While you may not expect it, there are items all around your house that can be dangerous if you have a toddler.
Babyproofing your home can eliminate many of those dangers.
“You want to start young, before they get to where they’re mobile,” said Daniel Leeds, who owns Full House Babyproofing, a professional babyproofing company in the Tampa area. “No later than the 6-9 month mark, so you’re not always playing catchup.”
Leeds points out a lot of dangers around the house that one wouldn’t expect.
For instance, the hand towel hanging from your oven handle.
“A child can pull that down on their head easily,” said Leeds. Solution? Move the towel, or install oven locks.
For stairs, protect the top and bottom with a hardware mounted gate, not the pressure-mounted ones that push towards the outside because they can damage your staircase.
Smoke detectors should be changed out every 10 years.
“Most houses I go to, they have the same smoke detectors that came with the house.
Instead of swapping out the batteries every 6 months, buy smoke detectors with batteries that with a 10-year life. When it’s up, throw it away and get new ones.
If you have pets, you might think dog food is a hazard, but it’s water soluble and not toxic.
Astro’s water bowl can be the bigger problem. Kids can drown in just a half inch of water.
Many of these things can be overwhelming for new parents — or just dangers that you might not think about.
“Yeah for sure,” said Kati Heifner, whose daughter Reese will turn 1 later this year. “Much of my attention goes toward taking care of her, that thinking about all the other elements it just slips your mind.”
Technology changes often — and that can affect how you babyproof your home.
Example: newer outlets have tamper-resistant outlets with guarded plug holes that only slide open when pressure is applied by two prongs.
Plastic outlet covers are out.
“Very easy for 2 year-olds to pull out, and they immediately go into their mouth.”
Pools obviously need a fence around them, and many people know to tie your furniture to the wall to prevent falls.
But Leeds says railings on stairs can be dangerous — kids will try to fit anything through them, including themselves.
“Most are narrow enough that a kid can’t get their head in there, but what do they do then? They turn around and try to put their legs through there,” said Leeds.