Keeping watch over a toddler who has just started to explore his/her surrounding on his/her own can be a challenging task. Childproofing the house is a sensible option to counter the curiosity and exploring nature of a child. This will help in preventing mishaps and other unintentional injuries. In this AptParenting article, we provide a list of ten must-have childproofing products at home to keep your baby safe.
Did You Know?
The ‘State of Home Safety Report’ published in 2004 by Home Safety Council found that every year, 2,096 children younger than 15 years die due to home injuries. Fire burns, choking, and drowning are some of the leading causes of unintentional home injury death.
Each year, you read numerous stories of children who are injured in and around their homes. Once babies start to crawl and walk, those tiny fingers try to explore and feel all things around them. Now, sometimes, this can only be dangerous for them. Of course, you cannot really follow your child around everywhere. So, how do you prevent mishaps and accidents from happening?
Being prepared and childproofing the house can help. So, once your baby is ready to roll―and get into a lot of trouble―install these essential childproofing products to keep him/her safe.
How many times have you stopped your curious child from sticking his/her finger in the wall socket, only to find him/her persistently doing the same every time you turn away? Well, instead of pulling your child away from the unused sockets, try installing safety plugs. These plugs often have child-resistant rounded edges that prevent children from poking their fingers into a live wall socket. Most of these plugs are white or colorless so as to not attract the child. You can remove the plugs when the outlet is needed.
★ Safety 1st Outlet Plugs
★ munchkin XtraGuard Safety Lock Plug Covers
★ KidCo Outlet Plug Cover
Child Safety Gates
Safety gates or baby gates prevent a toddler or a crawling baby from accessing areas that may be unsafe for him/her such as the staircase or the kitchen. The safety gates are used at the top and bottom of the stairs and in the kitchen doorways. There are basically two types of safety gates, hardware-mounted gates and pressure-mounted gates. While the hardware-mounted gates are attached to the door frames or walls, the pressure-mounted variants use pressure to stay in place. The pressure mounted gates are easy to install.
It is advisable not use the pressure-mounted safety gates as a barrier to the staircase. Ensure that the pressure bar is located on the side of the gate so that it does not provide a toehold for the child to climb on. It is best to choose sturdy gates that can be screwed into the walls or handrails for the tops of stairs. Avoid accordion style safety gates with large openings which allow children to insert their heads through, and pose a suffocation risk.
★ Munchkin Protect Wood & Steel Designer Safety Gate
★ KidCo SAFEWAY G2000
★ Evenflo Top-of-Stair Extra Tall Gate
★ KidCo DESIGNER GATEWAY G1010
★ The First Years Secure Pressure Gate
★ Evenflo Home Decor Walk-Thru Pressure Mount Gate
Bed Rails and Guards
You can prevent your little one from accidentally falling off the bed by installing bed rails or guards to the sides of the bed. If your toddler bed does not have an attached rail, then this is a must-have. Some rails have a swing-down feature that helps you remove the rail easily when not in use. Others can be clamped securely over the mattress to prevent any dangerous gaps between the bed and the rails, which can cause suffocation. Most of these rails are extremely easy to set-up and can be attached to your bed in case you are co-sleeping with your baby.
★ Fisher-Price Lakeland 50-inch Guard Rail – Espresso
★ Babyhome Side Bed Rail
★ Kids R Us Swing Down Bed Rail
★ Safety 1st Top-of-Mattress Bed Rail
Cabinet and Door Locks
From heavy appliances, knives, household cleaners, to poisonous substances, there are many things in cabinets that can potentially harm your baby. Cabinets and drawer locks and latches along with locks for appliances, such as refrigerator and oven, prevent the risk of injury. There are many easy-to-install locks that will keep curious toddlers from accessing the cupboards.
★ Safety 1st Secure Tech Cabinet Lock
★ KidCo Adhesive Mount Magnetic Drawer-Door Locks
★ BabyDan Multi Lock
Anti-tip Safety Straps
Once the baby starts walking, he/she starts reaching and pulling at things such as a television and furniture. Anti-tip straps anchor the furniture and electronic equipment to the wall and prevent them from falling off and posing a hazard. Make sure you attach these straps to shelves, bookcases, dressers, desks, chests, and television stands. For tall furniture, free-standing ranges, and stoves, you would need furniture brackets that can be screwed into the furniture and a wall stud to keep the furniture from tipping.
★ KidCo Anti-tip TV Strap
★ BabyDan Anti Tip TV Strap
★ Safety Innovations Pro-Strap Professional Furniture Straps
When your kid begins to walk, he/she is bound to take a few tumbles. Sharp edges of coffee tables and TV tables can injure your child. Padded edge covers made of foam or some soft material can help in absorbing the blow and preventing injuries. Most edge guards are backed by adhesive strips that allow them to be easily attached. Choose edge guards that can fit most tables, counters, and shelves.
★ Dreambaby Foam Corner Cushions
★ KidKusion Toddler Kushions for Edges
★ Prince Lionheart Table Edge Guard with 4 Corners
Window and Door Guards
Keeping your child’s little fingers safe from closing doors and windows can sometimes be really difficult. Thankfully, there are many window and door guards made of soft, cushiony material to protect the baby’s fingers from closing doors. These door stoppers also prevent the kid from locking himself/herself in a room. Choose door and window stoppers and guards that are easy to install and work well on every door in your home.
★ Bundle Monster Baby Child Animal Cushiony Finger Safety Door Stop Guard
★ Kid Kusion Clearly Safe, Door Mouse Finger Guard
★ Mommy’s Helper Soft Door Stop
A child’s skin is extremely thin and delicate. There is always the risk of scalding if you place your child in a bathtub with water that is too hot. Install an anti-scald device to the end of the bath spout and sink faucet to ensure that the water temperature of your baby’s bath is just right. The water heater temperature should be set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to help prevent scalding from hot water.
★ HotStop Anti-Scald Faucet
★ ScaldShield Faucet Device
Install smoke alarms in every room to protect the baby from accidental fires caused by faulty wiring or overheated equipment. These smoke detectors need to be checked regularly, and the batteries have to be replaced. Additionally, you need to set up carbon monoxide alarms in sleeping areas to prevent poisoning.
★ Chick-a-Dee Smoke Detector
★ First Alert Smoke Alarm SA320CN
Toilet locks prevent the child from accessing unhygienic areas, and prevents the spread of germs. It also prevents toddlers from tossing in valuables and toys into the toilet. Choose a lock that is easy to install and does not require any adhesive tape or glue for installation. The toilet locks should be adjustable enough to accommodate thicker or padded seat covers as well.
★ Safety 1st Swing Shut Toilet Lock
★ Mommy’s Helper Toilet Seat Lid-Lok
★ KidCo Toilet Lock
If you have a fireplace, then you can add fireplace guards to your list of essentials as well. You also need to stow away medicines, pens, lipsticks, and other potentially harmful substances from the child’s reach.
Most of these childproofing products are inexpensive and easy to find. You can purchase these products in local baby equipment stores and supermarkets. Of course, you can always order them online at great prices as well. Installing these products before the child is mobile helps in keeping him/her safe.