Childproofing Your Home - A Room-By-Room Guide

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Whether you are preparing for your new baby, or you just discovered your toddler climbing into the toilet, it’s time to childproof your homeland here is a room-by-room guide.  When you look around and see outlets, cords, cabinets filled with dangers, and dressers packed with baby clothes, and you’re feeling completely overwhelmed. Where do you start?

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Take a deep breath! We created a room-by-room guide to help you create safe spaces for your little one to explore and grow.

Living Room/Family Room

This will probably be where you and your little one spend the most time, so it’s important that this area is safe for exploring, playing, and let’s be honest, safe enough for you to let your guard down a little so you can go to the bathroom.

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  • Security on exterior doors - Install a chain or a slide lock on standard exterior doors, high up where they can’t reach, and install a safety bar on a patio door, especially if there is a pool. Those little latches are easy for toddlers to figure out!

  • Block access to stairs and other rooms - Install a baby gate to keep your little one well contained. I always recommend baby gates that are safe for staircases for added stability, and if you’re using them to block stairs, this is a MUST.  If you have an open floor plan, there are baby gates that expand to up to 16 feet wide, which may work better for you!

  • Replace old blinds - Blinds with looped or long cords can be a major choking hazard, so either replace them or tie the cords up out of reach.

  • Secure heavy furniture - Furniture tipping over is a major hazard, so any bookshelves, television stands, or top-heavy furniture needs to be anchored to the wall, with the heaviest items placed on the bottom shelves. Consider wall-mounting your television or attaching it to the tv stand. Also, don’t forget the toy box! If it has a heavy lid, it’s best to remove or replace it!

  • Cover the outlets - It’s a universal truth that kids are drawn to outlets, but simple plastic inserts can keep fingers (and forks, toys, pencils, etc) out of them.

  • Door knob covers - if there’s a closet, garage door access, or bathroom access, prevent wandering with door knob covers. Word of warning - practice opening them before closing the door. Some are trickier than they look!

  • Secure cords - If there are several wires (especially behind the television, etc) zip-tie them together. Try to keep single cords to lamps and other items tucked behind furniture.

  • Cover corners of furniture - from coffee tables to bookshelves to even the corners of fireplace hearths, those can cause serious injury if your little one should fall. Cover the corners with foam (cut up pool noodles work great!) to cushion those edges.

Finally, scope the space from baby’s level. Get low on the floor and look for any items that baby could choke on, pull on, or climb!

Kitchen and Bathroom

The kitchen and bathroom are fascinating places to little explorers explorers, and there are plenty of concerns here, too. Of course, anything you did in your living room - secure exterior doors, cover door knobs and outlets, and secure furniture (such as a rolling kitchen island or shelving unit) still apply, but there are other factors you need to consider, too, when child-proofing your home.

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  • Place chemicals and medications in high, locking cabinets - From all-purpose cleaners and bleach to medications, these are highly toxic to children. Instead of storing them under the sink or on a shelf, get cabinet locks and store them high up.

  • Install cabinet and drawer locks - For any cabinets and drawers you want to keep your baby out of, these locks are easy to install and can also help prevent pinched fingers. Note: if you want a bit of peace while you cook, keep a cabinet or drawer open where you store pots and pans, plastic storage containers, and plastic or wooden spatulas and spoons.

  • Install a toilet lock - It takes less than a second for a willful toddler to decide to play in the toilet. From both a safety and a hygiene aspect, thwart that desire by installing a simple toilet lock.

  • Turn down your water heater - Babies and little children are prone to scalds and burns, and it can happen FAST. The maximum temperature of your water heater should be around 120-125 degrees.

  • Install GFCI outlets - If your home is older, swap out your kitchen and bathroom outlets for Ground Fault Circuit Interruptors, or GFCI outlets. These are made to shut off electricity if an appliance (like a hair dryer or toaster) is immersed in water or if the cord is damaged and exposed. It cuts down on the risk of shocks and fire risk.

  • Install stove knob protectors - These stop your kids from turning the knobs on stoves and causing fire or burns and should be used regardless of what type of stove you have or where the knobs are located.

  • Get trash cans with locking lids - from used razors to raw chicken, kitchen and bathroom trash is both gross and dangerous. Yet, for some reason, children are drawn to it. Keep the little ones out of the trash by investing in a trash can with a locking lid.

  • Garbage disposal cover - protect tiny paws by keeping the disposal covered.

 

Bedrooms

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The bedrooms are very similar to the living room - cover the outlets, replace old blinds and tie up cords, cushion sharp corners, and especially secure dressers filled with baby clothes, shelving, and other furniture that could tip and hurt your baby. All that is really left to cover is:

  • Crib safety: Make sure your crib meets current safety guidelines, and doesn’t have a drop-side. Also, all that needs to be in the crib with your baby is a fitted sheet - blankets, bumpers, stuffed animals, lovies, etc should never be placed in a crib with a baby as that drastically increases the risk of suffocation. Seriously. You’ll hear grandmas, aunts, and everyone else say “I gave my baby a blanket and she was fine!” or “We had drop-side cribs and you all survived!”  That’s great, but a lot of babies under the age of one aren’t fine and don’t survive. Note: I’m not trying to scare anyone, but crib safety is SO important in reducing risk to your baby. Talk to your pediatrician for more information.

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Child-proofing your home seems intense, but when you go step by step through your house, it’s not so bad! Of course, nothing is a substitute for close supervision!

When you get your baby clothes from Piper Jade Kids, you won’t want to take your eyes off of your baby at all! WIth our selection of stylish and comfortable clothes for babies and children, you can fill his or her dresser with soft, comfortable, adorable outfits, infant pajamas, and accessories.

If there is anything you would like to add to this childproof blog post, we would love to hear from you.  We appreciate any input or constructive ideas that would help and encourage parents in their journey with parenting.  

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