Once your baby starts to crawl, it’s important to see your home through the eyes of a child. Where are the sharp edges, steps, climbing opportunities and slippery surfaces? Of course it is difficult to turn the whole house in Styrofoam. A completely risk-free house is – unfortunately – an illusion. Fortunately, there are many realistic steps you can take to minimize the risks. The earlier you start doing that, the better. After all, you never know when that little explorer will go on an adventure.
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This checklist will help you with that.
This one is probably the most obvious and you probably already thought of it yourself. If there is a staircase in the house, it is wise to secure it with a stair gate. Make sure that the gate is always closed, even when your baby is sleeping. Also try to keep the stairs as empty as possible, so don’t leave anything lying around on the steps. This will prevent you from accidentally tripping with your baby on your arm.
2. Sockets and Cords
A cord is a very interesting object for a baby. Keep them out of sight to prevent your child from pulling on them. Shield the holes in the sockets with a cover plate so that you can be sure that two fingers never go in there. Also keep electrical appliances as far away from your baby as possible.
3. Sharp edges
Fact: Babies crawl where they can’t and fall over all the time. Prevent the worst suffering by covering sharp edges and corners in any case. You can do this with, for example, a table corner protector.
Once your child can stand, windows can be a hazard. The solution is a window protector that ensures that a window cannot open more than ten centimeters. Window gates and window locks also prevent your child from climbing out of a window.
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Cooking? Make sure your baby is not around. You can also protect the cooker with a special rack. Cooking, but need to be away from the stove for a second? Make sure that pots and pans are not within reach. Put cleaning products behind a kitchen cupboard that your child cannot reach, or behind a cupboard with a lock.
Never leave a baby or child alone in the bathroom. Small children can drown in relatively low water. Place a non-slip mat in the bathroom so that your child or you and your child do not slip. Install a thermostatic valve to prevent the water from getting too hot and keep shower gels, shampoos and cosmetics out of reach.
Does the balcony have bars that are wider than ten centimeters? Then stretch a safety net. Also make sure that there are no items on the balcony for your baby to climb on.
Always put a fence around a pond that a baby or child cannot go over, or temporarily convert the pond into a sandbox. Also make sure that the garden is always fenced with a fence or a (dense) hedge. Check the garden regularly for sharp objects. Be careful with certain plants and flowers: some are poisonous to a child. You can choose to keep flowers and plants completely out of reach of your baby.
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9. Freestanding Furniture
A baby can pull himself up on a piece of furniture and will undoubtedly do so. Therefore, check whether a piece of furniture is in the right position and does not easily fall over. It may therefore be better to move light furniture temporarily. Try to keep anything that slides easily out of reach.
10. Lingering Stuff
The biggest devil is often the stuff you leave lying around unnoticed: a bunch of keys, matches, batteries… nothing that comes in their way is safe for babies. Store all those loose items to prevent your baby from putting it in his or her mouth.
Then a few more points:
- Do not use a tablecloth: a baby can pull on it.
- Keep breakables out of reach.
- Always turn the stems of pots and pans inwards during cooking so that little hands can’t reach them.
- Store cutlery, matches and lighters properly.
- Install smoke detectors throughout the house.
Source: Mini me, Parents of Nu
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