All parents want to keep their kids out of harm’s way, which is why this ultimate childproofing guide is a must read. As a new parent, it is common to feel worried about keeping your child safe in the home and especially as they become more interested in their surroundings. Children learn through bumping themselves, scraps, and falling down, which is why we parents need to cushion them when they do and ensure safety throughout the home.
The sad truth is that most accidents are preventable and recent studies have highlighted that these are the biggest cause of injury and death for children under 18 years old. It’s likely that this is something that has affected either you or someone you know.
Avoiding potential risks and injury is our aim with this guide. We want to share the ultimate resource for minimizing the potential risks at home. We believe that following this guide will significantly reduce your family being at risk.
The family home is filled with hidden dangers and with some simple tips, you can rest assured that your children are protected. Whilst this list of baby-proofing tips is very long, many of the things noted here are common sense. We have broken the guide down room-by-room and given extensive tips on making each area of the home safe for your baby.
You don’t need many supplies to start baby-proofing – a few safety gates and a safety accessories pack should let you get most of your home safe for your baby or toddler. Most of making your home safe for a young child is simply about re-arranging and keeping dangerous items out of reach or in locked cabinets. It’s important not to feel too daunted about making your home child-proof – accidents are common but easy to prevent by following the tips here.
One of the best ways to spot things which can be dangerous for babies and young children is to get down on your hands and knees, to spot things which are at their eye-level. This way, you might notice things you had never even thought could be dangerous. On the other hand, you don’t need to worry about things which are well out of reach – just keep an eye on things as your child grows taller and stronger. It’s worth thinking about child-proofing your home before your baby is mobile, so you have plenty time to ensure everything is safe.
1. Kids’ Safety in the Kitchen and Laundry Room
The kitchen is a hazardous area of the family home. There are more potential hazards here than in any other area of the home – knives, fire, gas, breakables, garbage, and chemicals that look like soda drinks to children.
It is a great idea to keep a special drawer or cupboard in the kitchen especially for your baby. Fill it with things like wooden spoons and plastic tubs so your baby can safely explore and pull out anything from this drawer. It’s a great way to keep them entertained when parents are busy cooking.
A recent study highlighted that thermal burns are one of the main causes of child injury at home. The National Burn Repository (NBR) of the American Burn Association (ABA) estimated that 486,000 burn injuries have caused emergency hospitalization. This is a staggering amount of injuries and with kitchen appliances, like knives, which are not included in that survey, the injury toll and risk is significantly increased. This highlights that parents must become more aware of making the kitchen childproof.
Electrical Kitchen Appliances
There are loads of dangerous appliances in the kitchen. Each one has the potential to harm a child. Things to consider are:
- Always unplug electrical appliances when not in use. Toasters, kettles and even microwaves, especially if the cord is visible.
- Protect and cover the garbage with a disposal protective screen.
- Give advice and teach the Dos and Dont’s when your children are old enough to help out in the kitchen. Make sure they do not leave the blender plugged in, leave knives out and refrain from putting a knife in the toaster to name just a few.
- Similarly, make kitchen rules for the kids. Tell them that touching the cooker, stove or anything that gets hot is forbidden. Burns are the most common out of all kitchen accidents.
- There are easy way to prevent burns in both kids and adults. Cover knobs, limit access to controls and use safety devices for access. The stove knob cover offers an easy to use control feature that makes the stove a safe place when you are away from sight.
- When cooking the handles of the pot are sometimes in reach and this is a horrific accident waiting to occur. Keep handles out of sight, out of reach and out of the curious toddler’s line of fire. If you are worried about your toddler reaching a pot handle, there are special guards available which can be fitted at the front of the hob to prevent young children reaching up. Alternatively, use the back of the stove where possible.
- The kids will eventually want to make their own toast and snacks. Make sure you highlight the dangers. Pots and pans can get steaming hot and burn very quickly.
- Mistakes can happen in the kitchen with large objects. Pans filled with water are a hazard and can result in injury. Low hanging pans and pots are irresistible to children. Make sure any large object is out of reach from inquisitive tots.
