Babyproofing the Home Babyproofing the Home

  • Get on your hands and knees and crawl around your living space as if you were a baby/toddler.
  • Check the floor for small objects, pennies and food (peanuts, popcorn, jelly beans) that might have fallen on the floor.
  • Check for dangling cords (coffee machine, phone, iron, toaster, etc)
  • Cover electrical outlets and use electrical tape on the joints of extension cords.
  • Keep any hot liquid FAR away from the baby, and when walking through your home, hold the liquid right against your body in the event someone bumps into you it spills on you and doesn't splash across the room.
  • Check for unstable furniture, such as a book case, so they don't topple as a child leans on them.
  • Cover sharp edges of furniture with old socks and gaffer's tape.
  • Remove from the coffee table, any adult "party food" that could be a choking hazard (carrot sticks, grapes, nuts, hard crackers like Triscuits, bread sticks)

Bathroom hazards

Don't let the baby into the bathroom unattended - babies can fall into the toilet and can't right themselves. They can crawl into the bath tub. If they play with the faucets, they can be burned by sudden splashes of hot water from the tap. Electrical cords from hair dryers/shavers are another hazard. Also, when children start to walk, they are prone to slipping backward when hitting wet surfaces.

Fire Safety

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are of utmost importance. 

Have a flashlight in case of power outages and leave hallways clear in the event of having to exit in a fire.

Don't fall asleep with the dryer or the stove on. Many parents have fallen sleep sterilizing bottles and woken up with the smell of burning plastic. When visiting relatives, rehearse in your mind how to unlatch doors/windows and get out of the bedroom in the event of a fire and you're disoriented.

An impromptu fire escape for babies/young children: Get a duffel or strong laundry bag and fireproof rope. Knot the rope every foot and tie it securely through the top of the duffel bag. In the event of a fire, and you have to get out of a window without a fire escape, tie the free end of the rope to a radiator or piece of plumbing, and put young children in the duffel bag. Lower them to the ground and climb down yourself.

Extra Information

There is an excellent, comprehensive home safety checklist provided by healthychildren.org.