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You are here: Home > Baby > Baby Safety

Baby Proofing Checklist

by Katlyn Joy
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Baby Proofing Checklist

According to the National Safety Council, suffocation and choking cause the majority of deaths of children ages 0-4 and drownings are also a major danger. Many injuries or fatalities of infants and children can be prevented with careful baby proofing. However, no safety measures or safety products substitute for careful and constant supervision.

Before beginning to baby proof your home, consider safety zones. Have an area where baby is free to roam, under your watchful eye of course. Have no-baby zones in particularly hazardous areas such as the bathroom, kitchen and garage. Bar baby's entrance by either installing a baby gate or putting a door knob cover that baby cannot work on the doors to these areas. However, even in a no baby zone you need to keep hazards locked up or away from baby.

Think of baby proofing in layers. For instance, you keep a door knob cover on the door to the garage. However, keep all hazardous materials like poisonous liquids and tools on a high shelf or a locked cabinet.

The Best Time to Baby Proof Your Home

You should do some easy basic baby proofing before you even bring baby home. For instance, set the temperature on the water heater back to 120 degrees. Only use a crib made since 1992 and that has slats not further than 2 3/8 inches apart with no cutouts in the ends. Make sure the mattress fits snugly and do not use bumper pads, pillows, or stuffed animals in the crib.

When baby is close to six months of age, you should more aggressively baby proof as baby will be on the move before you know it. Get down on your hands and knees and observe possible hazards.

Baby Proofing Checklist

Print this form and keep on your refrigerator. As you move from room to room, check off the areas that are baby proofed. It is always a good idea to tape notices on doors that should be kept closed, so that guests don't forget to close the door, for example, to the bathroom.

Windows. Make sure there are no cords within baby's reach.

Make sure all furniture is secure and that a child cannot topple it over.

Keep portable heaters out of baby's room and do not leave on overnight or unattended.

Make sure all electrical cords are not a tripping hazard, keep them secured.

Cover electrical outlets with covers that are not choking hazards.

Keep hazardous or poisonous substances in a locked or high cabinet.

Make sure plants in the home are non-poisonous.

Keep lighters, matches and cigarettes in a secure area that children cannot get to. If you keep such items in your purse, then keep your purse out of reach as well.

Put window guards on windows as screens will allow children to fall out. Also try to keep furniture away from windows so children cannot climb to the window.

Secure all rugs to avoid falls and pad sharp corners on tables, fireplace hearths and furniture to avoid injuries.

Baby Proof the Bathroom

Install ground fault circuit interrupters in bathroom outlets.

Secure all poisonous substances, including mouthwash, cosmetics, razors, and medications.

Keep the toilet seat down. Babies are top-heavy and liable to fall in and drown.

Do not rely on bathrings to keep baby safe in the tub. You must stay within reach of toddlers at all times and keep a hand on infants always.

Never, ever leave a child alone in a tub for a moment and allowing an older child to supervise is not safe, either.

Keep electrical items unplugged and away from water. Never use near the bath when baby is in bathroom.

Cover the tub spout with some type of padding.

Baby Proof the Kitchen

Keep pot handles turned to the back. Consider a guard to bar access to the knobs by a child.

Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.

Keep cleaning products out of child's reach.

Make sure children cannot reach appliance cords and pull them down.

Secure knives and sharp objects in a locked drawer.

Never place hot items near the edge of kitchen counter or table.

Avoid using a tablecloth that children can pull on.

Toys

Don't use toys that are inappropriate for the age. For instance if a toy is labeled not for use for children under age three, then don't allow your two-year old access to it.

Make sure toys that have batteries have secure housing for the batteries and that the batteries are not old or leaking.

Make sure all toys are not choking hazards, and are not under 1 and 1/2 inches in diameter or less than 2 inches long.

Make sure toys have no jagged edges, loose parts, or chipped paint or finishes. Toys that can be washed are preferable.

Keep up with knowing about any recalls from the Consumer Product Safety Commission at www.cpsc.gov.

Special Areas of Concern

Keep a cover in front of fireplaces to prevent children from getting too close as well as from allowing sparks to fly from the area. Avoid burning fires when baby will be present. Keep fireplace tools out of the reach of children.

If you have guns, keep them unloaded in a locked cabinet.

If you have a pool, keep the ladder away from the pool, have a locked gate, and keep any furniture away from the area so children cannot climb the gate. Never allow children in the area unsupervised.

Safety Tips

Take an infant CPR class.

Post emergency numbers such as all important contact number for sitters, the local poison control number and the doctor's number.

Make sure all smoke alarms have good batteries and are in working order.

Have a carbon monoxide alarm installed.

Have fire extinguishers and make sure you know they are in working order and you know how to operate them.


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