- Enforce rules. Kids are always breaking the boundaries, but don’t let that happen in the kitchen. Decide what they are and punish those who broke them.
- Sometimes a welcomed distraction can add a layer of safety for your child. A well-placed mitt or cloth can prevent them touching a hot oven.
- Most parents know not to heat baby bottles in the microwave. They sometimes heat unevenly and can cause burns when a baby tries to drink.
- Child safety cupboard locks are a good purchase. Cupboards usually store alcohol, cleaning products, and dangerous solvents. These safety mechanisms ensure control of areas that pose a potential risk to your child.
- Some stoves require a lighter or match to start the gas. These are sometimes left out in the open and can cause a hazard. Keep these out of the reach of children by storing in a high-up safe area.
- Keeping ingredients such as spices or salt and pepper at a low level can even be dangerous. If your child gets hold of some chili powder for example, they could easily ingest a large amount and become very unwell.
- Garbage is full of hazardous material and is both dangerous and unhealthy for a child to come into contact with. Some moms and dads might directly put scraps of meat into the bin for example. This will become putrid and infectious if eaten by a curious baby or toddler. Keep bins locked behind cupboards or with a safety latch for protection.
- Certain materials are sharp – for example, tins or aluminum foil in the trash. These can cause nasty cuts if your baby decides to explore them.
Mistakes Parents Make in the Kitchen
Most parents find cooking for a large family difficult. There will be many hot pots at one time being used and accessories everywhere from knives to cooling pans. This is a recipe for disaster and one that moms and dads should create boundaries around.
- Turning off the grill or gas when finished cooking. This is very common. Some cookers allow for a low heat, so low in fact, it isn’t obvious it’s even on. This might be one major disaster waiting to happen. Turn off the cooker and don’t leave the kitchen unattended.
- Cooking a slow roast is an excellent Sunday event. However, the slow cooking process presents an issue and leaving a slow cooking chicken unattended is a potentially problematic. The smell is enticing and the heat is hazardous.
- Sometimes plastic bags can be left out and a gust of air can cause them to drift. The bag might end up in the flames and catch fire. Similar is when a wooden utensil or towel finds itself becoming extremely hot and catches fire. These are issues to be aware of and to try and avoid.
- Pets are dangerous in the kitchen while cooking. Tripping over pets is very common, especially if they are expecting to be fed. Falling over our pets while holding a hot pan has terrible consequences. Keep pets out of the kitchen and ensure this healthy habit is maintained, especially for over-excited dogs.
- Some parents carry their baby while cooking. This is definitely not recommended – there can moments of confusion, dizziness, and fatigue. Combine this with a hot stove and there are dire consequences.
- Mixing hot oil with a cooler liquid causes a spitting-like problem which causes burns. Children close by will get a nasty surprise. The blender is another example and will spill out if overfilled or used with no lid on.
- Giving a child a hot plate or dish. This can cause them to drop the plate, perhaps smashing it and burning their hands, as well as ruining their food. Hot instant soups are the worst and most health advisory practitioners would suggest that younger children stay away from them.
- Leaving spills and mess on open kitchen surfaces. This can cause hygiene problems and with certain foods, this can lead to health issues. Sometimes water or wet foods can spill and go unnoticed. If something is spilled on the floor, it might cause someone to fall.
- The kitchen can get busy. Sometimes parents can’t avoid the chaos surrounding them. This issue combined with multi-tasking duties can cause a fall or loss of balance.
- Stretching to reach cupboards can pose a risk. The use of a small stepping stool for access into high cupboards is a great idea – but make sure your baby or toddler doesn’t try to copy you.
Safety in the Laundry Room
- In the laundry room, it is important to keep the washer and drier closed at all times. Whilst it is unlikely, it is possible that children will try to climb into the machines and become stuck. There are also dangerous substances in here which could harm your child if ingested. Detergent pods are particularly attractive to toddlers, who will likely be tempted to chew on the brightly colored objects.
