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30 Ways to baby proof your home

Kathleen Rellihan is a writer and editor living in Washington, D.C. She has contributed to a variety of lifestyle magazines and websites nationwide, covering everything from Salsa dancing to doggie daycare.

Baby proof your abode

Nobody should put a baby in a dangerous corner. Unfortunately, your house has dangers in every corner - from electrical sockets to cleaning products, to plants on the floor. Before you send yourself into a tailspin of worry, realize there are numerous ways to keep your baby out of harm's way.

Baby Proofed Cabinets
Follow these 30 tips to baby proof your home, from the living room to the bathroom:

Living areas

  • Replace all sockets with childproof sockets.
  • Check the floor for small objects that a baby could swallow:  pins, nails, buttons and coins.
  • Move sharp objects away from high traffic areas.
  • Install a safety gate at the top and bottom of stairs.
  • Move plants off the floor. Many are poisonous, including iris and poinsettia.
  • Keep tools and hairdryers unplugged and out of reach.
  • Fasten high bookcases and other tall pieces of furniture to the wall so your baby can't pull them down.
  • Don't place furniture near windows.
  • Check your doorstops for removable caps that pose a choking hazard.


Nursery

  • Remove mobiles and hanging toys from the crib.
  • Toy chests should either be lidless or should stay up when opened.
  • Remove all unnecessary blankets or stuffed animals from your baby's crib.
  • Make sure older children's toys are not in reach of younger children.
  • Never place a crib near windows; use cordless blinds or cut blind cords in half to avoid strangulation.
  • Never use an old crib that hasn't met current safely standards.


Kitchen

  • Keep cleaning supplies in a high cabinet rather than under the sink. If you put dangerous products under the sink, use a child-proof lock on the cabinet door.
  • Don't leave mouse or insect traps in places where your baby can find them.
  • Make sure the oven door is locked.
  • Use back burners for cooking whenever possible and turn the handles of pots and pans toward the back of the stove.
  • Don't use magnets on the refrigerator. They can fall down and your baby could swallow one.


Bathroom

  • Never leave water standing in the bath, the sink or even a bucket. Babies can drown in very little water.
  • Install toilet lid locks.
  • Keep medication, vitamins and cosmetics away from your baby's reach.
  • Adjust your water heater temperature to 120 degrees F to prevent scalding.
  • Make sure there is no way your baby might accidentally lock themselves in the bathroom.
  • Keep your bathroom cleaning supplies out of reach, locked in a cupboard or placed on a high shelf.
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