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Childproofing Your Home

Apr 4, 2008
As your baby begins to crawl and explore his new home, you need to be aware of all the elements that exist in the normal home environment that can be hazardous to your child. Child-proofing your home before your baby can crawl is a good way to ensure that you have plenty of time to be thorough and recheck your home for anything you may have missed before your baby can find it.

One of the first purchases that you will need to make to childproof your home is safety locks and latches for your cabinets and drawers. These devices are easily installed and should be placed on any cabinet that contains medicines and cleaning supplies as well as other chemicals in your house that could pose a threat to your child. Locks should also be placed on drawers that contain knives and other sharp objects as well as "junk" drawers that may contain tools such as screws and screwdrivers. Once you put these latches and locks in place, you may want to place things in these cabinets that you normally leave out, such as containers for loose change and bathing items such as soap and toothpaste. To be on the safe side, you should go through your home and look at everything, locking up anything that could harm your child in any way.

Safety gates are another necessity as infants begin to crawl. These gates should be placed anywhere that you feel the child needs to be prevented from going. Many people use these to prevent a child's access to kitchens and bathrooms. The "pressure" safety gates are ideal for these rooms. These gates expand to fit tightly in place, but can be moved with ease when not in use. More permanent gates that screw permanently into the wall are best when blocking stairs as these are sturdier than the "pressure" style. With either style, you should avoid the older V-shaped design as children have been known to get their heads stuck in the gaps.

Another safety feature that you may want to purchase is door locks and door knob covers. The door locks are more permanent than the child safety gates and you may want to place these on basement and attic doors, as well as on doors leading to a garage or a swimming pool. You should install these locks high enough that a small child cannot reach them even by standing on a chair. Door knob covers are temporary fixtures that fit right over the doorknob that denies children access to certain areas but enables adults to easily open the door. You may want to install these covers on front and back door knobs leading outside so that you can still open these exits quickly in case of a fire or other emergencies.

Outlet covers and plates are another item that is necessary to childproof your house, especially when your child begins to crawl. Most electrical outlets are eye-level to a baby on the floor, and the natural instinct for the child is to stick objects in the hole. Many outlet covers just plug right into the outlet to keep the empty holes out of sight. When purchasing these items, you should make sure that they are not easily removed by children and are large enough so a child cannot choke on them.

These products are just a few of many that you can purchase to childproof your home. By childproofing, you can ensure that your baby has the safest home environment possible.
About the Author
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