lock cabinets containing cleaning supplies or medicines. Also be sure to have the phone number for poison control on hand just in case.
- Use baby gates on all stairway entrances. Gates that screw into the walls are more secure than pressure gates for these dangerous areas. You may also use gates to block access to other rooms that you don’t want your child going into.
- Use door knob safety covers on doors you don’t want your child opening. It won’t be long until your toddler will be able to open doors on their own.
- Place corner guards on sharp table edges.
- Install child-proof outlet covers or use safety plugs to child-proof electric outlets.
- Keep dishwashers closed and latched when not in use. While we’d never store knives within reach of our small children, we often forget that these items may be within reach when placed in the dishwasher. Also be sure to point sharp objects downward when putting them in the dishwasher.
- Practice water safety in the home. This includes never leaving your child alone in a bathtub, even if they seem fine. A safety latch on the toilet lid can also prevent your toddler from accidently falling in.
- Keep low windows closed or open no more than four inches. You can use window stops to prevent the window from being opened wider than this distance. A window screen is not strong enough to prevent falls.
- Don’t forget to put guests’ items out of reach. If your friend is visiting with a purse, it can often end up on the floor. Chances are it also contains items that may be dangerous for a small child, so remember to set it out of reach of curious hands.
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