When the baby starts crawling — nothing is safe. Unless, of course, you get a jump on childproofing your home before those little hands are everywhere. It doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming, but childproofing does have to be thorough. At ABODO, we think everyone should be safe in their home. So let’s go through a few common areas that require attention before they catch your toddler’s.
Cupboards and Drawers The little tots won’t be able to reach the upper cabinets until, hopefully, they no longer pose a danger to the contents. But ground level cupboards should have their handles secured with store-bought devices or simple elastic bands that make it difficult or impossible for kids to open them. Drawers, on the other hand, are best secured with purchased locks to ensure kids don’t get at the contents or pull out a drawer too far and have it fall. And remember, if the drawers can open even slightly, kids run the risk of a pinch.
Oven and Stove The potential for injury in the kitchen is high, especially around the stove. To prevent the little ones from accidentally spinning a burner knob and starting a fire, pop the knobs off and keep them in a drawer until you’re ready to use them. If your burner and oven knobs are far out of reach — on the upper panel beyond the burners — you shouldn’t have to worry. Oven doors pose another risk, so pick up an appliance lock that will keep it closed even if kids pull on the handle.
Refrigerator The same appliance locks that can be used to secure your oven door can (and should) be used to keep kids out of the fridge. Tiny hands prying into such a great appliance can lead to a food avalance, kids accidentally trapping themselves inside, or even potentially pulling it off balance.
TVs, Dressers, and Bookcases Anything that can be easily knocked over should be secured. Flat-screen TVS are notoriously tippy, but you can add stability to it by attaching straps to both the back of the TV as well as the TV stand. Dressers and bookcases are also consistent sources of parental scares — open dresser drawers and shelves can look a lot like fun climbing equipment. In addition to securing each drawer, the dresser itself and bookcases should be tethered or bracketed to the wall.
Outlets There are a few ways to keep little hands away from electrical outlets. First, see if you can block access to outlets by rearranging heavy furniture. Any outlets still left exposed can be covered either with duct tape or with plastic plug covers.
Doors Some places are just no good for unaccompanied toddlers — such as broom closets, garages, or even bedrooms. Keep kids from going where they shouldn’t by locking doors or using “twist and grip” knob covers.
This is far from an exhaustive list of places your toddler can cause trouble in your home — for example, we haven’t even tied up the cords of blinds or cushioned hard table edges yet! — but these are great starting points to keep your child’s exploring hands safe.