Nothing quite prepares you for when your infant becomes mobile. You have to keep remote controls out of the way, move your coffee table, and keep your mail off the floor. It is even more concerning the first time you see your child take a few wobbly steps. Once that happens, you know it is only a matter of time before everything on your bathroom counter, office desk, and bookshelves starts to crash to the floor. In other words, childproofing the home becomes critical.
Before your child starts roaming around the house freely, it would be wise to childproof every corner of the house. You can start by purchasing finger pinch guards, wall outlet covers, glass table corner guards, and countertop corner guards to protect your baby from these dangers. You can also move all the items on your tables and countertops as far away from the edge as possible.
Childproofing the home is essential if you want to keep your child safe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accidents are the leading cause of injury in children, with a large percentage of emergency room visits made by children under the age of four.
Here are a few other things you can do to turn your home into a safer place for your child.
- Baby Gates. You do not even have to wait until your child starts to walk to buy protective gates for your stairway. Children love to climb and explore, and the stairs are one of the easiest ways for them to experiment. Within a few seconds, your toddler could be pulling him or herself up the stairs if there is no barrier available. You can buy these gates for as little as $32 dollars, and they can be effective at keeping your child off the stairs, and even block off an entire room if you want to keep your china and glassware in tact.
- Cordless Blinds. Toddlers will grab onto anything that they can reach. With blinds and window treatments, the long cords can be extremely dangerous. Not only can children put them in their mouths, they can also accidentally wrap their arms, legs, and even their neck in the cords. Long cords increase the risk of strangulation, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the CPSC suggests parents install cordless window covers instead.
- Keep Doors Closed. While your toddler may not have learned how to open doors yet, he or she can certainly shimmy around an open one. Whether it is your pantry door, your bathroom door, or the door to the basement, be sure that you shut these doors as soon as you go through them. While baby gates can protect your child from falling down the stairs, you cannot necessarily stop your toddler from going through the food in your pantry, eating things that are hazardous. If you leave the bathroom door open, you may find yourself cleaning up whatever was in the bathroom cabinets, and possibly even water from the toilet.
Childproofing the home does not necessarily guarantee that your child will not sustain injuries, but it does significantly reduce the chances of minor and even major accidents. You just have to do your best to create the safest environment for your child to explore the house, and accept the fact that a few bumps and bruises will be a normal part of your toddler’s growth.