Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Baby Proofing 101 - Spring Cleaning


As part of my WONDERFUL
gutting out the house to make it look new spring cleaning, I am baby proofing! Yes, something I should have done when I was eight months pregnant, But I was on bed rest with my beautiful twins. Then we moved and our new house has been chaos.

Trying to figure out where to begin, I found this wonderful website online. It has everything you can think of and then some. With our oldest son, we figured these things out as we went. He is our official "Test Baby".

*This list is directly to the site linked above*

  Outlets- Create a barrier between children and electrical currents with appropriate childproofing measures.  Determine whether your outlets are Standard or Decorator* and:

o       If you have outlets constantly in use (i.e. lamp plugged in all the time): We 
outlet covers.

o       For outlets that are frequently used (i.e. outlet used to plug in vacuum, then remove it): Try
sliding outlet plates, which replace your existing outlet plate and have a 'door' that slides closed to cover the outlet as soon as an item is unplugged.

o       Outlets that are rarely used (usually left unused):
Outlet plugs
fit snugly inside outlets to prevent access.

*   Decorator Outlets have 2 screws, one at top, one at bottom.  Standard outlets have one screw, in the middle.  For more information regarding electrical outlet safety, please read "Outlet Safety In Your Home" a guide to selecting electrical safety products for your home.
  Kitchens:  Kitchens can be one of the most hazardous rooms in your home.  If it is possible, use a baby safety gate to block off access to the kitchen, especially during cooking or baking.

  Electrical Appliances:  There is a huge array of electrical appliances that are hazardous to children.  Kitchen stoves,
microwaves, and
can all lead to burns and other injuries.  They should be secured with guards, latches, and straps to prevent access, and guard against injury.  Unplug electrical appliances when not in use.

  Toilets: Children are particularly curious about water, even water in the toilet.  Just a couple of inches of water, such as that in the toilet, bucket, or pet dish can pose a drowning risk.  Use
toilet locks
to prevent access  to water in the toilet, and never keep water in buckets, tubs, etc.  Pets water dishes should be kept out of the reach of babies and toddlers as well. My personal experience with toilet locks is that they only work to a point. If you sit on the toilet while it is closed, they will break, and God forbid you get the runs.

  Water sources (faucet, bathtub, shower): Children should not have access to water for many reasons.  In addition to the drowning risk associated with water, it can also put children at risk for being scalded if it is too hot.  Water heaters in your home should be set to no more than 120 degrees to help prevent this.  Keep bathroom doors closed or gated off and use a Safety Tap Guard to prevent access to water. As for the temperature, I like it HOTT! I keep a rubber ducky with a temperature gauge on the bottom in the tub, so I know when the temp it right.


Cabinets and drawers hold many items that can be dangerous to children including cleansers, medicines, cosmetics and sharp objects like knives and scissors.  Cabinets and drawers should be secured with locks or latches to prevent access.  Individuals who prefer not to install hardware mounted cabinet & drawer latches can try Adhesive Mount Cabinet Latches. I like these, even for our five year old. We are investing in the magnetic key locks. They are supposed to be AMAZING, and keep pesky five eyar old out of your secret candy stash!

  Garbage Cans: Children should not have access to garbage cans or their contents.  Garbage cans should be placed where children can not reach them, and locked closed with a locking strap. Since your kitchen cabinets should already be locked shut, I recommend under the sink. With an air freshener. J

  Sharp-edged tables, fireplace hearths, and window sills: Use corner and table edge cushions to pad sharp edges of tables, hearths, computer desks, counters, etc.   These are UGLY, but necessary!

  Cords in reach:
cords should be kept out of reach of children to minimize pulling on items, and gaining access to electrical outlets.  Computers, entertainment centers, and lamps are a few of the items that have cords that should be secured out of reach.  Cord control kits or outlet covers with cord shorteners can be used for this purpose.  Cords are ugly anyway. This gives you an excuse to hide them!


  Nightlights: Some nightlights have small parts and hot bulbs that can injure children.   They also may be pulled out, exposing children to outlets.  

      o     Nightlight with Outlet Cover is an alternative to standard nightlights, and offers protection from outlets.

  Fireplaces, Wood Burning Stoves, Barbecue Grills: Children should not be allowed near fireplaces, grills or wood burning stoves.  It is good practice not to allow children near them even when they are not in use.  Protect  children from burns from fireplaces and stoves with fireplace gates.  Use edge and corner cushions on hearths to protect from bumps and bruises.

  Plants:   Several household plants can be fatal to children if eaten, and the fertilizer in soil can be harmful, as well.  Plants should be moved out of children's reach.  If that is not an option, pot should be covered with mesh or plastic so that child does not have access to the soil.  The Plant Saver can be used to cover the soil and help prevent access. If you don't know if a plant is poisonous or not, get it checked out by your local plant nursery. Some very common household plants are very dangerous.

  TV/VCR/DVD/Stereo: Children are often fascinated with buttons and doors, such as those found on TVs, VCRs, etc.  Clear plastic shields can be used to guard against having a child insert inappropriate items into the VCR, push buttons, etc.  Attach appliance straps to items to help prevent them from tipping onto children. If you love you beautiful flat screen almost as much as your beautiful children, you will do this. J

  Computer and Entertainment Centers: Areas around the computer and entertainment centers can have several hazards to children.   Generally, these areas have a large amount of cords, adapters, and heavy equipment like a monitor or television set.  Browse our website for power strip safety covers, outlet & adapter covers, cord control kits, and safety locking straps to help prevent injuries.

  Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Detectors
It is recommended that smoke detectors be placed in every separate sleeping area of the home, on the ceiling at least 15 feet away from fuel-burning appliances.  There should be at least one carbon monoxide detector on every floor of the home. 



This list is pretty good, but I am still wondering what I have missed? I have some HORRIFIC stories of things my eldest has gotten into, eaten and tried his darndest to kill himself with. And I am hoping I don't experience the same with the twins.

So tell me, what are your horror stories? Is this list missing anything?




Rob said...

The first thing my wife did was babyproof the fireplace. The brick edge scared us. We looked at the edge guards and none of them looked very pleasant on our fireplace. We found the Jack-Mat Hearth Seat. We were able to get it custom built to fit our hearth and my wife was able to get it to match our decor. We have a tiny house and it gets crowded with family quick. This safety cover makes a comfortable seat as well.

Thank you,

Jessica said...

Those fireplaces are scary! I will have to look that up, our kids Nana has a scary fireplace that has caused a couple bumps and bruises. I wonder if someone makes something for horrifying giant glass coffee tables, or if ours will just have to go up until the twins are old enough. I have tried several different 'cushions' but none seem to fit the oval design.

Rob said...

I found a really cool table edge guard at Babypro.com called the toddler shield. It works great on my table. It has elastic in it so the cushion wraps around table nice and tight.