SKILL LEVEL 1
by Dayna Del Val
You'll be surprised at the things a child will grab, crawl into, chew on, knock over, break, step on and trip over between learning to crawl and understanding the risks in the home. How child proof you must make your home during those years depends on your child — some children seem to have an innate sense of self-preservation, while others are gifted at getting into things. The steps in this project cover common dangers and how to mitigate them — adapt them as needed for your child's age and compunction to explore.
Freelance writer Dayna Del Val has a clear memory of sticking a metal measuring tape into a socket as a child, so she feels lucky to still be here and was very diligent about baby-proofing her home when her son was little.
1 Skill level
1 out of 5
When your baby starts crawling, cover these basics in every room of the house — even rooms your baby isn't usually in. Children manage to find their way into the most surprising places.
Unscheduled or bare-bottomed strolls around the neighborhood
Lock the doors.
Install sturdy safety latches on drawers and cabinets you want to keep your child out of. Remove heavy, breakable and dangerous items from the countertop. As for that knife block, some are available with a child-safe lock feature — but don't underestimate a child's ability to thwart child-safety features.
If you're replacing your range, choose one with controls above the cooktop, not above the oven door.
Use a crib that meets current US Consumer Product Safety Commission standards, which specify that gap between railings is no more than 2-3/8 inches — about the diameter of a soda can. The corner posts must be no more 1/16 inch above the end panels, and the raised sides of the crib must be at least 16 inches above the mattress. The mattress should fit snugly, with no gaps on the sides that a baby could roll into.
To reduce the suffocation risk, don't put soft bedding in the crib until your baby is a year old — that includes pillows, quilts, comforters, bumper pads and stuffed toy. Instead, dress your baby in a sleeper suited to the weather and, if needed, tuck a thin blanket around the crib mattress so it reaches only as far as your baby's chest.
If your laundry room has a door, keep it closed. Store laundry products out of reach. If you have a front-loading washer and dryer, secure the doors with locks designed for them.
Most garages are loaded with tempting things — power tools, garden chemicals, car chemicals and all sorts of sharp things. Secure smaller items in drawers or high cabinets. Make sure larger garden tools, such as shovels and hoes, hang securely from their racks so they can't fall off when bumped. Clean up any oil or anti-freeze spills.
If you have a garage door opener, test its photoelectric sensors regularly to make sure it detects anything in its path. Install the keypad out of reach of younger children.
For driveway safety, attach a tall flag to tricycles and other riding toys so anyone backing out can see the child behind a car. You can also attach an outdoor convex mirror to the garage to give a wider view than the rearview mirror does.
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|Child safety gate|
|Drill and bit|
|Drill and bits|
|Emergency door lock release.|
|Flat screen tv lock|
|Front-loading washer/dryer lock|
|Furniture corner pads|
|Gfci outlets, if needed|
|Garden tool rack|
|Outdoor convex mirror|
|Rug grip tape|
|Toilet lid lock|
|Window blind cord shortener|