Simple Checklist to Childproof Your Home

Ask around, and you’re likely to find parents who admit they put off the hassle of babyproofing until the last minute.

Their baby starts taking those unforgettable first steps, little words that sound like “mom” and “dad” are uttered and the once delicate infant now seems like a sturdy, little toddler.

Then, the adventure begins. Everything is a curiosity. What’s behind cabinet door number one? Let me chew on that thing dad keeps pointing at the TV. Look at all those strange cords dangling there!

Virtually every parent starts thinking about babyproofing the interior of their abode at some point early on. But it’s important to stay a step or two ahead of your baby’s development because life gets incredibly busy and, before you know it, your kiddo could be finding the things you didn’t have time to get to.

Childproofing Checklist

Here are some smart ways to plan ahead, based on recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and WebMD.

1.)   Staircases: Gate them off. Avoid pressure-mounted gates, especially at the top of the staircase. Gates should open away from the stairs so that if the gate fails, the child falls away from the steps.

2.)   Kitchens: Keep any loose cords and panhandles out of reach. Cook on back burners whenever possible. Use childproof cabinet latches. Use child locks for easily-accessible nobs on ovens and stoves.

3.)   Bathrooms: Reduce water heater settings to below 120 degrees, and consider a baby bath temperature gauge to avoid uncomfortably hot or cold water. Use a toilet lock to keep toddlers out.

4.)   Office: Keep office supplies like paper clips, pens and scissors out of reach.

5.)   Living room: Keep remote controls, watches and other electronics out of reach. Many of them contain small lithium batteries that can be shaken loose and are dangerous — even fatal — if swallowed. Mount televisions out of reach or secure them with an anchoring strap. Consider anchoring other furniture, such as bookcases. Look for sharp corners on coffee tables and other furniture — rubber guards can be attached to reduce injuries.

6.)   Nursery: Hanging cables from electronics and blinds should be elevated throughout the house. Electrical outlets should be covered. And any low-level windows should have child guards to prevent children from leaning against windows, which could pop out.

7.)   Dining room: Place rubber guards on any sharp table corners. And avoid using table cloths that a toddler could tug on, causing things on the table to fall.

8.)   Elsewhere: Fireplaces should be blocked off, and fire pokers and other tools should be out of reach. Swimming pools should be fenced off. And be sure to regularly replace batteries in any smoke or carbon monoxide detectors.