Child-Proofing for Your 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 will need to take additional steps to ensure your house is safe for your little crawler or walker. Here are some child-proofing tips:
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 give you some perspective about everything your child may encounter. 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. Pay special attention to the following areas when child-proofing for a toddler:
- Secure cords on window blinds. Dangling cords are extremely dangerous for toddlers and could lead to strangling.
- Lock cabinets containing cleaning supplies or medicines, or place these items out of reach. Prominently post the hotline number for poison control 1-800-222-1222 and add it to your mobile phone.
- Use baby gates on all stairway entrances. Gates that screw into the wall are more secure than pressure gates. You may also use gates to block access to other areas of the house you don’t want your child going into.
- Use door knob safety covers to prevent your child from opening doors into places they don’t belong.
- Place guards on any furniture with sharp or hard edges.
- Install child-proof outlet covers or use safety plugs to child-proof electric outlets.
- Keep dishwashers closed and latched when not in use. And also be sure to point sharp knives or other kitchen tools downward when putting them in the dishwasher.
- Practice water safety in the home. This includes never leaving your child alone in a bathtub. 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 4 inches. Use window stops to prevent the window from being opened any wider than 4 inches. Window screens are not strong enough to prevent falls.
- Place guests’ items out of reach. If a friend or loved one is visiting with a purse, it may end up on the floor. Chances are it also contains items that could be dangerous for a small child, so remember to set it out of reach of curious little hands.
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