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Toddlers are naturally curious and have a supreme knack for finding things that can put them in danger. Learn how to keep a baby safe at home with these quick tips.
(Looking for safety tips for newborns? Check out our “Infant safety checklist – nursery edition” now!)
Secure empty electrical outlets
- Place outlet plugs into electrical outlets when they’re not in use. These items are inexpensive and handy for travel, but they present a possible choking hazard. Use with care.
- Replace your traditional outlet cover with a sliding plate cover that closes automatically when not in use. You can install these over a traditional outlet cover with just a screwdriver.
- Consider using a box outlet cover that literally puts a box over an outlet.
- Use a power cord cover to stop your child from playing with the lights.
- Alleviate the risk of strangulation with a cord shortener.
- Keep little hands from turning on power tools and curling irons with a plug lock.
Lock up your poisons
- If you keep your cleaning products in a cabinet under the sink, use cabinet locks, such as latches, magnets, and sliding locks. (Our experts recommend magnet locks if you have a good spot for the key.)
- Keep all your medicine out of reach in a locked cabinet. If you have pills, keep a count of how many you have left in your prescription just in case your child does swallow any.
- With guests, be mindful of pockets and purses, where some people keep medicine, hand sanitizer, pens, and other items you don’t want getting into little hands.
If you need new cabinets or not sure how to attach the locks, reach out to a professional who will be able to help complete this project and keep your little one safe!
Keep your heirs off the stairs (when they’re really young)
Invest in baby gates, and follow these simple rules to keep your baby safe at home:
- Place a baby gate at the top and the bottom of your stairs.
- Use the gates that screw into your walls and banisters. The pressure mounted gates are not as secure.
- Avoid accordion-style gates as children’s bodies can get caught and pinched.
- Remember to always properly close the gate behind you.
Once your baby starts to climb, gates are not as helpful because your young adventurers may try to climb over them. This is the most important time to practice stair safety.
- Teach your toddler to go down the stairs backwards. They can safely navigate going down the stairs on their bellies, but this does take time.
- Keep stairs free of clutter.
- Always supervise your child when they’re around stairs.
- Consider a banister guard to protect your child from falling through the slats in your railing.
- Consider having carpeting installed if you don’t have it already. Carpet minimizes the slip factor and cushions tiny tumbles.
And last but certainly not least –
Every two weeks, a child dies due to a furniture or TV tip over, and more 24,000 children go to the ER with injuries due to falling furniture. Make sure to install anti-tip kits to avoid injuries due to falling furniture. The accidents are preventable with a drill, stud finder, and an anti-tip kit, which you can find at your local home improvement store. If you’re unsure how to install these, hire a reliable handyman to complete these tasks. It may save your child’s life.
Originally posted Jan. 17, 2019; updated Sep. 15, 2020