How to Babyproof Your Home

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How to Baby-proof Your Home

About 4.5 million children under the age of 14 are injured in their own homes annually, and 2,700 die. Read on to find out how to baby/childproof your home.

Electrical outlets: Use inexpensive plastic safety plugs available almost everywhere to insert when outlets are not in use.

Electrical cords: Repair frayed or cracked cords with electrical tape. If possible, run cords behind heavy furniture or even tack them high up on a wall.

Telephone and window blind cords: Use wind-up cord shorteners for the phone cords and bind the blind cords up high out of baby’s reach.

Doors: Invest in some good, sturdy doorway gates available at baby and department stores.

Drawers, cupboards, closets and cabinets: Install latches on all within reach.

Freestanding furniture: All furniture of this type should either be bolted to the wall or floor or removed until your child is old enough to know better.

Furniture corners and edges: There actually are foam padded furniture edge covers you can buy at baby stores. Often you can get by with a thick blanket over sharp-cornered furniture.

Knick-knacks: These should be stored away for awhile, or at least displayed on shelves high above little ones’ heads. This includes small, toddler-mouth-sized items like coins, paper clips, matches, keys, batteries.

Kitchen: Knob covers for the stove and barriers that keep hands off the hot surface are available at baby and department stores. Oven latches keep kids from opening a hot oven door. Install a refrigerator latch. Plastic grocery sacks and plastic produce wrap should be disposed of immediately to prevent asphyxiation. Use a kitchen trashcan that fits under the sink or has a tight-fitting lid. When placing a tot in his high chair, always use the restraining straps. Keep a list of important phone numbers tacked to the refrigerator – poison control center, fire department, police, doctor’s office, dentist.

Bathroom: Use a plastic toilet lock. Make sure that all medicines (over-the-counter as well as prescription) are stored high above the floor in a latched cabinet. All cleaners should likewise be stored up high and in a locked closet or cabinet. Use a baby water thermometers to make sure bathwater doesn’t scald baby. Never leave a baby or toddler in a bathtub unattended. Use nonskid mats or appliques to prevent slipping. Use tub faucet covers to prevent little ones from accidentally turning the water on.