A few weeks ago, my friends brought their 15-month-old son to my house for brunch. We spent five minutes eating eggs and muffins and the remaining two hours chasing the bouncy toddler around as he navigated the labyrinth of dangers that is my living room. He careened across the floor, tripping over my shag carpet and narrowly escaping smashing his skull on the edge of my coffee table as he fell, but then quickly recovered -- only to run headfirst into the sharp corner of a wooden chair. After a good cry
and a cookie, he was ready for round two. He banged his fists gleefully against my plasma TV screen, then made a beeline for a power strip against the wall, sticking his tiny finger directly into one of the sockets. He wasn’t electrocuted, but his mother’s heart appeared to be: she stopped breathing, turned white, scooped him up off the floor, and couldn’t get him into his stroller fast enough.
After they left, I felt exhausted and more than a little guilty. Never had I considered how many pitfalls could exist for children within a 150-square-foot space. Then again, I don’t have kids, so how was I to know that the furniture I enjoy
every day is actually a cluster of land mines? No one expects me to pad my house with pillows and padlock all my cabinets for a single meal, but responsible parents with young children should be able to identify any areas in their home that could endanger their kids. These childproofing essentials will help set you up for safety.
If the prospect of childproofing feels overwhelming, the best way to start is to take baby steps—literally. BabyCenter.com recommends getting down on your hands and knees and crawling around your home, looking at things from your child’s perspective. Then compile a list of potentially hazardous furniture, devices, and objects your baby could choke on that are within reach at that level, Also, keep in mind that as your little one progresses from crawling to walking, you’ll likely need to adapt your childproofing strategies to meet new criteria.
Cover All Your Bases
Once you’ve completed your overall assessment, invest in the following items to leave no stone unturned in your quest to ensure your baby’s physical well-being.
1. Outlet Covers