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The Complete Guide To Baby Proofing Your Home

Written by GHBY Team on Mon, 28 November 2022 — Fact checked by Dr. Burtseva Tamara Viktorivna

Key Highlights

  • Toddlers are a bundle of energy and curiosity.
  • However, due to all this energy and curiosity, they tend to run around the house and are prone to get injured.
  • Wounds, electric shocks, or fractures are some of the results of such injuries.
  • All parents are concerned about the well-being and safety of their children.
  • Baby-proofing your house with child safety devices and knowing some first aid techniques go a long way in protecting your child.
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As your toddler starts walking on his own feet, nothing but joy and pride fills your heart. Wholesome warmth fills your house as you watch your toddler run around and explore their newfound independence.

However, these feelings of warmth and happiness quickly fade, and panic sets in when you watch your toddler bang into the edge of your coffee table. As you watch the tears well up in your little one’s eyes, all you keep hoping is that the crash wasn’t severe.

Such accidents and injuries are common in toddlers and are the cause of a lot of injuries and traumatic events. Even in your house, which you consider a safe space, your child is at risk of such injuries.

Did you know? Nearly 90 per cent of accidents seen in children under five years of age happen at home. Sounds quite grim, right? However, there is a simple solution to this problem. Babyproofing your house is an effective way to prevent such mishaps. But before we can give you an answer to the question of how to baby-proof your home, let’s first evaluate the risks of injury at home.

We will then move on to an effective guide to baby-proofing your home.

Prevent the zap!

Of all the toys you get for your toddlers, the electrical outlets will entice them the most. At the peak of their curiosity, your toddler will try to stick his or her finger in the electrical sockets. Babyproofing your house will help negate such risks.

Say no to the burn

Did you know that more than 30 toddlers are treated for burns because of hot drinks daily? Kids have a tendency to touch and taste any random thing they find lying around. Such habits, among other things, could lead to their burning or scalding themselves. The best way to do that is know how to baby-proof your house to avoid such events in the future.

Divided we fall

Falling, tripping, and tumbling are natural parts of your toddler’s growth. Tripping over their own feet is normal. However, you don’t want your toddler to fall down the stairs. Such falls can result in serious injuries and brain trauma.

Nullify the choking hazard

As mentioned before, toddlers have a tendency to touch and taste whatever they find lying around. They try to lick or eat any coins, marbles, or loose toy parts that are lying around. That is why certain toys come with a choking hazard warning.

Apart from the four mentioned above, there are numerous other risks in your household. So, you must evaluate the potential risks in your household. After listing down the risks, it is time you eliminate them! The trick is learning how to how to childproof your home.

Childproofing 101

For those who don’t know, childproofing is much more than putting up corner protectors on your tables. Child safety devices, although a majority, are just one part of baby proofing! Let us take a look at all the different aspects of child safety.

Safety devices to the rescue!

Life doesn’t stop after you become a mother. You need to balance your work life with your home life. You can’t always be around to shield your toddler from such dangers. Installing child protection devices can make your life easier.

Child Safety Ideas

Here are a few devices that you should consider installing in your home!

1. Corner Protectors

Almost all houses have furniture with sharp edges, which can hurt your child. Made up of a soft material, corner guards or protectors can help protect your baby in case they run into sharp edges. These are easily available at your nearest supermarket or online.

2. Safety latches and locks

The drawers and cupboards in your kitchen or your living room might house sharp equipment like scissors or safety pins. If your toddler opens these and decides that the scissors are a plaything, then he or she can land in a world of pain.

Protect your child by installing safety locks and latches on these drawers! These latches can be easily installed and opened by an adult but can withstand a toddler’s tugging.

3. Safety gates

Do you have a staircase in your home? Or any room where you wouldn’t want your toddler to wander off unsupervised? If so, then invest in some child safety gates during your childproofing process.

Here are a few things to keep in mind before you buy the gates:

  1. It can be easily installed and opened by an adult.
  2. It is firm and can withstand pulling from a toddler.
  3. The bars on the gates don’t allow any body part of your toddler to fit through the day.

4. Smoke alarms

Smoke or fire alarms are important devices to invest in when it comes to safety. No house is fireproof, and such accidents can strike at any time of the day. Install these devices in your living room and bedrooms so that they can alert you even if you are asleep.

You will need to call an electrician to install these devices safely and correctly. Installation is a one-time affair. After that, you need to constantly maintain these devices. Here’s some information about the maintenance of smoke alarms:

  1. Vacuum or dust off the smoke detector at least every six months.
  2. Replace the batteries every 12 months.
  3. Replace the smoke detectors every 10 years or as specified by the manufacturers.
  4. Check the smoke detectors every month by pressing and holding the test button for five seconds till you hear a beep.

5. Anti-scald device

An anti-scalding device is nothing but a valve that is fitted in between your hot water supply and water outlet. It detects and rectifies any change in the temperature and pressure of the water coming out of your faucet. 

This ensures that the water flowing out of your showers is at a safe temperature and pressure for your toddler.

6. Electric outlet covers

As mentioned before, your toddler might find electrical sockets more fun and enticing as compared to his or her toys. Electric outlet covers are worthwhile investments for the safety of your child.

These covers are easily available at your local hardware store. If not, you can order them online. Being easy to install and relatively inexpensive, the only care you have to take is that they snugly fit into your sockets.

