Whether you’re expecting a baby, caring for an infant, or keeping up with an active toddler, it’s important to make your home a safe place. Here are some tips for childproofing your home.
Crib safety – with any crib, bassinet, or play yard, follow a few simple rules to keep babies sleeping safely.
- Keep soft objects and loose bedding—including pillows, stuffed animals, wedges, blankets, and bumper pads—out of the crib.
- Always place your baby on their back for sleep time.
- Always use a firm sleep surface. Car seats and other sitting devices are not recommended for routine sleep.
- Make sure there are no gaps larger than two fingers between the sides of the crib and the mattress. This is usually no more than 2 and 3/8 inches apart.
- Never place a crib near a window with blind or curtain cords or baby monitor cords.
Highchair safety – make sure your baby or toddler is safe during snack time and mealtime.
- Make sure the highchair cannot be tipped over easily.
- If the chair folds, be sure it’s locked each time you set it up.
- Whenever your child sits in the chair, use the safety straps, including the crotch strap. This will prevent your child from slipping down.
Some other safety tips:
- Crawl around at your baby’s level and see what catches your eye – sometimes you don’t notice things that are tempting to them. You may feel a little silly, but you might be surprised by what you discover!
- To keep babies and toddlers entertained while you’re in the kitchen, fill a drawer or basket in your kitchen filled with safe toys, plasticware, and pretend food.
- Use safety latches and locks for cabinets and drawers in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas to help prevent children from gaining access to medicines, household cleaners, matches, knives, and other dangerous objects. Look for safety latches and locks that adults can easily install and use, but are sturdy enough to withstand pulls and tugs from children.
- Use safety gates to help prevent falls downstairs and to keep children from entering rooms and other areas with possible dangers. Look for safety gates that children can’t dislodge easily, but that adults can open and close easily. For the top of stairs, only use gates that screw to the wall. Use safety gates that meet current safety standards.
- Use window guards and safety netting to help prevent falls from windows, balconies, decks, and landings. Check these safety devices often to make sure they are secure and properly installed and maintained. Limit window openings to four inches or less, including the space between window guard bars.
- Use corner and edge bumpers to help prevent injuries from falls against sharp edges of furniture and fireplaces. Be sure to look for bumpers that stay securely on furniture or hearth edges.
- Use outlet covers and outlet plates, and be sure they can’t be easily removed by children and are large enough so that children can’t choke on them.