Cover all electrical outlets in your house that your child can access, but don’t use the standard removable two-pronged covers, as babies can easily put those in their mouths. Instead, buy covers with a sliding safety latch. In addition, use electrical tape to cover any connections between series of extension cords.
2. Safety Gates
If your home has two or more stories, you’ll need to install safety gates at the top and bottom of every stairway to prevent your child from taking a tumble on the steps. In addition, you should gate off the doorway to any room that contains fragile or dangerous items that you don’t want your baby tampering with. Gates that screw to a wall or door frame are much more secure than spring-loaded gates that contract to fit a space. BabyCenter.com recommends buying brand-new safety gates with a straight-slat design, bearing the seal of the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association.
3. Poison Control
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), approximately thirty children die from poisoning annually, and more than one million possible poisonings of kids ages five and under are reported. Keep your child from becoming one of these statistics by labeling all poisonous substances in your home with a Mr. Yuk sticker, which features the national toll-free Poison Help telephone number. Take stock of any cabinets in your house that contain these items, and put childproof latches on them.
Also, install a carbon monoxide detector in all the bedrooms in your house. Carbon monoxide, though odorless and colorless, is highly toxic and can appear in your home via defective fuel-powered appliances, such as ovens, furnaces, and water heaters.
4. Water Safety
The CPSC reports that children can drown in only one inch of water, and that approximately 115 kids under age five drown in their own home annually. To safeguard your tot against aquatic danger, install toilet locks in your bathrooms and never leave her alone in the tub, even if she’s sitting in a bath seat.
5. Furniture Bumpers
Pad the edges and corners of any furniture you own that your tyke could hurt himself on—even his crib—using these soft bumpers. Your living room might not look stylish anymore, but it’s still a much nicer place than the emergency room.
6. Fire Prevention
In 2002, the Federal Emergency Management Agency discovered that house fires injured or killed more than 1,200 kids. Keep your home fire-free by installing smoke alarms all over your house; change the batteries every year and perform regular inspections to make sure they’re working properly. It’s also wise to keep a fire extinguisher on hand to combat any sudden flare-ups.
7. Antiscalding Devices