7. Residual current device

Apart from using an electric outlet cover, make sure your house has a residual current device (RCD) installed. An RCD is a device that detects faults or leaks in the circuit and automatically cuts off the electricity supply. This device is especially useful to prevent your child from getting shocked in case they touch something like a live wire. Have an authorized electrician install an RCD, if you don’t have it installed already.

8. Furniture anchors

We can all agree that toddlers are a bundle of energy and curiosities. However, due to all this energy and curiosity, they tend to run and climb all over your furniture. Serious injuries can occur if your furniture tips over while your toddler attempts to climb over it. To avoid such accidents, anchor your furniture to the wall. TV stands, dressers, bookshelves, and desks have a higher tendency to tip over. Also, consider anchoring them to the floor for additional support.

9. Door locks and window guards

Do you live on the top floors of a multi-storey building? Then it is worth getting a child safety door and window locks installed on your balcony entrance and windows. These devices are available in ample quantities at your local supermarket. The installation is also very easy. All you will need to do is follow the instructions in the manual that comes with the locks.

10. Stove guards

Another dangerous room in your house for your toddler is your kitchen. It's filled with many sharp and shiny tools, and your toddler might confuse them with his or her playthings. One such appliance is your stove. Getting some stove guards can reduce the risk of any potentially dangerous injuries.

In case of emergencies…

Despite putting all these precautionary measures in place, your toddler still can get injured. However, these injuries, in most cases, won’t be that serious. You can tend to them at home. with basic first aid techniques. Here are a few tips regarding first aid that can help you throughout your journey of parenthood!

Building your first-aid kit

The guide to how to childproof your house includes, foremost, a first aid kit. For most injuries, you will have to rely on your first aid kit for proper management of the injury. Here is a list of items you can include in it.

  • Sterile gauze dressings of different sizes
  • Bandages
  • Alcohol-free wipes
  • Antiseptic cream or lotion
  • Cotton pads
  • Thermometer
  • Epipens and allergy medication (if your child suffers from allergies)
  • Sterile eye dressings
  • Distilled water

Child First Aid Kit

Most of these products are essential to tend to wound properly. Try maintaining such first aid supplies in case of emergencies and ensure that they are stowed away safely and out of your toddler’s reach.

First-aid techniques to learn

Now that you’ve got an idea of what should go into your first aid kit, let us look at certain first aid techniques to keep in your arsenal!

1. Proper wound cleaning:

With all the running around, your toddler may get injured frequently. Knowing proper wound cleaning and bandaging steps will help you manage these wounds quickly.

  1. Before you start cleaning the wound, wash your hands thoroughly to prevent any contamination.
  2. Start by washing the wound under tap water for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Soak a gauze pad in clean water and wipe the skin with it gently.
  4. After wiping the wound, pat the area dry with a clean cloth or towel. Don’t use any fabric made of wool or cotton as strands of the material can get stuck to wounds.
  5. Apply a little sterile dressing to the wound. 

2. First aid for choking:

The other most common cause of accidental injuries is choking! In case your child is choking on something they’ve eaten, he or she will be:

  • Clinging to their neck or chest
  • Gasping for breath
  • Unable to cough or speak

 

If you see the following signs, then your child might be choking on something. Delivering quick first aid is of importance in such situations. Here are a few steps you can take if you see your child choking:

a. Back blows:

  1. Lay your toddler in your lap, face down.
  2. Use the heel of your hand and give not more than five firm blows on the upper back of your child (between the shoulder blades)
  3. You should see your child spit out the substance that's causing the choking.
  4. If this is not working, try another method.

b. Abdominal thrusts:

  1. Kneel behind your child and clasp your hands between their navel and ribs.
  2. Now, push firmly and sharply inwards and upwards.
  3. Make sure you don’t put pressure on the lower rib cage as it may cause injury.
  4. Repeat not more than five times.

After all this, if the particle is not dislodged, then call for medical help and continue to repeat the cycle of back blows and abdominal thrusts.

3. Know when to visit the hospital: 

In some cases, the injuries your toddler sustains cannot be managed by first aid at home. Medical attention will be required. Here are some scenarios where medical attention is required.

  • In case there is something lodged in the wound, do not remove it and rush your toddler to your doctor.
  • If your toddler falls or tumbles down really hard, then there is a chance that they have fractured or broken a bone. Fractures and broken bones are characterized by swelling and pain, which can manifest as constant crying or deformation of the limb. In such cases, rush your child to the hospital.
  • As mentioned above, if the first aid for choking is not working, call the doctors immediately.
  • Allergies can manifest pretty early in life. Severe allergic reactions require prompt medical attention. Rush them to the hospital immediately.

Conclusion

All parents are concerned about the well-being and safety of their children. That is why babyproofing your house is so important and the need of the hour. When you baby-proof your home, you ensure that there is minimum risk for your child to hurt himself.

Knowing certain first aid techniques like proper wound cleaning can go a long way in dealing with such injuries. We hope this guide to baby-proofing your home has given you some peace of mind regarding a safer playtime for your toddler.

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GHBY Team

GHBY Team comprises content writers and content editors who specialise in health and lifestyle writing. Always on the lookout for new trends in the health and lifestyle space, Team GHBY follows an audience-first approach. This ensures they bring the latest in the health space to your fingertips, so you can stay ahead in your wellness game. 
 

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  1. Dao A et al. Unintentional injury, supervision, and discourses on childproofing devices. Medical anthropology. 2019 Jan 2;38(1):15-29.
  2. Keeping your baby and children safe at home. Available from:  NHS
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  6. 12 Safety Devices To Protect Your Children. Available from: Consumer Product Safety Commission
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