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Six ways to baby-proof your home for National Safety Month

Spirit, Body

From diapers and pacifiers to blankets and bottles, there’s no denying that babies require an overwhelming amount of supplies. Yet the most important baby items don’t exactly fit in your diaper bag. We’re talking about baby-proofing: A simple yet essential duty that many new parents fret about, postpone and sometimes overlook completely.

According to the CDC, suffocation, drowning, poisoning and falls are among the leading causes of child deaths in the U.S., and most of these tragedies are preventable.

Maybe you’re a seasoned parent, a soon-to-be parent expecting your first child, or a grandparent or caregiver. No matter your role, if babies, toddlers or young children are in your home, it’s important to place baby-proofing at the top of your list. Install applicable safety features from the time of the child’s birth and continue to modify these features throughout early childhood and beyond.

In honor of National Safety Month, we’re sharing a few ways to safeguard your home to reduce the risk of injury and create a more secure environment for your little ones. 

1. Get down to a baby’s perspective —yes, that means on all fours. It’s amazing how many safety hazards can exist at your baby’s height, including some you may never have considered, like a low shelf with breakable glasses, a banzai garden filled with tiny rocks, or a broken floor tile.

baby proofing a cabinet door

2. Properly secure all furniture, including TVs. If you can’t wall mount your set, be sure to set it back so it’s not close to the edge of your TV stand. Extra safety tip: Never use a dresser as a TV stand, as children can climb up drawers.

3. Store all medicines properly. A cabinet isn’t enough; make sure it’s high, out of a child’s reach and locked. Since children often imitate their parents, try to avoid taking any medication in front of your child.

4. Store purses, backpacks and other bags away from your child —especially those of unassuming guests who may come to visit with “new and exciting” things to play with, like medications, breath mints, safety pins, scissors and other items that could seriously injure your child.

handing a backpack on a hook

5. Child-proof your garbage. Many toddlers are captivated by the contents of a trash can, and we know these contents aren’t always the safest (think spoiled food, sharp objects, etc.) Look for child-proof latches to keep the lid shut, or find a home for your can outdoors and out of reach.

6. The bathroom is a prime spot for baby-proofing. Consider adding latches to keep toilet seats securely closed when not in use, move razors up and away from the tub, and be sure to store all bath and hygiene products away from arm’s reach to avoid accidental ingestion.

A few baby-proofing steps can go a long way when it comes to creating a safer environment. Take a look around your home and determine what changes you can make to reduce injuries. If you don’t have babies or young children under your roof, share these tips with someone who does. You just may help prevent a serious accident.