- You should also pay attention to any sinks or buckets used to soak clothes. Children can drown in the smallest amount of water, so make sure these are emptied after use, and never left unattended. If there is detergent in the water, it can also be harmful if swallowed.
- Ironing is also a hazard around young kids. Make sure your child doesn’t stand too close when you are ironing, as there is a risk of being burned by hot steam. Never leave the iron unattended even if it is switched off – it is very heavy and if your child pulls the cord it could fall from the ironing board and cause serious harm. Once you are finished ironing, always store the board away in a cupboard and keep the iron out of reach until it has cooled enough to be put away.
- Be careful if your child likes to play in or with the laundry basket, too. Whilst these are a great way to keep your child amused when you are washing and ironing clothes, they can be unstable for babies who are just learning to stand, and can easily tip over causing your child to fall.
- The best way to keep your child safe in the laundry room is to keep the door closed so they can’t access the area at all. Just be sure to keep a close eye on them when they are in there with you, but don’t let them play in the room unattended.
2. Child Safety in the Bathroom
The bathroom can be another dangerous place for babies and toddlers when unaccompanied. There are many items commonly found in the bathroom which are potential hazards if a young child gets hold of them. It’s usually safest just to keep the bathroom door closed so babies don’t have access to this room, but it’s a good idea to make the bathroom safe just in case they figure out how to open the door.
- Many of us keep bathroom cleaning products at a low level in the bathroom. Chemicals such as bleach are extremely dangerous if handled or ingested by young children, so it’s important to keep them either in a locked cabinet or well out of reach of your child.
- Ensure all dangerous substances are kept in their original containers, with the name on the label. It’s also wise to keep the poison control center number close to hand, in case your child does get hold of anything.
- Most families keep their toilet brush on the floor in the bathroom next to the toilet. This can be hazardous to young children who may see it as a toy to be handled and chewed on. Try keeping it on a shelf or on top of the toilet cistern instead.
- You should think about installing a toilet lock to ensure your child cannot put anything in the toilet which may cause a blockage. You should also try to leave the lid locked so your child can’t trap their fingers.
- Once your child is old enough to use a potty or children’s toilet seat, supervise them until they can safely use it alone. Ensure the potty is properly cleaned after each use, ensuring your toddler doesn’t handle any of their waste materials.
- Many of us keep medicines in the bathroom. This can be dangerous as pills look like candy to young children. Therefore, it is important to keep medication in child-proof bottles but also try to keep them in locked or high-up cabinets just in case your child can open the bottles.
- There are other items in the bathroom which can be dangerous for babies and toddlers, such as razors, nail clippers or tweezers. Children are often attracted to shiny objects, without realizing they can be dangerous. It’s best to keep items like this in a box out of reach of little hands.
How to Protect a Child at Bath-Time
- Water is an obvious danger in the bathroom. You should never leave your infant or toddler unattended in or near water, no matter how shallow it is. It’s possible for kids to drown in just a few inches of water, so you shouldn’t assume your child will be safe if their bath is shallow.
- You should also be careful to check the temperature of bath water before putting your child in the tub. Many injuries in babies and toddlers are caused by being scaled by bath water. Test the water with your elbow or wrist – don’t use your hand because the skin is less sensitive here. For babies, the water should feel just warm, not hot. If you are really worried, there are special thermometers available which can tell you if the bathwater is too hot or not.
- The thermostat can be set at a certain temperature if you are worried about your child scalding themselves. This can be useful for older kids who bathe themselves, or if they are washing their hands after going to the bathroom.
- Once your baby can no longer fit in their bath seat, if you have chosen to use one, it is wise to use a non-slip bath mat whilst they’re in the tub.
- There are also simple devices to prevent your child from bumping their head on the faucet if they slip in the bath. These rubber or silicone animal-shaped devices, like the one pictured here, slip over the faucet to provide a cushioning if your child does slip.
