How to Childproof Your Apartment
Whether you’re welcoming a new bundle of joy to your home or a small friend is coming to visit, you want to be certain your home is safe and ready. Use this checklist to make sure your apartment is ready for any little ones.
Throughout the Home
· Rid the apartment of any odors including cigarette smoke, paint fumes, or harsh chemicals. Cigarette smoke has been linked to SIDS deaths.
· Invest in one or more pressure-mounted baby gates to block off areas of the apartment that are unsafe. Be sure to put the baby gate up at night to keep the little one safely in their room.
· Block off outlets with outlet protectors. Be sure they fit securely and tightly so prying fingers can’t easily get them off. A safe & aesthetically pleasing option is the KidCo Universal Outlet Covers ($9 for three from Amazon.com)
· Move furniture away from windows where a child could climb up and potentially fall from the window. Keep windows locked.
· If you have stairs in your home, use baby gates at the top and bottom of the staircase.
· Regularly check your smoke and CO detectors to ensure proper function and working batteries.
· Create and memorize your family’s fire escape plan.
· Secure any furniture that is a topple-hazard (such as bookshelves, entertainment centers, dressers, etc.). Most furniture that poses such a threat will come with a wall attachment strap that can be mounted to the wall. Store heavier items on the bottom shelves/drawers of such furniture and lighter objects at the top for extra stability.
· Fasten your TV to the wall to prevent it from toppling over.
· Crawl around the floor of your home to make sure there are no small objects such as food, coins, small toys, etc. that can present a choking hazard.
· Make sure your front door is locked and deadbolted, especially once the child is tall enough to reach the door handle.
· Keep the patio/balcony sliding doors locked and shut, as well. Never allow a little one to play on the balcony or patio without adult supervision.
· Store purses and bags high in the closet, out of reach of children.
· Use cabinet locks & drawer locks to keep children out of cabinets and drawers – especially those that contain chemicals and cleaning products or breakable objects. Try the Magnetic Cabinet & Drawer Latch System from Safety 1st ($35 for 4 from Amazon.com)
· Keep hot foods and beverages away from the edges of counters & tables and well out of reach of children.
· Install a stove guard or knob guards to keep hands away from knobs and burners.
· Point sharp items downwards when loading in the dishwasher. Keep your dishwasher latched at all times when it’s not being emptied or reloaded.
· Lock the oven door while it’s in use or hot.
· Use cabinet locks & drawer locks to keep children out of cabinets and drawers – especially those that contain chemicals and cleaning products or breakable objects.
· Place non-slip shower mats in the bathtub.
· Store razors out of reach from the child and be sure it’s not in a place where it may fall during his/her bath.
· Install a spout cover on the bathtub. These protect against head injuries during bath time. A cute option is the Moby Bath Spout Cover that looks like a blue whale ($13 from Amazon).
· Keep trash cans out of reach.
· Install a toilet lock on your toilets to prevent strangulation and/or drowning. Check out the Mommy’s Little Helper Toilet Lid-Lok ($8 from Amazon.com)
· Lock up medicines using a medicine safe, such as the Dreambaby Kiddy Lock Guard Child Safe Container ($34 from WalMart).
· Keep all small objects, jewelry, and toiletries out of reach from little hands. If these items are kept in a drawer, use a drawer lock to prevent access.
· Never place a baby in a crib with fluffy pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals. Keep the crib as clean and free of items as possible for safest sleep.
Note: This is not an exhaustive list of childproofing and additional steps may need to be taken in your individual circumstances. Be sure to contact childcare experts such as your pediatrician as well as other online resources such as BabyCenter, Mayo Clinic, and WebMD for additional information.