Tips for baby-proofing your home


One of the most common reasons homeowners give for remodeling is an addition to the family. Once a baby enters the picture, parents see their home in a whole new light and they see all the ways it may not be safe for a child. Every year millions of children will be hurt as the result of a home accident. While this isn’t 100% preventable, there are many things parents can do to minimize the risks. If you have—or will soon have—a young child in your home, it may be time for some baby-proofing remodeling projects.

Check the consumer product safety commission website

Thousands of products are recalled in the US each year for one reason or another. You may be surprised to learn that a number of items in your home have been recalled due to safety concerns without your knowledge. Especially watch out for furniture or items that you may have purchased specifically for your baby. You can sign up to receive notifications by phone, email, or text so that you don’t have to keep checking back on the website. If a product you own is recalled, you’ll be notified. Of course after checking the website, you’ll need to purchase new items to replace things that have been recalled.

Think like a baby

This tip might make you feel silly but it can be very helpful. In each room of your home, get down on your hands and knees to try and see the space as your child will see it. Pay especially close attention to things that are at your eye level. You’re looking for sharp corners, things that are slippery or tripping hazards, and anything else that might be dangerous for your child and in-reach. If you don’t want to purchase new furniture with
rounded edges, you can invest in some bumpers to cover those sharp edges until your child is older.

Safe paint

Many paints, wood stains, and varnishes contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These are microscopic particles which, according to the EPA, can cause a number of short and long term health effects including headaches, dizziness, throat irritation, and liver or kidney damage. Adults aren’t likely to be affected by VOCs but an infant or young child is much more susceptible. Look for products that contain very low levels of VOCs or none at all.

Lock up everything

This is usually the first thing that every parent things of when they think of baby-proofing but it’s worth mentioning. Stairs should be blocked off by safety gates. All cupboards and drawers within the child’s reach must have child-safety latches. There are many different varieties of child-proof locking mechanisms so you should be able to find something that works for every door, cupboard, and drawer in your home.

Other hazards

Some other considerations are electrical outlet covers, cable management solutions to hide electrical cords, and choking hazards. Anything that’s loose and tiny enough to fit in your child’s mouth will end up in your child’s mouth so you have to be vigilant and cleaning and keeping every hazard out of reach.

Baseboard heaters

Baseboard heaters have many advantages over other heating systems but a major drawback is they’re at floor level and very accessible for babies and toddlers. To keep fingers and toys away from the heating element, you can install snap-on baseboard radiator covers. This will prevent your child being burned and will reduce the risk of a fire in your home.

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