- Bath toys should be cleaned or replaced regularly. Toys which are used to squirt water often get moldy inside, and it’s not always obvious when this happens. It’s best to throw them away and replace them every now and then just in case.
3. Keeping your Child Safe in the Backyard
Every yard is different, and each can pose different dangers. Here are a few of the main things you should think about when making your backyard safe for your child.
- Think about any wild animals which are found in your area. For example, if poisonous snakes are common where you live, consider places they may like to hide. Look out for snake holes on your lawn or in the dirt and call in pest control if necessary. Try to remove anything which could become an ideal home for a snake or other dangerous animal.
- Also warn your child about dangerous wildlife as soon as they are old enough to understand. Tell them not to touch any animals which come into the yard to ensure they are not at risk. Teach your child they should come and tell you straight away if they see any unusual animals.
- Parents should also educate themselves on the symptoms of a snake and spider bites. Make sure you know how to perform the appropriate first aid and familiarize yourself with the nearest emergency room just in case you should ever need to use it.
- Regularly check your child’s outdoor toys to ensure they remain in good condition. Toys which are kept outdoors can become brittle from the sun and may break and crack. Repair or replace anything which is showing signs of damage so your child won’t get injured whilst using their toys.
- It is also important to recognize plant species which can be poisonous if eaten. Your child may try to eat grass or plants if they have seen animals doing so, therefore it’s important to remove anything poisonous from the roots, so it won’t come back.
- Similarly, watch out for plants with thorns. Children like to touch and explore everything they see and may get a nasty injury if they grab a spiky plant.
- If you use any insect repellent or fertilizer on your plants, it’s best to keep your child indoors until it is dry, in case they touch any of the chemicals.
- If you have enough space outside, it is a great idea to fence off a safe area for your child to play in. This is the same idea as having a playpen indoors – simply put up some fencing high enough to keep your child inside and fill the area with their outdoor toys and some safe flooring like grass or soft mats.
4. Child Safety in the Bedrooms, Nursery and Play Area
There is a range of things which can pose a danger to babies and children in these areas of the home, and they do differ from family to family. You may have something hazardous which isn’t listed here so it’s important to thoroughly check every room of your home for anything which could cause your child harm.
- Furniture is the main thing which can cause injury to your child in these rooms of the home. Smaller, lightweight pieces can easily topple over if your baby uses them to pull themselves up when they are learning to walk. Remove or replace anything which could easily tip over, or consider anchoring it to the wall. Encourage your child to use sturdy furniture like the sofa when learning to walk, or get them a baby walker instead. Kids might also try to grab something on top of a small piece of furniture and cause it to tip over. It’s better to keep toys at a lower level where they are easier for your child to reach.
- Open windows are an obvious hazard for children who love to climb and explore. Never leave your child alone around an open window. Keep windows locked when possible. If windows are open, make sure they are fitted with a safety catch, so they can only open a little bit.
- Similarly, keep furniture and toys away from windows in case your child is able to climb up and open them.
- Blinds can be very dangerous for young children and babies, too. Where possible, choose cordless versions, or alternatively keep the cords tied up high, well outreach of your children. Ensure your child can’t climb on anything to reach the cords – make sure there is no low furniture under the windows. Many modern blinds come with a safety device for the cord, but it is also possible to buy them separately if you already have blinds without such devices.
- Think about where your child’s toys are stored. If you use a chest with a lid, they could injure themselves if the lid falls. Try large plastic tubs instead, or secure the lid of your toy chest so it can hold itself open.
- You should also make sure your child has age-appropriate toys for safety. Toys which have small parts that would fit in a child’s mouth shouldn’t be given until the child is around 3 years old, or old enough to understand not to put things in their mouth.
- You should also be careful of this if you have older children. They may leave toys where the younger children play, so warn them to be careful and tidy up when they are finished. Items such as small pieces of Lego, marbles and button batteries are really dangerous for babies.
- If your child has toys such as a slide or trampoline, make sure they can play on it safely. Stay close to your child when they are first learning to climb, and put mats on the equipment if necessary.
