How To Baby-Proof Your House

This is a collaborative post

New parents might be forgiven for underestimating just how inquisitive a baby can be. These little people, for the most part, want to learn as much as possible about the world around them – and they’ll do this by exploring, touching things, and putting those things in their mouths.

It’s easy to lose sight of how dangerous a modern home can be for an inquisitive baby. Radiator valves, plug sockets, carpet tack strips – these are just some of the things that can cause a problem. As such, it’s vital that we take steps to protect the baby against them – and ideally before the baby is capable of crawling and walking.

It’s easy to terrify yourself with ideas about the worst-case scenarios. Instead, take a productive approach, trying to identify potential hazards, and minimise harms, much as you might do if you were the health and safety officer at a workplace (which, if you’re a stay-at-home parent, is a pretty sensible way of viewing yourself).

Let’s go through the home, room by room, and see where we might take steps to baby-proof the environment.

The living room

In the living room, we’re likely to encounter several problematic objects and furnishings. A glass coffee table might be fallen into, as might an unprotected fireplace. Babies can also climb up onto sofas, and fall off them. Your job here is to perform a risk assessment, and try to identify any sharp corners and hard edges. You can get little protectors that you’ll be able to remove later.

As we’ve mentioned, radiators pose a special kind of risk. The pipework around the bottom, where a baby is likely to be crawling, can get hot enough to cause a nasty burn. It’s therefore a good idea to enclose the radiator or cover the pipework.

The bathroom

In the bathroom, hot water is an even more pressing problem. Fortunately, you’re going to be supervising the baby at all times when they’re in the bathroom. Monitor bathwater to ensure that it’s at the appropriate temperature. This should be no higher than 37°C. Take care when removing a wet baby from the tub, especially if yours has a tendency to wriggle.

The kitchen

The kitchen is packed full of hazards. Knives, stoves, kettles, cleaning products: they’re all capable of inflicting significant harm. Keep them all locked away in child-proof cupboards, or up on the counter and out of reach. If you’re cooking, don’t let pan handles overhang the edge. Children can easily reach up and grab the offending handle, and in the process deposit the contents of the pan onto their own heads. Use the back burners, instead.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post


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