As a parent, keeping your baby safe is certainly your priority. This task can be difficult, however, in a busy household, and also when you travel. Most parents know to plug up their outlets and keep sharp or poisonous items out of reach, but there are many other potential dangers in your home, and it’s important to take preventative measures to keep your child safe.
Pad up those pointy corners! Take a look around your home and look for furniture corners that your child could fall, crawl or walk into. Pad them with pieces of foam or bumpers. Many stores sell corner pads to cover corners, but I have found that bumpers work the best, leave no marks on furniture, and stay in place well. They work like a big piece of stretchy material that you extend over the edges of your tables or furniture. If you are very clever, you can make your own bumper, otherwise you can purchase a bumper at most stores that sell baby gear.
Box in those cords! You probably have already thought about what to do about your exposed outlets, but if you have any outlets that are in use, and yet still accessible to your child, you may want to consider concealing the cord and plug with an outlet cover/cord shortener. This way your electronics can stay plugged in, and the cords are still safe. (www.safety1st.com)
Get your drawers and cabinets on lockdown! There are many items available for locking up cabinets. If yours have knobs, I recommend using some type of flexible and adjustable lock. The hard, sliding locks break easily, especially if you have a very determined toddler on your hands. I’ve found the flexible locks to be less expensive, as well, so if they do break, they are more affordable to replace.
In addition to flexible cabinet latches or locks, I recommend an adjustable latch by Kidco. This latch may help you in many areas. I currently have one on my step-on trash can, my wine refrigerator, and my Lazy Susan. The sticky tape doesn’t hold forever, but you can replace it with any good double-sided tape. This can be used in so many places, I can’t believe how well it works. My child has yet to master the lock, despite his persistence. (www.kidco.com)
Contain them! Another life-saver I discovered is a play-zone type of gate. This is different from the playpen or portable cribs. This is essentially an enclosed gate. There are a few different brands, and they each have their own desirable features. Some have toys attached to the inside and can be colorful, and some have gates that can swing open or latch shut. I prefer the ones that have a gate to get in and out of the play area, but that is mainly because I also used it opened up and stretched across my living room, and wanted easier access, instead of having to climb the gate. Be prepared to pay a good amount of money for this type of gate, but also be prepared to feel secure knowing your mobile baby or toddler is contained in a fun and safe environment.
Take them on a road trip! When you travel with your baby or toddler, be prepared to do some babyproofing when you arrive. However, you don’t need to transport all of your supplies on vacation with you. Some duct tape, twist ties, zip ties or packing tape might be all you need to deter your little one. You also may want to pack any pressure-mounted gates that you own to block off doorways and staircases. It may mean your car is a little tightly packed, but it will be worth the peace-of-mind! Obviously more careful supervision may be necessary on the road, but you may be able to stay safe and sane by using twist ties or zip ties to “lock” cabinet knobs together. When we travel, I bring the spool of twist ties that I use to stake my tomato plants, this way I can cut the ties to be the correct length. Duct tape or packing tape can be placed over outlets, and can also be used to tape cabinet doors shut. Be careful about the surfaces you are adhering to, and be sensible about how “safe” this makes the room. As always, careful supervision is essential.
Hang their pictures on the wall…and keep them there! Before having children, I carefully arranged and hung a gallery of photo frames above my couch, not too high and not too low, but low enough for an adventurous toddler to be tempted to knock them down. Now that my adventurous toddler is on the loose, I have used foam mounting tape and 3M™ Command™ strips on the backs of my picture frames to keep them in place. This way they can’t be taken off the wall easily or swung on the nail from which they hang! (www.3M.com)
Be safe, and enjoy this busy phase of their lives!