- If you have chosen to purchase a changing table for your baby’s nursery, ensure it is used properly. Make sure baby is never left unattended, and always use the strap to keep them safe. Ensure your baby cannot reach any changing supplies, such as creams or diaper sacks. These plastic bags are a really common suffocation hazard for young babies, so make sure they are well out of reach. A better alternative is to use a changing mat on the floor if you can, and store the supplies in a box out of reach of your child.
- Lighting can be another risky area for young children. Make sure they cannot reach any bulbs in lamps, which can cause scalding. There are also devices available to make light switches easier for toddlers to reach, so they won’t fall if they try and climb on something to reach.
- Be careful where heavy items are stored around young children. If they are on top of a dresser for example, the item could fall and hurt your child if the furniture is bumped in to.
How to Protect your Children while they Sleep
There is a lot to think about when choosing a bed, bedding, and sleepwear for young babies. There are a lot of safety rules which should be followed, but thankfully they are simple to do, and easy to remember. The main thing to remember with babies is the ABC of safe sleeping – they should be Alone, on their Back and in their Crib.
The information we have provided here is in-line with current guidance from various authorities. Years ago, the advice was different so older family members may feel you are doing something wrong. In fact, it is likely that your parents would have followed very different advice to what is now being taught. Gently remind them that guidelines have now changed if they try to tell you to do thing differently.
- Ensure your child is sleeping in something which is appropriate for their age – transfer them to a toddler bed or single bed when they are able to climb up the sides of their crib.
- When your baby is sleeping in a crib, ensure the spacing between the bars is not too big so they could get their head or limbs stuck through. You should also ensure the mattress fits perfectly inside the crib.
- For newborn babies who sleep in a cradle or similar, it is very important to transfer them to a crib as soon as they are able to sit up, or pull themselves up. Ideally, you should transfer them just before they master these skills – they may surprise you by learning how to sit up during the night! It’s dangerous for babies who can sit or pull themselves up to seep in a cradle because it is very easy for them to tumble out.
- It’s also recommended not to use any pillows or loose covers for young babies due to the risk of suffocation. They should also not use a teddy whilst they sleep for the same reason. If your child uses a mobile above their bed, make sure it is high enough that they can’t reach to pull it down. Babies can start to use a pillow after the age of one, but some parents (and children) don’t feel the need to start using one until later on.
- Crib bumpers are not recommended for babies of any age. The risk of your baby bumping themselves on the sides of the crib is much less dangerous than the suffocation hazard these bumpers pose. Once your baby can pull themselves up, bumpers also provide them something to stand on which could lead to them being able to climb out. As long as the slats on the side of the crib are the correct size, there is no need for bumpers.
- If you are using a crib for a newborn, it is fine to have the mattress at the higher settings. However, as soon as your baby can sit and pull themselves up, it is much safer to have the mattress at the lowest setting. This means they are much less likely to be able to climb out.
- There are many advantages to sharing a bed with your child, however, you also need to think about the potential risks. If you follow all the safety guidelines, co-sleeping can be a wonderful experience for parents and children. It is important to dress your child in cool clothes and keep them away from pillows and quilts. You should also ensure your child is always supervised when on the ‘big bed’. If you must leave them, make sure bed guards are fitted so they can’t accidentally roll out when they are asleep. Show your child how to safely climb out of the bed – feet first and lying on their tummy. The same technique can also be used for climbing off the sofa.
- When putting a newborn to sleep, it is important to place them down safely. The best position for minimizing SIDS is on the back. Your baby will not be able to breathe properly if placed on their front, and they may easily roll onto their front if you place them down on their side.
- It’s wise to use a baby monitor whenever your baby is sleeping in another room, during the night or for a daytime nap. There are loads of different models available, some which include video monitoring as well as audio. There are also models which feature a pad which is placed under the mattress, which checks if there is any movement. This is a great idea, as it notifies parents if the baby has stopped breathing, or climbed out of bed for example. A monitor is no alternative for adult supervision though – make sure you regularly check in on your child.
