Baby-proofing your home is a stressful task that requires diligent preparation with no room for error. You want to make sure your home is completely baby friendly, so you can live at ease knowing your child won’t get into anything you don’t want them too (which believe me, they will try). Let us help you, room by room, scenario by scenario, with this baby safety checklist and three extremely important reminders:
- Don’t learn from accidents. Preparing your home ahead of time will be key to preventing accidents from occurring.
- “If I was a baby, what would I do?” Put yourself if your baby’s shoes. Crawl around on the ground to see what your baby would see. This different perspective will give you an idea of what mischief your baby might cause.
- Don’t forget about the house guests! Those family members, friends may need to be reminded to shut doors/gates behind them when they come to visit.
Your kitchen is one of the most important places to baby-proof because it has a lot of different types of hazards, from heat to sharp objects to cleaning products. You don’t want to forget these important tips!
- Chairs/stools: Check to make sure these items are not easy to tip over.
- Oven: If the oven is in baby arm’s reach, consider purchasing an oven guard or stove knob to prevent little hands from burning or controlling the heat on your oven.
- Cupboards/Drawers: Thoroughly search through each cupboard and decide which one’s need locks.
- Your rubbish bin: You definitely want your child to get their hands into this! Think about buying a bin lock to avoid this from happening.
- Appliances: See which appliances are at your child’s reach. An adjustable multi-purpose lock can be used for almost every appliance and keep your child safe.
- Hot liquids can cause severe burns, make sure they are out of reach!
- Many homes have an open aspect to the design. Think about investing in a room divider that you can use to keep your baby in a safe place while you work in the kitchen.
Electronics & Appliances
With technology on the rise, there will inevitably be more cords. Keep your child safe and remember these tips!
- Hair straighteners & tongs: A major cause of burn injuries to children. Remember that these gadgets can take upwards to 40 minutes to fully cool down!
- Sockets: these outlets attracted little ones so much for some reason. If not covered, these outlets can pose a threat of electric shock to a child’s body. Don’t wait for that to happen, purchase your socket covers in bulk here!
- Cords are a double threat. Not only can they cause electric shock, they pose as a choking hazard. Try to hide cords as much as possible or use cable ties.
- Flat screen TVs: Although these are extremely popular due to the chic design and efficient size, they are extremely easy to knock over. Invest in some furniture straps to keep your TV in place or mount your flatscreen to the wall.
Stairs and Steps
Stairs gates are absolutely essential. Studies in the UK have shown that 35,000 children under the age of 4 fall down the stairs each year, while a recent study in the USA showed that every six minutes a child falls down the stairs.
- Top and bottom: Stair gates are easy to use and needed at the top and/or bottom of each flight of stairs to avoid injury. See our easy-to-use stair gates here.
- Banisters and landing: Keep in mind the size of the gaps between banisters, as children could call through.
- Steps and step edges: Depending on your home, you may have sharp corners or edges on your steps. Consider our edge guards, available here.
Windows and Blinds
- Windows can pose a threat as they are often left open or have furniture against them. Make sure you are locking your windows and being aware of which windows might be accessible to your young climber.
- Sliding windows and doors: Take a look at our sliding window and door locks here!
- Blinds: Please be aware of your blinds as they can put your child at a serious strangulation risk. Keep them out of reach if possible!
There are hundreds of healthy risks that are filled in your bathroom. Water, hygiene, toxic chemicals, electricity - it’s basically an accident waiting to happen. Baby-proof this room as best as possible, or keep the door shut throughout the day.
- Toilet bowl: Obviously, children should be kept far away from the toilet bowl. Infested with germs and harsh chemicals from cleaning products, the toilet is a place that we recommend locking! Consider our extra-long toilet lock or a regular toilet lock.
- Slipping: Have your bathroom with the proper mats on the floor that have sufficient grip to avoid slips.
- Bath: Check water temperature, don’t leave your child alone in the tub, keep your child away from faucents.
- Faucets: These can be dangerous for both collision and burn risks. Keep your child away from these as best as possible.
- Medicines/Toiletries: Needless to say, many medicines and toiletries are extremely unsafe for your baby.
Your fireplace, although extremely useful in the cold weather, can pose a threat of the obvious burn. Cordon off the fireplace completely. Consider investing in a MultiFit Baby Fire Guard for the utmost protection. Check out our blog on how to choose the right baby fireguard. During the colder months, radiators will be turned up high, so try to keep your child uninterested in this!
Tables and other furniture with sharp edges need to be monitored or have safe guards to avoid collision and injury.
Use the sizing rule: Anything that is smaller than this and can fit through is a choking hazard and should be out of reach of children. And while it's brilliant that we recycle plastic bags here in Ireland, it is also important to remember that plastic poses a suffocation risk.
Many new families have chosen to live in apartments in Ireland, but safety hazards increase if a balcony is present. Remember to avoid placing furniture on the balconies as children love to climb. Be aware of the types of bars that are on your balcony as both vertical and horizontal are climbable. And of course, lock all and any doors that will give your child access to this extremely unsafe area!