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Baby-Proof Your Home

Outlet covers on all the outlets will prevent your child from putting things such as keys or spoons in the outlets and being electrocuted.

Keeping electrical cords and drapery cords wound up and bound when not in use will prevent crawling and rolling babies from becoming entangled or strangled by them.

A baby lock on the front door will prevent your child from escaping into the street or neighborhood unsupervised.

In desert and mountain areas checking the yard before playtime for snakes or scorpions will prevent your child from a dangerous bite.

Checking the back yard and garage for black widows and brown recluses (funnel spiders in Australia) will prevent their entry into the house. Poisonous spider bites can be lethal for babies.

Keeping breakable objects up high will prevent baby from tipping them over.

Keeping non-edible plants such as pothos and dumb cane out of baby's reach will prevent vomiting and illness.

Stoves and ovens with the knobs on top and out of babies' and toddlers' reach can prevent fire and burns.

Cabinet locks on kitchen cupboards and pantry can prevent baby from pulling heavy objects down on himself/herself and from getting into harmful cleaners or chemicals. Keep one or two cabinets or drawers unlocked and full of light, unbreakable objects, such as plastic or tupperware, dish towels, or pan lids to satisfy baby's curiosity.

Securing bookshelves, entertainment centers, and other tall furniture to the wall can prevent them from falling on your child during an earthquake.

Child-proof doorknobs can prevent a toddler from entering a room that isn't child-proof.

Making a habit of always looking behind your car before backing up will protect little children who are shorter than the car from being run over.

Hardware items mentioned above are available at Home Depot, OSH, Ace Hardware, and other hardware stores, or at K-Mart, Target, Walmart, or other general merchandise stores. The cost is tiny compared to the cost of a child's life.

Listen to your gut instincts or to that "still, small, voice." If something doesn't feel right then it probably isn't. Keep your child always in sight except when sleeping. Check napping babies frequently.

Copyright Adrienne Potter. Reprinted with permission.

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