Childproof Your Home

Safety checklist to make sure every room is baby friendly.

In the family room

  • Keep all plants out of baby's reach because many are poisonous and the dirt is a potential choking hazard.
  • Make sure there are no small objects on the floor or on tables that are within your baby's reach. This is especially important when your baby begins to crawl. One way to make sure the room is safe is to get down on the floor with your baby and crawl around looking for any open outlet or other dangers.

Some general guidelines

  • Install safety gates (either tension or hardware-mounted) at the top and bottom of stairs as well as any other areas you do not want your baby to enter (e.g., an older child's room).
  • Put smoke alarms in every sleeping area and on every level of your home, test them regularly (i.e., once a month), and replace the batteries once a year.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors outside sleeping areas and at least 15 feet away from fuel-burning appliances.
  • Keep all plastic bags and packaging away from your baby and her play area since she they can suffocate her.
  • Use a small parts tester to test which objects are small enough to pose a choking hazard to your baby. If the item fits inside the tube, it is too small for her to play with. If you don't have a tester and are concerned about the safety of a toy piece, you can use an empty toilet paper roll.
  • Don't use baby walkers because they can and have caused serious injuries to babies who use them. Use stationary exercisers instead.
  • Don't carry hot liquids (e.g., a cup of coffee or tea) when holding your baby to avoid burns, spills or falls.

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