- When putting your child to bed, make sure they are suitably dressed. Ensure they are warm, but not too hot or cold. The room should be cool if possible, ideally around 65F – cooler than many expect. Many baby monitors come with a thermometer, or you can buy one separately to keep an eye on the temperature. It is rarely necessary to keep the heating on all night in a baby’s room unless the weather is very cold. Make sure your baby’s sleeping clothes are safe and don’t feature hoods, hats or loose strings, including pacifier clips. These can easily wrap around a child’s neck when they are sleeping and so should never be used as sleepwear. Babies are often best dressed in layers for sleeping. It is easier to add and remove layers as necessary rather than having one thicker item of clothing.
5.Reducing child Hazards in the Family Room, Office and Dining Room
- Use safety catches on drawers so your child can’t get into them. This will stop them from getting their fingers hurt, and will also prevent them from finding anything which could be dangerous inside.
- Think about what decorative items you have in the family room. Ornaments, candles, and vases are all likely to get damaged around a young toddler! If you can’t remove the items, perhaps fit some shelves to put them on so they won’t get damaged or injure your child.
- If you have a fireplace in the family room, it is important to make sure your child cannot get near it. There are loads of fire guards available on the market, so do some research to find what would fit your room. Alternatively, don’t light the fire when your baby is near – if you have radiators use these instead. Teach your baby not to touch hot things from a young age and they will quickly learn and understand.
- If you have a dining table, be aware that your child will learn to climb onto the chairs, and then on to the table once they are toddling about. It’s a good idea to supervise your child when they are near the table in case they decide to try this, and also make sure there is nothing dangerous on top of the table.
- Tablecloths are not recommended around young children. They may pull on the cloth, dragging everything off the table with it! This can injure your child as well as breaking items which are kept on the table.
- If you have an office area in the home, make sure this is baby-proofed too. It’s probably best to keep your child out of the area altogether, but if they will have access to the room ensure anything which could be a hazard is secured. Make sure drawers are locked, or there is nothing dangerous in them. Items such as staples and staplers, ink, pens and pins can all be dangerous for little kids. Also, make sure they can’t pull anything like a shredder or a printer off the desk.
- Tables and desks are often at a toddlers head-height, which means they can easily bump themselves on the corners. You can fit foam or rubber self-adhesive pads on the corners of tables and other furniture with sharp edges to prevent painful injuries if your toddler should trip near the table.
6. Keeping your Children Safe in the Hallway and on the Stairs
It’s really important to properly baby-proof your stairs and hallway. Many trips to the emergency room are causing by tripping or falling down the stairs. In fact, according to CBS on average every 6 minutes, a child under 5 in the US is taken to hospital as a result of falling down the stairs – don’t let your child become a statistic.
- If you have stairs in the home, you will need to fit a safety gate at both the top and bottom of the stairs. The one at the bottom is important in case your child climbs up the steps without you noticing – even falling down a few steps can be very dangerous for a young child.
- You may also wish to use a safety gate on outdoor steps. There are special gates available for this purpose, which can withstand harsh weather conditions.
- It is a good idea to fit anti-slip treading on outdoor steps, to ensure they don’t get slippy when it is wet or frosty. Similarly, if the stairs inside the house are not carpeted, it is worth investing in anti-slip materials for them, too.
- Some families also find safety gates useful for blocking access to certain rooms. For example, you may wish to install one across the kitchen door so your child cannot enter when you are cooking but you can still see each other. Some people choose to fit a gate across their child’s bedroom door, to stop them escaping during the night once they are no longer sleeping in a crib. However, when your baby or toddler is still too small to reach door handles, simply closing the door can be a really good way to keep your child out of any rooms they don’t need to be in, such as the bathroom or parents’ bedrooms.
- Once your child is ready to tackle walking or baby crawling up the stairs, be sure to supervise them as they practice. Never leave your child to climb stairs alone until they can confidently do it 100% of the time when supervised. Once your child can walk up and down stairs by themselves, make sure you have a handrail fitted to give them extra support.
