Caring for Family

Safety Check: Childproof Your Home

Safety Check: Childproof Your Home

While your home is a safe haven for your family, it can also pose some dangers to your little one. At 8 months, your baby is becoming more mobile and ready to explore her world. He may be rolling over in both directions, sitting well on his own, crawling and starting to pull himself up to a standing position. Cruising along the couch or coffee table isn't far off, so it's important to create a safe environment for exploration. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Check each room in your home to identify potential hazards. Pay special attention to the kitchen, bathroom, garage, laundry and pool areas.

Remove large objects your baby may use to pull herself up, such as plant stands and floor lamps. Move blind and shade cords out of reach or replace with cordless window coverings to avoid strangulation. If your shades or blinds are from the year 2000 or earlier and you can't afford to replace them, the Window Covering Safety Council offers a free repair kit. Visit for more information and to order.

Certain plants are poisonous if ingested, so remove or move them out of reach. Visit Poison Control for a list of plants to avoid. Call 1-800-222-1222 if you suspect your child has ingested something poisonous.

Safety First

You can use a variety of child-safety devices to help prevent and reduce injuries, including:

  • Safety latches and locks on cabinets and drawers to thwart little hands from accessing medicines, cleaners, matches, knives and other sharp tools.
  • Safety gates and doorknob covers to prevent falls and keep young children from entering rooms or other areas that may pose a danger.
  • Anti-scald devices on faucets and showerheads, and set your water heater to 120 degrees to prevent scalding.
  • Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home. Change batteries once or twice a year.
  • Window guards and safety netting to avoid falls from windows, balconies and decks.
  • Corner and edge bumpers to protect baby from sharp edges on furniture or other hard surfaces.
  • Outlet covers and plates to avoid electrical shock or electrocution.
  • Anchors and anti-tip brackets for furniture and large appliances.
  • Fencing, alarms and self-latching gates around pools and spas.

Remember to reset or re-secure devices after they've been disabled, and remind older children in your family to do the same.

A Family Affair

Enlist older siblings to check floors regularly for any small toys and objects such as balls, marbles, beads, Lego® blocks, magnets and balloons, which pose a choking threat. Encourage them to keep their toys out of reach of children younger than age 3. Explain that batteries, especially small button batteries are extremely dangerous if swallowed. Be sure to secure battery covers on electronic toys and devices such as remote controls and key fobs.

By working together to keep baby safe, everyone can relax and enjoy spending time with the newest member of the family.