It only takes a bit of thought and some simple steps to make your home safe for a baby. And it is better to plan ahead and be vigilant than to be constantly stressed and pursuing your baby. The aim is so that you and your baby can enjoy exploring the world.
Bear in mind that a baby will be an expert in finding hot pans, forbidden medicines, plugs, sharp corners and so on. The more you can anticipate, the less stressful it will be.
The following list is not everything. You will need to look at your home and make some decisions – there will be things we have not thought of as well.
And you do need to keep checking – wires have a way of trailing, and cleaning liquids get left out …
But here is a list to start you off:
Furniture and cupboards
- cover sharp edges of furniture and skirting boards
- make sure low cupboards have locks or baby-proof catches
- keep medicines and other chemicals well out of reach
- make sure furniture is stable and won’t topple with pulling or climbing
- consider carefully whether to use covers for plug sockets – current industry advice is that they are not safe
- in any case, keep an eye on your baby so they do not fiddle with sockets
- look out for trailing wires that might be interesting to pull
- hair straighteners are attractive but can burn – keep out of reach
- never leave your baby alone with a charging phone or other device
Children and animals
- make sure you explain to brothers, sisters and other children about how to play safely with baby
- keep an eye on animals at all times, even ones you think you know
- Never leave a baby with a dog or cat (or boa constrictor…) unsupervised
Windows and stairs
- Use a stair gate if you have stairs, and make sure it is shut!
- Click here for more detail on babies and stairs
- keep cords for blinds, etc, well out of reach
- make sure windows have locks or catches and these are shut
- be aware of possible climbing routes and remove if possible
- use a suitable and properly installed car seat
- be aware of your car’s instructions with respect to air bags. It is never safe for a child or baby to travel in the front of a vehicle when the air bag is turned on
- look out for catching busy fingers in windows and doors
- Older children love balloons – keep an eye as this can be a choking hazard
- The same goes for their toys, which might be small and attractive choking hazards
- ensure cot bumpers are well secured in case they fall off
- check hand-me-down toys for safety and suitability – standards have improved over the years