5 Common Items New Mums Overlook When Baby-Proofing Their House

Baby-proofing your house is essential if you're expecting a new addition to your family. While the obvious things like stair gates and covers for electrical outlets are easy to think of, some things might not occur to you until it's too late.

Baby proofing isn't just about going through your home, removing any obvious dangers. In order to make your home completely safe for your child - and keep it that way - baby-proofing is a day-to-day task, something parents should be aware of every day. At a time where there are rising electricity and gas prices, the last thing one would want is an accident that could have been avoided.

Babies are remarkably vulnerable; small items are a choking hazard, heavy items can be pulled over, sharp things need to be kept well out of reach, and every time you bring something new into your home, you need to ask yourself whether it's something you should keep well away from your baby.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So, aside from the usual candidates, what do new parents often miss?

Unstable furniture

Babies love to pull themselves up and lean on furniture as they learn to crawl and walk. Any item with a handhold is attractive to an increasingly mobile child, so it's really important to test every bit of furniture they can possibly get their hands on.

While things like bookcases and free-standing cupboards are easy to check, people often miss larger appliances, like stoves, which could be tipped over if they aren't properly secured to the wall. To ensure your home is free of these kinds of hazards, make sure all appliances and pieces of furniture are securely attached to the wall or floor. Don't rely on weight alone, as adventurous children have been known to climb up things that you wouldn't expect them to, or hang off cupboard handles.

Dishwasher safety

If you have a dishwasher in your home, remember to keep it closed when it isn't being filled or emptied. All sorts of dangerous items go into dishwashers, including sharp objects and choking hazards, and a newly opened dishwasher has hot surfaces that a small child could burn their hand on. When stacking your dishwasher, make sure knives and forks are pointing downwards to minimise accidents, and check to see if the door is clear of fingers before you close it!

Soft furnishings

While it might be tempting to let your baby nap beside you on the bed or sofa, make sure that the covers and cushions are safe. Soft fabrics and cushions can cause suffocation, so if your baby tends to roll over onto their front to sleep, letting them rest on softer furnishings may be dangerous.

Baby bath products

Many popular bath and skin products for infants contain liquid hydrocarbons, which can cause respiratory problems, including pneumonia, if they get into small children's lungs. Read product labels carefully to ensure that they are suitable for children and keep them and other bathroom products out of the reach of tiny hands. Other harmful beauty products like hairspray and nail polish remover should be kept out of the way of small children.

Handbags and small personal items

Small objects are particularly hazardous to babies, as they can be swallowed or pose a choking risk. Handbags often contain sharp items, cosmetics or medication that should be kept well away from children, as well as documents and bank cards that can easily be lost or damaged. If you're in the habit of emptying your pockets of small change, keys and other items, be careful to put them somewhere out of the way, and hang handbags up rather than leaving them on the floor for little ones to rummage through.

Baby-proofing is an ongoing task, one that parents need to think about every day in order to maintain a safe environment for babies and small children. Longer term safety solutions like stair gates need to be checked regularly for signs of wear, and as your child grows and develops it is important to assess equipment like this and ensure that it is still fit for use.

As well as thinking about your own home, be vigilant when visiting friends to ensure that there are no hazards to watch out for, such as free-standing bookcases, small objects and unprotected electrical outlets, to avoid accidents when away from home.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.


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