- Ensure the stairs are always kept clean and clear of clutter, so no-one is likely to trip. This is important for parents carrying babies up and down the stairs as well as toddlers who are learning to navigate the stairs by themselves. Make sure the hallway is not littered with toys and clutter too.
- Remember that rugs can be a common tripping hazard, in the hallway or other rooms. Either remove rugs until your child is more steady on their feet, or use non-slip backing tape to firmly secure them in place.
- Doors leading outside are particularly dangerous for young children, who may wish to go exploring! Make sure the door is kept locked at all times, and install a lock high up the door, well out of reach of your child.
7. Miscellaneous Child Safety Tips
- Remember that other people’s homes may not be safe for your child. When visiting someone else’s house, especially if they don’t have children, you should always keep a close watch on your child. If there is anything you feel could be really dangerous for your child, ask your friend to move the item until after you have gone to make sure there aren’t any accidents.
- All households should be fitted with fire alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors if there is gas used in the property. They need to be tested often, to ensure the batteries are working. Teach children what to do if there is ever a fire, as soon as they are old enough to understand. Make sure everyone in the house knows what to do if there is a fire, and reinforce this regularly so it isn’t forgotten.
- Teach your child how to dial 911 as soon as they are old enough to understand. This could help save your life if you should have an accident.
- Some houseplants can be poisonous if ingested. If you are unsure whether any plants you own are poisonous or not, it is better not to take the chance and keep them on a shelf or windowsill out of reach.
- Electrical outlets can be a great danger for babies and toddlers. They should always be covered with a safety device, to ensure your child can’t stick anything, including their fingers, inside and risk electrocution. Similarly, you should never leave cables lying around. Your child may chew on them and expose the wire, or the could pull the cable and cause the appliance it is attached to to fall.
- Once your child is mobile, it is well worth investing in a play pen. This gives your child a safe place to play where they can’t escape from. You can leave your child in the play pen whilst you cook dinner, go to the bathroom or take a shower for example. As long as you can hear your child and regularly check on them, they should be happy and safe as long as they have toys to entertain themselves.
There are many different styles of playpen, so it’s wise to do some research before buying one. There are pop-up models, such as the one pictured above, or plastic frames which slot together. Different sizes are available too, so you should be able to find something to fit your space. A travel cot makes an idea alternative to a play pen, particularly if you only have one baby who will be playing in it.
- Keeping the home clean and tidy is one of the best ways to make it safe for babies and young children. Ensure floors are kept free of dirt and debris – babies will eat everything they find on the floor. Mold in the bathroom can cause respiratory problems, so make sure to clean the tub and tiles regularly.
- It is very common for children to hurt their fingers when closing doors. There are products available to help prevent these injuries, which slot onto the edge of the door so it can’t close fully, meaning fingers won’t get trapped. These simple devices also prevent children from accidentally becoming locked in a room, so it’s worth installing them on all your doors.
- Guns in the home are an obvious danger to children. Ideally, no guns in the home is the best option, but if they must be stored at home ensure all safety precautions are in place. Store guns and ammunition in separate places, ensuring the gun is never stored loaded and always has the safety lock on. Tell your child that they must never touch a gun, and regularly reinforce this to make sure they understand how dangerous guns can be.
- It is a great idea for all parents to attend a child first aid course. Knowing what to do if an accident ever does happen can literally be the difference between life and death in an emergency situation. These are held frequently in locations all over the country so why not find out when the next one is being held near you?
- Similarly, it is strongly recommended to keep a basic first aid kit somewhere handy at home. Ensure the kit is well-stocked, by replacing items as they become used. You may also find it useful to have a first aid manual near your kit, or on your bookshelf. If an accident does happen, it can be useful to have something to refer to as we often panic in emergency situations. There are special first aid kits available for babies and young children, or you can choose to make up your own. It’s also a good idea to have a mini first aid kit in your diaper bag, in case of minor incidents when you are out and about with baby.