5 Items You Need for Childproofing Your Home
New parents learn quickly how many common things around the home are dangerous for small children, or at least how many everyday items can be big inconveniences when a curious, mobile baby is around. There are a few essential products for childproofing your home that are inexpensive, easy to use, and will save you a lot of trouble (not to mention a few boo-boos). Here are some favorites.
Image via Flickr by Kim Love
Electrical outlets tend to be low to the ground, allowing even a crawling baby to reach them. Plastic covers keep little fingers out of the slots, and even the more expensive styles of covers won't cost more than $10. You can opt for simple plastic plugs, though you may want the more aesthetically pleasing sliding panel covers so that you won't have to look for lost plugs.
The sharp corners of a coffee table are a bruise waiting to happen. The simplest solution is a set of corner cushions that add soft padding to those pointy edges. Conveniently coming in sets of four for most brands, corner cushions are easy to install and remove as needed. You may even want to go the extra mile and match the color of your cushions to that of your furniture.
Toilet Lid Lock
Even the cleanest toilet bowl is no place for little hands, especially if they're holding Mommy or Daddy's "borrowed" keys. A toilet lid lock is an inexpensive plastic fixture that requires no tools to install and that is easy for adults and older children to unlock. A lid lock prevents too much exploration but is easy to remove when it's time for potty training.
A child learning to walk is likely to keep his or her balance against the furniture. Walking also frees up a child's hands to open drawers and cabinets. Later, climbing may come into the picture. That's why furniture anchors are such a good investment. Cabinet and drawer anchors stop them from fully opening without releasing the latch inside so that knife drawers and cabinets holding fragile items can be off-limits.
Furniture that's properly anchored with anti-tip fixtures won't even budge from an adult's weight. As a bonus, anchors are great for earthquake preparedness — they can prevent dishes from falling out of cabinets and stop heavy pieces from falling over during a seismic event.
Bath Safety Accessories
Bath time can be a lot of fun, but there are also some parts of the tub that should be childproofed. A soft cover for the faucet protects baby from bumps and bruises, a textured bath mat prevents slipping in the soapy water, and a heat-indicating bath toy can tell you whether the water is too hot. All of these items can double as bath toys, so they're fun as well as practical.
By spending a few extra dollars, you can easily childproof your home. The best childproofing products are inexpensive and easy to use and might even add a little fun to the challenges of keeping your home safe for its smallest occupants.