Shop Smart! Print the DIY Childproofing Checklist before you hit the stores.
Visited a baby superstore lately? You’ll agree there are ALOT of childproofing products to choose from – and many of them seem to do the same thing, just a bit differently than their counterparts. So what’s a new parent or parent-to-be to do?
Our suggestion (after 15+ years in the business of baby safety) is to take a look at what safety hazards childproofing and babyproofing professionals focus on, and what items they commonly install in homes on a daily basis. Happily, the common safety hazards can be safeguarded using a relatively small number of childproofing essentials.
This list below outlines the most common child safety hazards that every parent should address before babies start to crawl.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO2) Detectors: Smoke detectors should be installed by every sleeping area in the home. One CO2 Detector should be located on each floor. Check batteries on Spring and Fall time changes!
Electrical Safety: Outlet plugs should never be exposed. Use Plug Caps or replace covers with Self-Closing Covers. For exposed outlets that are in constant use — say, for a lamp — use a box-type cover to secure the outlet and plug. Cords and power strips should be secured out of reach if possible. If exposed, secure using cord covers, winders or power strip covers.
Windows & Blind Safety: Windows should be securely closed or blocked using stoppers so they can’t open past 2-3″. Drapery and blind cords are a strangulation risk, use Winders or Cord Anchors to keep cords out of reach, and separate cords that are attached at the pull, forming a loop.
Drawer & Cabinet Safety: The safest childproofing solution is to move hazardous items, chemicals, etc… to out-of-reach areas. For cabinets and drawers you don’t want little hands to explore, Cabinet and Drawer Locks are very effective. These come in many styles, from magnet release, to hardware installed, to removable handle latches. Hardware-mounted locks with a no-pinch feature are often the preferred choice.
Furniture, Electronics & Appliance Safety: Kids love to pull up and climb, so furniture and TV’s pose a great threat. Even a mid-size bookshelf or TV can injure or kill small children. Secure any tall, heavy or tip-prone pieces with Furniture, TV and Electronics Straps. Appliance doors can be secured quickly with Appliance Locks and Straps to help keep curious hands out.
Door Safety: Doors can be secured with a variety of locks designed for different knob and door types: Snap-on Doorknob Covers, Lever Locks, Bifold Door Locks, Sliding Door Stops and Flip Locks. Help prevent pinched fingers by using Slide-on Door Guards on doors that stay open. Replace all 2-piece doorstops with 1-Piece Doorstops since the cap is a choking hazard.
Toilet Locks: Eww! Install a lock to keep hands out of this no-play zone!
Fireplace, Hearth & Heating Stove Safety: Options range from barring access completely with a Hearth Gate (a must for heating stoves), or installing locks and hearth padding to prevent injury. Regardless of the choice, children should be watched closely around hot stoves and fireplaces.
Balcony, Landing & Loft Safety: If railing spindle openings are 4″ apart or more, a banister shield is recommended. Also move any toys, furniture — or anything else that can be climbed — away from railings and half walls.