To enjoy our homes we need peace of mind and safety in addition to a space filled with pieces that tell our story and give us visual joy. Particularly when our littlest family member starts their first self-determined exploration of the world, we need to ensure that the environment is safe for them. Here are a few tips to keep your home safe using gadgets and common sense in a way that does not make for a taped up, locked and guarded mess of baby proofing paraphernalia.
Doors: Use doorstops or door holders on doors and door hinges to prevent hand injuries.
Windows and glass doors: To prevent children from falling out of low windows, fit window stops so that the windows do not open wide enough for children to fit through. Keep furniture away from windows to prevent children from climbing up and reaching the windowsill. If you have curtains with pull cords in your home, either cut off the pull cords or use wind-ups to keep the cords out of reach. Mark sliding doors with big, bright stickers.
Bathrooms: Install a toilet-seat lock to prevent drowning and hand injuries.
Stairways: To block stairways, install gates at both the top and bottom.
Electrical outlets, cords, and appliances: Put safety plugs or outlet covers over unused outlets or block outlets with furniture. Push toasters, kettles, hairdryers and other small appliances to the back of counters and vanities and unplug them when not in use.
Furniture: Put locks or latches on accessible cupboards that contain unsafe items. Attach corner and edge guards to furniture that is at a height that can injure your baby. Secure furniture that can topple – such as bookshelves, display cabinets, and chests of drawers- to the walls, and bolt flat-screen TVs to the walls so they can’t fall on your baby. Place heavier items on bottom shelves to make furniture less top-heavy, and less likely to fall.